Good News for Folks Who Book American Airlines & US Airways Award Tickets

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There are good changes to how you book American Airlines and US Airways award flights.  You can now use US Airways miles to book American Airlines saver AND standard level award tickets, and vice versa.

And American Airlines will now waive the $25 phone booking fee for award flights that can’t be booked online.

Good News For Folks Who Book American Airlines And US Airways Award Tickets

You Can Now Use Miles on American Airlines or US Airways to Book Every Level of Award Ticket on Either Airline

This is good news!  And another step forward in the American Airlines – US Airways merger, which should be complete by the end of 2015.

What’s the Deal?

Link:   American Airlines Award Chart

Link:   US Airways Award Chart

1.   Changes to Award Ticket Booking

In the past, you had only been able to book saver (low-level) award tickets on American Airlines and US Airways using the other airline’s miles.  And sometimes those aren’t available.

For example, for a round-trip coach domestic coach flight, American Airlines charges:

  • 25,000 miles (saver level)
  • 40,000 miles (mid-level)
  • 60,000 miles (high level)
Good News For Folks Who Book American Airlines And US Airways Award Tickets

You’ll Have More Flexibility Booking Award Tickets on American Airlines and US Airways

The change also applies to Business and First Class award tickets.

2.   No More Phone Booking Fees for Awards That Can’t Be Booked Online

Previously, American Airlines would charge a $25 phone booking fee if you called to make your award flight reservation.  Even if it was a booking that couldn’t be made online!

For example, you can’t book Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines award tickets using American Airlines miles through their website.  You have to call.

Good News For Folks Who Book American Airlines And US Airways Award Tickets

Award Tickets Using American Airlines Miles on Cathay Pacific Used to Cost $25 in Phone Booking Fees, but No Longer

Now, they’ll waive the $25 phone booking fee.  That’s a nice change!

However, if you do call to make a booking that CAN be done online, they’ve increased the charge to $30 for domestic award tickets, and $40 for international.

US Airways still charges an award processing fee, but hopefully that will go away as the merger proceeds.

Remember, your US Airways miles will become American Airlines miles, anyway.

And the Barclaycard US Airways card will soon be unavailable because of the merger (though existing cardholders will have their account converted to a Barclaycard Aviator card).


And there will still be lots of ways to earn American Airlines miles!

Bottom Line

You can now book any level of award ticket on American Airlines and US Airways using the either airlines’ miles.

And American Airlines will now waive the phone booking fee for award tickets (like Cathay Pacific) that can NOT be booked online.  Although you’ll pay more when you CAN book online but choose to call instead.

I’m looking forward to when the merger is complete, but in the meantime, these are positive changes.

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12 responses to “Good News for Folks Who Book American Airlines & US Airways Award Tickets

  1. Still a lot of unknowns and inconsistencies – I booked 4 award tickets via USAir on Friday. Now, the same USAir flights are bookable via, but at a cheaper mileage redemption value. This sucks for me, as a consumer, who recently redeemed miles, with no ‘purchase’ protection.

  2. Hey -do you know if AA would retroactively remove a booking over the phone fee for a recently made reservations?

  3. Where is the documentation stating this waived phone fee? I just redeemed 2 AA award tickets a few days ago to Fiji and had to pay $35/ticket for the phone reservation fee. Ideally I’d like to get this waived.

    Also what if a leg of your flight is technically bookable online, would you then have to pay the fee because of that (NAN to LAX is Fiji Air but LAX to DCA is AA)?

  4. Nice to see this good news; we have a lot of Dividend Miles. Question: can they be used for one-way AA awards, or are the usual US Air roundtrip rules still in effect here?

  5. So, then: I would simply call American Airlines with a flight selected and tell them I am going to use US Airways miles to book it? I’m not sure I understand.

  6. @Joshua I was wondering the same thing?

  7. @Joshua I was also wondering the same thing! Can I combine the miles too to book a flight?

  8. Does United charge for phone bookings of itineraries not available online?

  9. Just booked a flight from LAX to HKG on Cathay today. Fee of $35 was automatically applied and the agent hadn’t heard of them waiving fee. Had to get transferred to customer support to get it waived.

  10. I called AA This week to find out how to use my U S Air miles to book a flight to Europe this spring.
    I was informed that this was not possible at this time.

  11. I don’t see language anymore about waiving telephone booking fees for award bookings that can not be made on their website. Did they revert back at some point? I just booked a Cathay Pacific flight and was charged $40.

  12. Personally, as a previous US Air Awards member, I’ve tried booking award travel for the first time with AA, what a joke. Bait and Switch tactics, they buy up or offer lower mileage airfares for award travel at un-Godly times in the morning. At the last minute, they throw out a couple of direct flight options that are gone in 15 minutes, I may as well try to win an eBay auction with 100 people bidding to get the right flight at the lowest point cost. I guess they only had one seat on the two direct flights (and both options were gone when I logged back in after getting them on the phone to complain). US Air had better options and did more for their customers than this airline. Back to Delta…….