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Insta-CoGo: Frequent-Flier Changes at US Airways

Cindy Loose

In response to a recent post on the Travel Log, CoGo did a little research on changes in US Airways' frequent-flier program, and this is what we found.

If you earn U.S. Airways Dividend Miles on short hops, you won't be earning as many miles as before on tickets purchased on or after March 1 for travel on or after May 1. The airline recently announced that instead of awarding a minimum of 500 miles per flight, frequent fliers will earn the actual mileage. The new rule won't affect flights of 500 miles or more, of course, but it could put a big bite on certain short-hop travelers. For example, someone who flies to New York every week on US Airways will earn about 200 miles, instead of the old minimum 500.

Another new rule: Unless you've got status as a Chairman or Platinum level frequent flier, if you book a frequent-flier ticket within 14 days of departure, you'll have to pay a $50 fee. As before, if you book a frequent-flier ticket by phone within 14 days, instead of online, you must pay a $75 fee.

Note that most frequent-flier programs charge $50 or more to book a frequent-flier ticket by phone instead of online no matter how far out you're booking. But the fee can be worth it if you can't find a ticket and an agent can, which can happen with some creative shuffling of connections.

By Cindy Loose |  February 29, 2008; 12:27 PM ET  | Category:  Air Travel , Airline Industry , Cindy Loose , Insta-CoGo
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I've been a dedicated US Air customer for those short-haul trips, even paying more on US Air to be able to fly out of National for the convenience. But the combination of the baggage charges + the reduction in FF miles tips the scales for me (and probably for a lot of other people flying on their own dime, not a company's) -- I'll be driving to Dulles for Jet Blue, or to BWI for Air Tran or Southwest for those same trips now.

Posted by: Former US Air Frequent Flier | February 29, 2008 1:10 PM

seriously? which airlines charge "$50 or more" to book a FF ticket by phone? United charges $15. Certainly well worth it since their pathetic website can't show flights eligible for *A awards on their partner airlines. $15 plus about $45 in taxes (plus 90K miles) gets me a business class seat to SE Asia on ANA instead of spending 2x the miles on a "standard award" for a much less comfy experience in UA's biz class.

Posted by: Glenn | February 29, 2008 3:40 PM

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