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A couple weeks ago there was speculation that US Airways would leave Star Alliance March 1, 2014 and would join Oneworld as early as April, but now we’ve got official confirmation from Oneworld that US Airways will join American’s alliance on March 31, 2014.
Here’s what the official release says:
US Airways will join oneworld® with effect from 31 March 2014, following completion today of its merger with alliance founding member American Airlines. All its regional affiliates, operating under the US Airways Express brand, will also transition to oneworld at the same time.
Their entry into oneworld with effect from the first flights on 31 March 2014 will follow immediately upon their exit from the Star Alliance with the final flights on 30 March 2014. All parties are taking every effort to ensure that the alliance transition is as seamless as possible for customers.
Until the full integration of American Airlines and US Airways – which will see the combined airline retaining the American Airlines name – US Airways and its regional carriers will operate as oneworld affiliate members, under the American umbrella.
They 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…
Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will have the top Emerald status in the oneworld programme. Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Dividend Miles Silver will be oneworld Ruby.
From 31 March, Dividend Miles Chairman, Platinum and Gold members will be able to access some 600 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines when they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers. As oneworld Emeralds, Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will be able to use First Class lounges, where available – and receive an additional baggage allowance and access fast tracks through departure security at select airports.
All Dividend Miles members will be able to earn mileage and status points when flying on any oneworld member airline from 31 March, but the ability to redeem mileage rewards for flights on other oneworld airlines may be phased in shortly afterwards.
It sounds like US Airways will make a clean break from Star Alliance on March 30 – at which point US Airways flyers will not be able to earn or redeem miles Dividend miles on any of the 26 other Star Alliance carriers any more – and will join Oneworld (13 carriers) only immediately the day after at which point US Airways flyers will earn and redeem on Oneworld partners instead, including elite perks, etc.
So if you want to use your US Airways miles on Star Alliance awards, I’d suggest doing so as soon as possible to beat the glut of reservations I suspect flyers will be making, though you should have until March 30 to redeem on Star Alliance. After that date, though, you won’t be able to change Star Alliance awards you made using US Airways miles, so be sure of your plans!
Another interesting development in the merger, which is supposed to go through officially today. I suspect we’ll see reciprocal earning/redeeming benefits on US Airways and American shortly, though it will probably be several more months before you can transfer miles between you AAdvantage and Dividend accounts.
In the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of how the alliances will look once this all goes down.
Air New Zealand
South African Airways