US Airways changed their partner award chart without notice today to match American Airlines award ticket cost from the US lower 48 and Canada to North Asia. I have reviewed the whole award chart and no other award regions were changed. The policy which is bad for consumers quickly increased the cost of awards from the USA to North Asia by 20,000 miles in business class.
The good news is there are still a few sweet spots in the US Airways Award chart, as I had outlined before in my Top 10 post, as only this single award category changed (for now). For those who can take advantage of the award chart by starting trips in the Caribbean or Central America/Mexico and continuing on to South East Asia, business class tickets are still available for just 90,000 miles!
The unannounced changes today call for more miles to reach North Asia. North Asia is defined by US Airways as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan . Business class award costs jumped from 90,000 miles to 110,000 miles without notice. Yet remember, US Airways does allow a free stopover, meaning you could follow my strategy and reach North Asia for just 90,000 Dividend miles + 7500 Avios miles.
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The award changes now require more miles to get to North Asia. Travelers can still take advantage of low award travel costs to South and Central Asia by starting trips in Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean! This is especially good news for travelers based in Florida who can easily redeem very few British Airways Avios Miles to the Caribbean islands and then start their trip form South Asia from there. Yet, even for travelers across the country in ports like Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, New York and beyond, can book trips to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America for very few Avios and then continue on via a US Airways Award ticket. Then award bookings to South & Central Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Chagos, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam) From Mexico, Central American, and the Caribbean are among the cheapest in the industry with option starting at 60,000 in economy, 90,000 in business, or 110,000 in first! Not to mention on your way back, you could easily route your trip through your home airport or closest major city and then not get on your final leg to Central America or the Caribbean in order to save the cost in miles/avios to return to your home airport.
In order to take advantage of some of these awards travel South with British Airways Avios. British Airways is a partner of American Express membership rewards, and you can transfer American Express Membership reward points to British Airways, following these simple steps, and book a trip from the USA to Mexico or the Caribbean for 10,000 avios miles or less one way in coach to save 30,000 miles on a business class ticket to Asia versus leaving from the USA!
Some Sample 1 way Avios costs which can lead to major savings if near a major AA/US port:
|Seattle to Cabo On Alaska||10,000 avios in coach|
|LAX to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Alaska or American||10,000 avios in coach|
|Miami – San Juan, Puerto Rico n AA||7,5000 avios in coach|
|Phoenix – Mexico City on US Airways||10,000 avios in coach|
|Charlotte – Belize City on US Airways||10,000 avios in coach|
|San Diego – Cabo on Alaska||7,5000 avios in Coach|
|DFW – Panama City, Panama on AA||10,000 avios in coach|
|ORD – Cancun or Mexico City on AA||10,0000 avios in coach|
|PHL/JFK to Bermuda on AA or US||7,500 avios in coach|
Simple Steps to a cheap ticket to Asia.
1) Book a trip to Central America, Mexico or the Carribean based on your location using British Avios points
2) Book US Airways Award ticket to South or Central Asia via your destination in North Asia. If its a hub city you can stop over!
3) Continue on to South or Central Asia and enjoy your business class ticket for just 90,000 miles!
Today’s unannounced devaluation of the US Airways award chart and the end of OneWorld explorer awards is bad news for frequent flyers and puts the New American on par with Delta–Another airline that gives NO warning to consumers before making major devaluation to their award charts and Frequent Flier program. Yet, why should any of us be surprised when Doug Parker is in charge of the New America, after all he attempted to turn US Airways into a LCC after the merger with American West and before merging with American. The future is bleak and we were all just #Parked!