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With US Air’s Discounted Miles, Fly Business Class to Europe for $1,375

With US Air’s Discounted Miles, Fly Business Class to Europe for $1,375

Since the summer of 2009, US Airways has been toying with various versions of discounted miles-for-sale offers, beginning with a simple 100 percent bonus on purchased miles, and most recently coupling the full bonus to the use of US Airways’ shopping toolbar.

The original promotion, simple and generous, is still the best. And through the end of the month, it’s back.

Offer Details

Through June 30, Dividend Miles members will earn a 100 percent bonus on up to 50,000 miles purchased for their own accounts.

Miles normally sell for 2.75 cents each, plus a 7.5 percent "tax recovery charge." The bonus effectively halves that, to about 1.4 cents per mile.

If you’re not already a Dividend Miles member, note the following: "Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift miles."

Deal or No Deal

With the bonus, 100,000 US Airways miles will cost $1,375, not including fees and taxes. That’s enough miles for a business-class award ticket to Europe on US Airways or on one of US Airways’ Star Alliance partners.

A quick check online showed prices for Los Angeles-Frankfurt business-class tickets priced from $3,483 (one-stop on US Airways) to as much as $11,640 (non-stop on Lufthansa). So buying the miles and redeeming them for an award ticket would represent a savings of at least 60 percent, and as much as 88 percent, from the tickets’ market price—assuming, of course, the award seats are available for booking.

In fact, the lowest coach price for the sampled flights was $1,371 (one-stop on US Airways). So if you purchased and used the discounted miles, you’d be paying for coach but traveling in business class.

Needless to say, comparing the cost of miles to the price of a paid ticket fails to incorporate the hassle factor of booking award seats in the equation. Still, for many the potential savings are well worth the difficulty of using the miles.

Reader Reality Check

Have you taken advantage of US Airways’ previous miles-for-sale promotions? How many miles did you buy, and what did you redeem them for?

Will you purchase miles this time?

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  • MORT

    WHAT A GREAT DEAL. ONLY PROBLEM IS I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO GET A REWARD SEAT ON USAIRWAYS IN YEARS.

  • James

    Mort, you are missing the point. The best use of US Airways miles is actually not on US Airways, but rather its Star Alliance partners.

  • ned@travelforteens.com

    this is a great deal. i scored 2! business class seats from Philadelphia to Europe @ 100,000K each this past April.

  • Stuff

    Also to get one of these “free” tickets you have to pay USAirways a couple hundred bucks.

  • Hendo

    I’d hope US Airways international business class is better than domestic first class, where you can’t even be sure of getting a meal or more than half a plastic cup of wine.

    Agreed with James: redeem the miles someplace else on Star Alliance, and stay clear of US Air.

  • Aron

    I love the Star Alliance. I used 15k miles to book a one way Business from ICN to BKK, which would have cost me $750. Also used 30k miles to book BKK to DXB which would have also cost $700 in economy, but would have cost 45k in Business.

    I actually got in on this deal and hopefully get to use them more often for my flights out of Dubai.

  • Patti

    We bought and booked this deal on US Airways star alliance-Lufthansa from US to Charlotte, NC, to Munich, Germany. Our departure was anything but smooth, Our connection from Orlando to Charlotte was changed to Philadelphia because the pilot walked off (?), then weather delay so we ended flying from Phil to Manchester, UK, to Munich. Because we were dividend miles, although we did pay for the miles, at a discount, we were all downgraded to couch from business class, and at one point in Philadelphia, the agent had me and our party booked on different flights to UK, which we discovered soon enough and rearranged! US airways is terrible, Lufthansa felt sorry for all we had been through and at least upgraded us from UK to Munich! Our flight home was better, as we started out with Lufthansa! Next time we will book the international leg first and then transfer in Germany, and same on return, that way US airways cannot toy with us again! Each US airways agent treated us like the plague once they saw “dividend miles” on our booking. We booked a year in advance for 4 people.

  • Greg

    I would really like to see more info for this busines class to Europe. I really enjoy traveling.