Since US Airways joined oneworld, the carrier has not imposed fuel surcharges on British Airways award flights. Considering fuel surcharges run more than $800 r/t for Europe and much more if you continue on to Asia or Africa, this has been a secret boon for those redeeming US Airways Dividend Miles over the last month.
A first class award from San Francisco to Johannesburg would have a fuel surcharge of $1506.
I run an award booking business: of course I noticed this and have been taking advantage of it. Did I consider posting about it? Yes. What held me back? It wasn’t my clients–a fuel surcharge from British Airways means little to most of them. It was instead my conviction that I would hurt more people than I would help.
My blog is not as big as The Points Guy, One Mile At A Time, or View From the Wing, but US Airways and AA still read my blog–they’ve told me. Remember my post on circumventing Lufthansa blocking on US Airways? Just days after publication a fresh memo was circulated to US Airways Dividend Miles agents explicitly forbidding them from long selling award space. I think I hurt more people than I helped, even though I was actually trying to help people more effectively use their miles.
So I decided not to post about this loophole.
Am I just the lemming jumping off the cliff with everyone else?
But now that the A-Team has put the deal out there, what’s the point in keeping it secret anymore? I suspect in a matter of days, if not today, US Airways will begin to impose fuel surcharges on BA awards. Thus, my calculus changes and it no longer benefits the greatest number to keep this deal under wraps.
Some of you will be disappointed that I held this back, disappointed to learn that I shared many tricks at FTU over the weekend that I would not share on this blog. But there must be balance and I hope you will respect the balance I have drawn, knowing that financial gain is not the driver of my decisionmaking.
But in the meantime, if you have US Airways miles and are planning a BA redemption in the next 11 months, you are well-advised to book your trip today. It will literally save you at least $800 per person on transatlantic flights and if you wait till tomorrow, I expect it will be too late.