USair redemption using AVIOS, low taxesBack to Forum
Anonymous1 Apr 2014
As many will know, USair formally became a member of the one-world alliance yesterday. Some USair air flights started to show up on BA.com for Avios redemption.
I was interested to see if the DUB-PHI route would be bookable and what would be charged. The direct flight does not come up, rather the booking engine seems to prefer to route via LHR, which isn’t unusual.
What is surprising is the taxes and fees being requested if I select the USair LHR-PHI flight instead of the BA flight (0067/0069). For the USair flight, the total taxes and fees are over £200 less per person return in economy, compared to the BA flight. Both journeys are starting in DUB and thus both are exempt from APD. looking at the taxes and fees breakdown, BA.com is not charging any fuel surcharge/carrier imposed fee, on the USair flight.
This could be a booking engine anomaly, given that the flights have only recently been loaded, but if it is a pointer to taxes policy on USair Avios redemption, they might prove very attractive options,
More details can be seen at:-1 Apr 2014
Slightly off post here but it seems that USAir is moving fast to set up code-share arrangements with BA and Iberia which should enhance Avios earning potential. Presumably, if booked using BA flight numbers, the flights should attract rather better TPs and Avios than is the case when flying on oneworld metal with non-BA flight numbers in general?
See2 Apr 2014
I normally try to avoid correcting people in forums, but since I am currently working with branding I would like to point out that USAir is no longer in service. I believe USAir merged with America West to create US Airways. I suspect the US AIrways branding people back in Phoenix would appreciate the correct use of their name and brand 🙂
The reason for cheaper redemption is not down to taxes, but down to policies of levying fuel surcharges or not for award redemptions. Most US carriers including US Airways, American, and United do not levy fuel surcharges on their award tickets.
In Europe, SAS EuroBonus and Iberia Plus are known not to levy charges. However, there are some perverse effects of all of this.
The worst culprit (not surprisingly) is Lufthansa’s Miles & More programme where they charge levy on trips including SAS and United flights. This is odd given that both carriers don’t do this themselves.
My personal belief is that government mandated taxes are ok to charge, but to include the fuel surcharge on a redemption is morally wrong.2 Apr 2014
TAM is also offering great redemption opportunities especially on their flights from FRA and MAD with minimal charges. Out of LHR their charges are over £150 cheaper than BA when redeeming in premium cabins.
I wonder what the US Airways situation will be going forward, given that technically, they are entering OneWorld as American Airlines and not as US Airways, unlike TAM who are retaining their identity alongside LAN. How will their policies align? Or at least how will BA’s interpretation of the policies align?2 Apr 2014
@Str8Talking, there is another interesting local flavour in Brazil. The government has banned all airlines from levying fuel surcharges for flights originating in Brazil, a fact only known among seasoned milage junkies I believe. A few people I know have used the option of two one-way redemptions to save substantially on charges.
The TAM First Class by the way look stellar with only four seats on the B777s.2 Apr 2014
Senator, Of course USAirways (not USAir) still does exist (http://www.usairways.com/Default.aspx) despite their merger with American. I suspect that the two brands will run parallel for a while and certainly all USAirways flights remain coded as US for the summer schedule at least.
Edited: USAir to USAirways2 Apr 2014
@TominScotland , I think something was lost in translation 🙂
The name (and brand) of the airline is US Airways and not USAir. For the time being, and until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues one operating certificate for the new American Airlines both airlines operate separately.
I was merely trying to play a bit of amateurish branding police and add some fun to the discussion:
1970s: Deregulation and rebranding
Allegheny changed its name to USAir in 1979 following the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act the previous year, which enabled the airline to expand its route network into the southeastern United States
1990s: Rebranding, fleet modernization, and failed sell-off
On November 12, 1996, the airline announced that it would change its name to US Airways and introduce a new corporate identity in early 1997.
So I was wrong, it was even much earlier than I though 🙂
However, the airline known as USAir rebranded 18 years ago..2 Apr 2014
Thanks, Senator – I have amended my post.
I guess the brand transition to American will be similar to that with United and Continental. IIANM, they operated in parallel for some considerable time before the Continental brand identity disappeared.
As it is USAirways retains its brand identity and has filed for the listed code shares with BA under that identity.2 Apr 2014
I am actually really worried about this merger. I have shifted my allegiance to American from United/Continental for domestic travel in the US. Over the past two and half years, I have probably close to 25 segments with American in the US, to Hawaii and Caribbean. Bar two flights, all in Business (as it is called to the Caribbean) or First and with the notable exception of a Curacao – Miami early morning flights they have been stellar.
I have however, avoided US Airways like the plague for a long time. I am worried that the pre-merger US Airways management team is running the new American, and I worry that the clear progress made by AA will reverse.
Now, in terms of Avios I find that these last minute redemptions for American (and now US Airways) to be of great value. A last minute, one-way trip from JFK-DCA can easily run you $400, but can be had for 4,500 Avios + $2.50. We needed to bring someone down from DCA to MIA around New Years. Flights where $500 one-way in the back, and redemption was 9,000 Avios + $2.50. Great value for Avios.2 Apr 2014
I used Usair purely as shortform, one assume most if not all here know the airline under discussion. I’m not overly concerned with the sensitivities of Phoenix based branding people !
Title was also chosen for brevity, and I did clearly confirm in the body of the text that the difference in fees is the lack of fuel surcharge.
Now, to get this thread back ON-TOPIC….
The key point of the posting is that BA are not applying fuel surcharges to USair flights leaving the UK. This is a welcome, but strangely different policy compared to the policy for AA redemption flights booked on BA using Avios. One would imagine that BA would have the same rules for both US and AA given they are merged airlines, and both being one-world partners.
I have just tried booking MAN-LHR-PHI, and again there is no fuel surcharge, pricing up £236 cheaper return to select the USair flight out of LHR instead of the BA one.
As a comparison, the AA LHR-RDU flight does charge a fuel surcharge, in line with all UK departure AA flights booked on BA.
I think this the first example of US bound redemptions out of the UK, booked on BA that do not levy a fuel surcharge/carrier imposed fee.2 Apr 2014
@tangey1, sorry if my posting did under any form seemed offensive. It was merely more pun-like as any business spend millions to ensure their brand is used correctly 🙂
Back to the discussion: I find the consistent inconsistency across the world frustrating. Fuel surcharges should be removed from redemption, but there is less to do about government taxes and fees,2 Apr 2014