Earlier this year, US Airways made the unpopular decision to eliminate elite Preferred flight bonuses and the 500-mile minimum on short flights. None of the other airlines followed the move to discontinue elite flight bonus miles and US Airways’ elite program was missing a key benefit that their best customers value.
US Airways decided to reverse its decision and Dividend Miles elite members once again earn Preferred bonus miles and a minimum 500 miles on short flights. The new policy is retroactive and elite members received the Preferred bonus miles and 500-mile minimums on all qualifying flights flown between May 1 and Nov. 19, 2008. The timing also helped lure elite members who might have been one mileage run away from requalifying or earning elite to return to Dividend Miles.
The retroactive miles were calculated based on a member’s elite status and if the member would have earned a higher elite status if the segment minimums would have been included, the elite bonus miles will be calculated at the higher elite status.
Preferred members will earn the following bonuses: Silver, 25 percent; Gold, 50 percent; Platinum, 75 percent; Chairman’s, 100 percent.
In an email that explained the new policy to US Airways employees, Andrew Nocella, SVP of Marketing and Planning, wrote, “Our Dividend Miles Program members are extremely important to us and these changes reflect our continued commitment to delivering the best product with the most value to our customers.”
While the recent move to return a valuable benefit to members is welcome, some former Preferred members say the decision is “too little, too late.” Others appreciate the gesture and one member was pleasantly surprised by the news and posted on FlyerTalk, “It’s a wise move to listen and interact with your customers. Hopefully US Airways is turning over a new leaf with this!” On SaveDividendMiles.com, the verdict was, “Victory!” In the final tally, more than 2,600 frequent flyers, representing more than 1.6 million miles, signed the online petition requesting the reinstatement of the elite mileage bonuses.