Upgrades on Award Trips Going Away on US Airways

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:

January 2015

  • 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.

US Airways Special Dividends

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.

Though I did get yelled at by an American Airlines agent who thought I cheated my way to my upgrade.

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.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Hmmm, I don’t read it that way. The way SDs have always worked is they have to be redeemed by Feb/Mar of the following year in which they are earned. So they are saying the benefits will need to be redeemed by Feb/Mar but will continue to apply to all US flights throughout 2015 until the reservation switch on Oct 17th of next year.

  2. I read it the same way as you, Jeanne. Use extra benefits by the end of December,….and use Envoy certs by the end of February. US Chairman members will then receive 8 SWU’s based on 2014 flying.
    I am going to miss a lot about this program. It’s policies built a loyal fan base which helped the airline make its way back into profitability…. and they are the ones getting the royal shaft.

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