US Airways and American Airlines announced their plan to combine the programs moving forward. View from the Wing has a great analysis.
I picked up on a little subtle phrasing in their announcement though:
Enjoy complimentary same-day confirmed flight changes on American, a new benefit for Chairman’s Preferred members
Redeem all your Special Dividends by early 2015; qualification ends in December 2014
It looks like US Airways is getting rid of Special Dividends, and anyone who qualified for them this year won’t have them through the next calendar year.
The Special Dividends were certain benefits you could qualify for after flying a certain amount. They were basically bonuses in between hitting elite tiers.
The best of these benefits was being about to get First Class upgrades on award travel once you flew 85,000 miles or 105 segments.
Whenever I fly on an award ticket, I go into the usual upgrade queue.
Other things that would go away as well:
- Being able to gift status to your friends (which is awesome).
- US Airways Club access for your spouse –> which was especially good for me since we both traveled for work
The other stuff I can take or leave, but the upgrades are huge for me.