New US Avios options from MAN / EDI / GLA in 2014 with US Airways

I wrote last week about the US Government approval for the merger of US Airways and American Airlines.  As part of the merger, US Airways will resign from Star Alliance on 30th March 2014 and join BA and American Airlines in the oneworld alliance on 31st March.

From this date, you will be able to book US Airways flights using Avios.

US Airways

To be honest, I wasn’t aware of the extent of the US Airways network from the UK.  However, it is surprisingly broad and will open up some interesting options from next year.

These are routes currently flown by US Airways from the UK:

London to Charlotte

London to Philadelphia

Manchester to Charlotte (starts May 2014)

Manchester to Philadelphia

Edinburgh to Philadelphia (starts May 2014)

Glasgow to Philadelphia

Dublin (I know its not UK!) to Philadelphia

Dublin (ditto) to Charlotte (seasonal)

Shannon (ditto) to Philadelphia (seasonal)

Now, you may never have wanted to go to Philadelphia.  However, US Airways has a major hub in Philadelphia, and can connect you from there to pretty much anywhere else you want to go.

Don’t forget that American Airlines also offers regional services to the US:

Manchester to New York

Dublin to New York

Dublin to Chicago

None of this makes up for British Airways failing to offer regional long-haul departures, of course, but the US / American merger will definitely lead to an improvement in the Avios offering for those outside the South East.

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  1. Can recommend Philadelphia highly, as a stopover place to visit, lovely old world historic city, plenty to see and do!

    • +1 for that. Philly is one of my favourite US cities too.

      Can anyone comment on how well US Airways’ service compares to BA’s?

      • +1 it is also a cheap base allowing daytrips or overnights to both DC and NYC.

        Some time since I flew US Airways. The definitely felt low budget back then and I doubt much has changed given nature of north american ailines in general. May be wrong but I think they use a330s as opposed to narrow body 757s used by United. AA used to do seasonal GLA to ORD. I am wondering if PHL may get chop from UK in favour of ORD once the dust settles on merger. Would be better for connections generally excepting if your destination was on east coast.

      • I flew the GLA-EWR route last summer, en route to my wedding in PHL. The service was good in that instance – they were lovely about putting my wedding dress in the first-class wardrobe for me.

        My husband says he thinks he remembers that there *were* individual film screens, which is always his main concern. I never find that any US carriers have good CS at all (excepting Delta FAs leaving out of CDG), so I guess you rolls the dice…

      • rossmacd says:

        The US Envoy (business) product is fantastic. A much more comfortable and what feels a longer bed/seat than BA. Typical American style service, not the BA touch of class (if you get a good crew). Food was miles ahead of BA – it actually made BA look like a third-world carrier. The drinks selection, however, was poor. As I currently reside in LPL/MAN, the US PHL service is great, and I would happily use it in the future. The only downside is the short flight time from the east cost to MAN which shortens sleep time, however, the same can be said about any East Coast to UK BA route.

        As others have said upthread, PHL is a great port of entry into the US and a fabulous city to visit on a stopover. Highly recommended is a Philly cheesesteak!

    • My only experience has been in Y. US Airways across the Atlantic is very good – better than BA Y. I believe J is good, but not as good as BA, F is an enhanced J so no where near BA F. For US Domestic flights however it is a low cost carrier, so akin to Ryanair. It does have F seats but I wouldn’t waste money on them – Jet Blue is better.

    • And a wonderful restaurant scene. Also, art and music.

      First Fridays in the Old City area of the city are a great chance to wander the art galleries and artisans of that area and have wee nibbles and drinks, as all the businesses stay open at night.

    • I was going to say the reverse about PHL for anyone travelling on business. Philadelphia is known as a “Union town” in the US and therefore are very sensitive to anyone coming in and stealing US workers work. I have spoken to many CBP officials about my US entry refusal that PHL gave me and they all agreed it was a joke but weren’t surprised when PHL turned out to be port of entry that did it.

      I now refuse to fly via PHL. EWR is only a 3hr drive away if I need to be in the area, otherwise you can get anywhere from ORD and JFK which are direct routes from MAN.

      • I have never heard any of what you are saying, and I’m from there. PHL became a large hub for pharma work in the ’90s between LHR and PHL bc of Smith Kline etc and Astra Zeneca in DE. As a massive university town, it is also always full of international students and staff.

        PHL and EWR are 1 hr, 40 mins drive apart. Alternatively, you can pick up Amtrak directly in EWR airport and take a train straight into either NYC or Philly.

  2. Just a reminder that AA have operated a Manchester-Chicago service for many years.

  3. That new BA lounge in EDI is going to get very busy with all these new oneworld members from US Airways and Qatar.

  4. sandgrounder says:

    Don’t forget the daily MAN-ORD with AA! (unless something has happened very recently…)

  5. courtster says:

    It’s gonna make my TP run planning interesting in April… I wonder if there’ll be an Avios promotion?

  6. Why would *anyone* not want to go to Philadelphia? It’s amazing!

    (Thanks for highlighting all these new options, looking forward to many more possibilities for getting from Scotland to visit my mother…sez this Fife-resident Philly gal 😉 )

  7. BritBronco says:

    Do we know if US will have the same earn rate as AA?

  8. gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    US Airways is airline that brought my wife and I together and apart and together…..the joys of a long distance relationship.
    I used to fly MAN-PHL-LAX and back at the weekend every fortnight. Soon became US Airways Gold (which was the second highest tier at the time) and on that route I had a 80% upgrade rate. This gave me Star Gold the next year when they were accepted into Star Alliance. I then got a status match from bmi.

    So both of my star carriers have gone across to oneWorld! Nevermind, at least I got to experience Philly a few times when we met half way! (Love the Hyatt)

  9. I’m guessing the PHL-LAS route will be one favoured by those wishing to maximise their TP earnings (currently about £500 return for one assumes 420tp), CLT falls just short of 2k miles. Economy US is OK, individual screens, not a huge amount of space, but bearable to PHL/CLT. Connections from both were pretty decent. Another thing I remember from way back (so not sure if its remained constant) is that there didn’t seem to be a large surcharge for one way fares, which is always handy.

  10. feenster says:

    not forgetting DUB departures also!! Just thinking the taxes may be much lower.

  11. PHL has one of the most over-efficient immigration services I have ever seen. 1 in 2 people on my flight from LHR were sent to secondary inspection. I won’t go back.
    Along with Detroit and Minneapolis, I avoid places I have had bad immigration experiences.

    • It is due to drama like this I have only been to USA once since 2005. Cannot stand the endless hassle anymore

  12. onlysuites says:

    I wonder if Avios will impose YQ’s as US has been one airline for years that does not impose any.

  13. How does one book a ticket with avios points with airlines in the one world alliance? I’m a newbie, so please go easy.

    Do I just log onto BA Exec Club club site and search flights through there? Will it display all one world partners?

    • Yes, its that easy. They will show automatically on alongside BA flights.

      However, you can often benefit by digging down deeper. for eg will only show flights with close connections. If you search, say, London to Hawaii it may show nothing. However, it is possible that you could, say, do London to Dallas on American, stay over for 24 hours and then catch a connection to Hawaii. In such cases, it is worth looking for availability leg by leg and then trying to knit something together yourself.

  14. I have flown US to Halifax (canada) via Philly (From Manchester). It was economie and it was actually ok. It was an A330 so it was a 2-4-2 layout. I survived and it was ok. Worse bit was a 7 hour stop over in Philly on the way out.