US Airways is not really an Airline people pay attention to unless they are selling Star Alliance miles for cheap.
That being said, if you know when to look, there are some real gems in the US Airways Off Season Award Chart.
The miles are really easy to get via the US Airways Credit Card, which is underwritten by Barclays.
For signing up, you get 40,000 Miles after 1st use. Then an additional 10,000 Miles if you do a Balance Transfer in 90 days of account opening.
Normally 40,000 Miles would not get you to Europe or really anywhere outside of the United States, but during the off season, US Airways cuts the number of miles needed for an Award in half.
The dates US Airways picked are very random like March 1 – 15 to South America, but I am not complaining.
What makes these Off Season Awards even better is that if you have a US Airways Mastercard, you get an additional discount of 5,000 miles.
So while normally on United, a Roundtrip flight to Europe in January would cost 60,000 in Economy and 100,000 in Business, with US Airways it is only 30,000 or 55,000 if you have the US Airways Card.
In other words, for the same cost of an United Economy ticket, you could fly Business on US Airways for 5,000 less miles. US Airways Envoy Business Class Suites are a full flat bed, which is nice.
The only stipulation is that you do have to fly on US Airways Metal, so you can’t use these Off Season Awards for flights on United, Lufthansa, etc.
To find out where US Airways planes fly, please click here for their interactive route map.
For flights going to Europe, basically you have to route through Philadelphia (US Airways Hub). That being said, you can more or less get to all the major cities in Europe; London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Zurich, Frankfurt, etc.
How To Book
USAirways.com is notoriously difficult if you want to book an Award Ticket that is not on US Airways because their website won’t even allow that as an option, so you have to call in.
Thankfully, these Off Season flights have to be on US Airways metal, so you can book it online.
To book, simply go to USAirways.com and enter your criteria. Remember that you can only fly US Airways Metal, so in the event that you don’t live in a US Airways city, you will need to get there separately.
If you want to fly Economy, even this late in the booking season, availability is wide open.
The boxes shaded in Teal are the Off Peak Awards.
For Business Class Seats, the availability is a little worse, given that people start booking these flights in June. However if your schedule is flexible, you can find Business Class seats.
Once you find what you want, simply select the dates and hit continue.
One thing to remember is that US Airways does have really annoying $50 ticket processing fees. So instead of $138 for the ticket, it costs $188.
According to Milevalue, although you aren’t supposed to be able to, you can add on a Free One Way if you would like. More information here.
While Europe for either 30,000 Miles in Economy or 55,000 Miles in Business is a steal, I’d also point out that Brazil is pretty good value too.
Normally it would again cost you 60,000 in Economy or 100,000 in Business if you used United Miles!
Since you can only fly US Airways metal, you are basically limited to Rio De Janeiro but still for 30,000 – 55,000 Miles it is a steal!
How To Get US Airway Miles
As I stated earlier, the easiest and cheapest way is with the US Airway Credit Card that will get you 40,000 US Airway Miles. Since a Economy ticket to Europe or Brazil is only 30,000 when you use your US Air Mastercard, simply by signing up you have a free ticket. However if you would like to take a friend and thus need 60,000 Miles or want to fly Business and need 55,000 Miles, there are a few other ways.
The SPG AMEX is a transfer partner of US Airways, so for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer, you get 25,000 US Airway Miles.
Additionally, there are some other “interesting” ways to “buy” US Airway Miles which The Points Guy outlined here.
Finally, almost every other month, US Airways runs Mile Purchase and Transfer bonuses as described here by Lucky, so you can easily buy 55,000 Miles for $550 no problem.
If you have ever wanted to go to Europe or Brazil, US Airways Off Peak Awards are the cheapest way to go.
Although you do have to go in the off season, normally it is less crowded and cheaper, so it might appeal to some people. When I was in School, all my trips were during January since that was the only time I had off and it was fine. My past France trip was actually the 1st time that I had ever been to Europe during the Summer.
I have 18,000 orphan US Airway Miles laying around, so I am going to sign up for the 40,000 Mile US Airways Card in November. That will get me enough miles to fly Business Class to Zurich and hopefully go skiing in the Swiss Alps in February. If I can’t find anyone to drag along with me, then I will certainly do Rio De Janeiro in March because I have never been and I’ve heard it is amazing.
Have any Readers ever taken advantage of these Off Season Awards, and what did you think? I’m not sure I have ever even stepped foot on a US Airways plane before…