It is finally going to happen – sometime in the next couple of weeks, the merger of the US Airways Dividend miles program and the American Airlines AAdvantage program will occur that will see the miles merged. This is a day that has long been awaited by many who have amassed miles in both programs and want to see the two amounts come together for some of the aspirational awards with the AA chart.
US Airway Off Peak Awards To Europe – 30,000 Miles (for cardholders)
However, with the adoption of the AAdvantage award chart, there will be some things that will be gone. To me, one of the best award redemptions and one that gives a tremendous amount of actual value is the US Airways off-peak award to Europe. Combine that 35,000 mile award (for a roundtrip ticket) with the 5,000 mile deduction that occurs for US Airways credit card holders and you have 30,000 mile roundtrip redemptions all over Europe between January 15 and February 28!
Sure, that is a cold time of year, but some parts of Europe will still have nicer weather than many parts of the United States! Not only that, but you can then use things like British Airways Avios or low cost carriers like Ryanair and Easyjet to bounce around Europe for cheap. Or you can even go on past Europe!
Booking These Awards
To book these awards, check this post I wrote last year about booking these awards. If you do not have enough miles even for this award, you can take advantage of a 30% reduction in fees to transfer miles from another US Airways account. This can be useful if another person in your family has some miles that they will not be using (maybe from the US Airways credit card anniversary bonus). While normally not the best value to pay to transfer, it can help give you a ticket at far less than face value – especially if you only want to go during the week and not stay over a Saturday night.
Tip: Do not worry if you can not put together such a trip before the merger. American Airlines has a much more generous off-peak calendar for Europe – October 15 – May 15. They charge 40,000 miles and it is available on partners as well instead of just AA. You will also not pay the $50 award processing fee that US Airways charges for awards. But, you will not get the 5,000 mile deduction in miles for being a credit card holder!