NOTE: US Airways changed the rules about upgrade with miles and this route will no longer get you fee-free upgrades. Do not pursue a trial for this purpose.
I wrote about my own quest for status through the US Airways Preferred Trial, and on how to maximize the trial once you have it. But what I haven’t written about is why someone not chasing status may want to sign up for a US Airways Preferred Trial.
Wait, what? Why would someone ever pay to go on trial for a status when they don’t even want a status?
If you are using US Airways miles to upgrade at least two long-route tickets, you may want to consider using the US Airways Trial.
US Airways has a very generous upgrade program. But without status on US Airways, you need to pay a fee.
If you are a non-elite taking a round-trip to California from Philadelphia with a companion and wish to upgrade the tickets both ways with miles, it is only 40,000 miles for the two of you, but a staggering $600.
But US Airways elites get the fee waived for flights to the United States, Caribbean, and Central America. So if the person trying to take this round trip to California were an elite, they would save $600.
But we already established they aren’t.
If this person is someone who is just burning miles on US Airways and has no longer term plans on becoming a US Airways elite, they should consider a US Airways Trial.
For $200, you can temporarily be a Silver member and make all your US/Caribbean/Central American upgrade bookings over the next 90 days for free. This will save you $400 on the trans-con round trip.
There are a few caveats. First, be sure you aren’t going for US at all for at least a year. By going for the trial status, you need to wait twelve months before you can try it again.
Second, this only works for the miles owned by this account. You cannot apply your traveling companion’s miles for free. Just your own.
But another bonus is, in addition to the free upgrade-with-miles option, you’ll temporarily get a 25% bonus on your flights, which isn’t a ton over 90 days, but is better than nothing!
Have you ever gotten temporary status, just to get one perk?