UA v. US Airways mile credit

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Barristan, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I've always preferred flying american airlines when possible but over at least the next 5 years I'll be frequently flying to a small airport (HVN) that is only serviced by US Airways.
    As I know very little about the pros and cons of one versus the other, I thought I'd ask for a general opinion. From what I gather I can fly on US Airways and have all of my miles go into my UA account. US Airways lowest level statuses seem to confer pretty potent benefits though -- free bags, 500 mile minimums (key as I'll be flying DTW->PHL->HVN and back, each segment is under 500 miles), and complimentary upgrades.
    But, on the other hand, UA status would be worth a lot too...
    Any thoughts, opinions? I wish US Airways was a more formidable airline. I feel like by gathering status/miles with them I'm shorting myself by not gathering status/miles with one of the larger airlines.
    Thanks a lot!
    jbcarioca likes this.
  2. fets
    Original Member

    fets Silver Member

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    It depends on a lot of things. First, how many round-trips / year will you make DTW-HVN? With 8 round-trips you could be making Silver on US, just on segments (you need 30 to qualify). Second, if you will only be getting 1210 miles per round trip on UA, that's not a lot of miles, and even 8 round trips would only offer you about 10K EQM on UA. So you still would need to do a lot of other flying to rack up some miles.
    If you were a Silver Preferred, each round trip would get you 2000 miles + 500 Silver bonus. 20K RDM with 8 round trips / year.
    OTOH, if this was a weekly commute, you could make Chairman just on segments ;-)
    It looks like PHL-HVN will always be an express flight, so no upgrades there. For DTW-PHL, some flights are mainline (and feature a first class cabin), while other are express. You may want to limit yourself to the express flights since it will make connecting in PHL easier, as everything is in concourse F.
    One other advantage of US status would be the "Move-Up" program, where you can take an earlier flight at no cost, if there is inventory available.
    Free bags are for any *S member, so it doesn't really matter wether you're silver with US or UA.
    A Silver preferred challenge requires 10 segments (or 7500 miles) on US metal in 90 days, so 2,5 round-trips, and you get the perks from your first flight. It does cost $200, but if you're checking bags either way, or moving up on a lot of days, this will easily pay off. Being able to select exit seats ahead of everyone else is also very nice.

    Unless you plan to fly a lot on UA metal next to your DTW-HVN trips, I would go for the Silver or more on US if it is "within reach". (8 round trips), preferably with a challenge.
    Barristan and jbcarioca like this.
  3. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    fets has given a quite thorough evaluation IMHO. The US Challenge works out very well for many people, including me. The *A recognition is the same as that of any other *A carrier except for the individual airline upgrades that are limited to their own members. I fly LH and JJ more than US, but I still am happy to have US DM elite. In your situation it seems that US is your obvious choice.
    Barristan likes this.
  4. Thanks for the thorough responses! I anticipate flying the route at least 18 times a year, by the way.
    I was looking at the silver challenge and that seems to be the best approach to this situation. As a US silver elite member, would I be able to credit teh 500-mile minimums to UA as well? Or would I only be able to credit actually BIS miles to UA? If the 500 mile minimum only counts towards US miles then that seems to be the easy choice.
    The only other reason I had entertained gathering UA miles in liu of US was for the far-off 1 million mile status. Although, from what I now understand, the miles that count towards that must not just be EQM but actual BIS flown on UA metal, right?
    Thanks again for the expertise -- it seems like US is the clear winner here.
  5. mowogo
    Original Member

    mowogo Gold Member

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    The 500 minimum counts for US and Continental flights. For million miler qualification on UA, at the moment it is BIS, but it is not known if they will adopt the policy of Continental or United. I would say go US since that is who you will be flying most of the time anyway.

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