March 02, 2014
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Later this month, US Airways is officially leaving Star Alliance to join Oneworld, the alliance of its merger partner, American Airlines. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this on Twitter, like the following two:
TPG reader Nat asked:
@thepointsguy With US leaving *A, if I want to fly NYC to Cape Town 3/2015, does it make sense to book an earlier date now and rebook later?
And TPG reader Andrew asked:
@thepointsguy @HalRomer Will my bro receive USAir miles on United flight booked pre-12/9 merger for post 3/31 int’l flight? Thanks!
Nat wants to go to Cape Town sometime next spring, after the 11-month-out booking cut off – so he can’t get his preferred dates. His question is about whether he should book an award to South Africa on a Star Alliance carrier now on other dates they’re available, and then when his preferred carrier and dates become available later if he will be able rebook them at that time.
The answer is no. Once US Airways leaves, if you want to change a Star Alliance award, tough luck. You will have to pay to redeposit the miles, and then your option will be to rebook on American/US or one of their Oneworld partners. But you will not be able to continually change from one Star Alliance booking to another once US Airways has left Star Alliance.
Andrew wants to know if his brother will receive US Airways miles on United flights booked pre-merger but flown post-March 31st, the day US Airways will leave Star Alliance.
Again, the answer is no. Once US Airways is not a Star Alliance member, you will not be able to bank miles from United flights to your US Airways account. They don’t care when you booked the ticket. If that carrier is in a different alliance the day you fly, that’s where you’ll bank miles. So it’s a shame if you booked the ticket thinking that your brother could get Star Alliance miles, but at least he’ll still be able to earn them on US Airways or American (or potentially other Oneworld partners at that point).
Let me know if you have any other questions by messaging me on Facebook, Tweeting me or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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