Another strange quirk on US Airways are its international and domestic rules pertain to a different definition of international and domestic.
What I mean is, sometimes international flights will follow domestic rules for purposes of upgrades and some domestic (but not mainland) flights follow international rules.
US Airways offers unlimited complimentary upgrades for domestic routes for its elites.
But how does US Airways define these routes?
- The Contiguous U.S.
- Central America
- the Caribbean
I like this broad definition. While not necessarily geographically correct, it is very generous.
For “international routes,” there are no complimentary upgrades. This includes routes to Hawaii. If you are hoping to get a complimentary upgrade on a Hawaii route, sorry! There’s a chance of upgrade at gate, but we’ve never seen it actually happen with anyone (and in fact, have only seen first class oversold at the gate). This is because Hawaii has a lot of revenue first thanks to honeymooners and the like.
For international routes, if you are a Chairman, you can apply your upgrade certificate to international routes OR to Hawaii. For the Hawaii route, the rules are more restrictive than transatlantic (strange, right?)
You can only apply your upgrade to Hawaii 7 days out from your flight date–again, probably so they can make as much revenue off those tickets as possible.
Otherwise, you need to use your miles to upgrade but call before April 23rd. After April 23rd, co-pays will be required for all US Airways upgrades using miles. If upgrades aren’t available today, keep calling. Every day. Seriously.