Airlines tend to charge for “late ticketing,” or as US Airways calls it, Quick Ticketing.
This is when you book an award ticket close to the date of departure. On US Airways, it is within 21 days of departure.
I forget I have this benefit because I get way too used to using it. Need to take a last minute trip and the cost is too high? Pay $5 and some miles and you have a ticket.
But I was reminded how much I take it for granted the other day when I accidentally logged out of my US Airways account and went to price an award trip:
I panicked for a moment because I honestly did not remember what this fee was. I’ve never had to stare at it in the face. Then I realized–the miles per person should be lower (because of my US Airways Credit Card). I slowly realized that I just wasn’t logged in.
I logged into my account and tried booking the flight again:
I saved $100 on this flight by being an elite. And that was a flight for one person. (Please note, I saved 5,000 miles by using my US Airways Mastercard, not by being an elite)
US Airways requires you to be a Gold or higher to receive this benefit which waves both the processing fee AND the late ticketing fee. You can also receive a waiver of the processing fee if you spend $25,000 or more per year on the US Airways credit card–and you receive a 5,000 discount off domestic flights no matter what.
This isn’t a reason in itself to become an elite, but it is a factor to consider. Think–what will being an elite do for you, and how much will you save?
I never thought too much about this benefit, but it has saved me money over the years.
What “small” elite benefit have you taken advantage of the most? Or, if you do not have elite status, which small benefit do you wish you had? (Boarding priority, free checked bags, etc.)