Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New Avios options from the regions in 2014 with US Airways

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (27)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Polly says:

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

    • James Ward says:

      +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?

      • James67 says:

        +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.

      • Lyssie says:

        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!

    • Halo says:

      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.

    • Lyssie says:

      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.

    • Macca says:

      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.

      • Lyssie says:

        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.

  • PGW says:

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

  • CV says:

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

  • sandgrounder says:

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

  • courtster says:

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

  • Lyssie says:

    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 😉 )

  • BritBronco says:

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

  • 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)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.