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.
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.