Earning United Miles on US Air? Things are changing…

On March 31, 2014 US Airways will leave the Star Alliance and join oneworld®. The airline’s regional affiliates, operating under the US Airways Express brand, will also transition to oneworld on the same date. The move is part of US Airways’ merger with American Airlines, a founding member of the Star Alliance.

US Airways flight miles credited to Star Alliance will end on March 30 and oneworld will take effect on March 31, 2014. Both airlines and alliances are striving for a smooth transition for program members.

According to the American Airlines Newsroom, “They [US Airways and its regional carriers] will offer oneworld’s full range of services and benefits – although some may be phased in shortly after US Airways joins.  US Airways, American and their oneworld partners are working to provide the most popular benefits and services on an accelerated timeline.”

Soon, flyers will receive details on the benefits and privileges that come with oneworld membership, as well as notification when new benefits are introduced. Both airlines will keep their current loyalty programs during the transition period as they complete the merger.

How will this change the way you keep and earn miles?

If you’re a US Airways Dividend Miles cardholder, you will maintain all miles earned and your tier status.  Dividend Miles Preferred members will be sent new oneworld membership cards for use after March 31. Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will hold the top Emerald status in the oneworld program. Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire. Dividend Miles Silver will be oneworld Ruby.

After March 31, Dividend Miles Chairman, Platinum and Gold members will have access to approximately 600 airport lounges worldwide when flying on oneworld alliance carriers. oneworld Emerald and Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders can visit First Class lounges (where available), receive an additional baggage allowance and access fast tracks through departure security at select airports.

All Dividend Miles members can earn mileage and status points when flying on any oneworld member airline after March 31, but the ability to redeem mileage rewards for flights on other alliance airlines may be phased in shortly afterwards.

CIRE Travel is committed to ensuring credit (read: mileage) is given where credit is due. It’s our job as corporate travel experts to explain and demystify the information that impacts the award programs in which our clients participate.  If you have any questions about how the merger impacts your mileage award program, we’re here to answer them.

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