usair ff flights this July

Old Mar 5th, 2005, 06:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5
usair ff flights this July

My mom, sister, and I have tickets using ff miles on USAir to Ireland this July - AirCanada on the way out and Lufthansa on the way back. Looking at some of the previous posts, I wasn't clear as to how concerned we should be about whether these will be honored by the airlines if USAir is bankrupt. There was some talk about a June deadline, but this is past that.
Would you recommend trip insurance - and if so, which kind? (Will it work with ff award tickets?) Is there a way to book with the partner airlines that actually has the ticket in their name? Any other thoughts? The flights are still on hold for another day or two, so if there is something different that we need to do, there is still some time before I have to book them.
Thank you so much.
Jenny7 is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2005, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Jenny, USAirways is bankrupt, as are several other US airlines. The question is whether they will eventually liquidate or not. The airline is funded through June 30. It's unlikely that they would liquidate in July.

I just looked at my tickets for a trip using USAir FF miles in May. I'm traveling on Lufthansa and United, and the tickets are issued by USAir.

I believe partner airlines are required to accommodate you on a "space available" basis in the unlikely event that USAirways should liquidate while you are in Ireland. Maybe someone who knows the finer points will respond to this post.

By the way, Fodors doesn't explain this very well, but you can bring up all your posts by clicking on your name at the top of the page, next to the word "Welcome."

I'd go ahead and book the trip, knowing the probability of your actually flying is pretty high.
Betsy is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2005, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Lots of people will tell you they "know" the answer to this, but in my opinion, all we can do is offer you educated guesses. You might also do a search here, as status of tickets on USAirways if they disappear has been discussed all the way back to 2001 (an interesting read, since the exact same questions were being asked then).

There is a law requiring US airlines to honor tickets on standby basis for nominal fee if airline ticketing airline stops flying - but that applies only to paid tickets, I believe. USAirways will not give you an answer, because there line is that they will emerge from bankruptcy by 6/30/05 and be fine.

Some others here have called partner airline and asked if they will honor free USAirways FF ticket if USAirways disappears and gotten mixed answers.

Read the fine print in insurance policies, but remember that they insure you for a loss - and since tickets are free, you have no monetary loss.

We had a huge number of USAirways miles and have been blowing thru them because we are unsure of status of airline. Questions you need to ask yourself are - would you go on trip if flights were not free? Would you be out any other money if USAirways or partner airlines can't accomodate you (like nonrefundable tour, etc).

It is my opinion that there is no guarantee that these tickets will be good after 6/30 - but you might as well book them and prepare yourself as best as you can - financially and emotionally - for a problem.

If misery and anxiety love company, we are trying to make a similar decision about a trip to Spain this summer.
gail is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2005, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Gail is right. The current US consumer airline laws cover ONLY PAID tickets. FF tickets are not covered at all.

You need to look at who the issuer of your FF tickets will be. If the partner airlines are listed, you are safe. If UsAir, hope for the best. Partner airlines have NO OBLIGATION to honor the FF tickets if USAir liquidates (partnership no longer will exist). It will be up to the individual airline. You can call the involved airline but not sure if you would get a straight answer.

When you make your decision to book, you should decide if you are willing and able to BUY new tickets if UsAir liquidates while you are Ireland and your FF tickets are not honored. If they liquidate before you leave, you'll just be out the airtax money (which you can try to get back thru your CC) and any non-refundable land charges (hotel, tour, etc) but not be faced with forced airticket purchases. But you would be out your vacation.

UsAir has funding through June 30. They anticipate exiting bankruptcy by then. Whether or not they do remains to be seen. Don't know how fast they would liquidate if they decide to pursue that.

If you get the tickets, I would get trip insurance to cover any non-refundable land costs just in case you can't fly out. But insurance for FF tickets is another thing. You need to look at the policies very carefully. I have yet to find a policy that will cover any FF tickets. Because they are UNPAID tickets, there is nothing financially to cover. Actually, I can't find a policy I like that will even cover USAir paid tickets!

Don't know if someone can help you with trying to get the tickets ISSUED by the partner instead of USAir (I don't know the FF game well enough) just to be on the safe side. Any way you can travel before the June 30th time?
nibblette is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. It was also helpful to know how to get back to the posts I've written. When I talked to USAir today (and of course they're going to be optimistic), they seemed to think it wouldn't be a problem given that we are flying on other airlines. He said that they would likely still be flying, even if not under the name USAir. The tickets are booked through USAir, but the agent I was speaking with believed that the other airlines would honor them. And as several of you pointed out, it isn't going to be easy to get a straight answer from airlines as to what would be done in a hypothetical situation.

So we're just going ahead with it and keep planning the trip (since July is the earliest we can get away). The other posts on here have been helpful at trying to narrow down some ideas.
Jenny7 is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2005, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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As I understand it, USAirways recent deal with two smaller airlines is allowing them to successfully emerge from bankruptcy.

By the way, CSA has been insuring PAID tickets on bankrupt airlines. I know; I bought a policy from them.

Depsite extensive research, I can find no one that insures FF tickets for any airline, bankrupt, solvent or somewhere in between.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:21 PM
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I have similar concerns. I have ff tickets for July too. Check your travel ins. The plan I purchased only covers a select group of airlines and USAir isn't one of them. Good luck!
Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 03:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,430
The reason no one insures free tickets is insurance covers financial loss - and while if airline stops flying, your vacation gets ruined, usually there is not a monetary loss - unless you have bought some sort of prepaid, nonrefundable package - and I would not do that with a bankrupt airline providing the air.
gail is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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USAirways is still in dire straits. The recent loans from its regional partners is not enough. One of the loans has a contingency that USAir must obtain additional funding. And USAir will not meet the June 30th date to emerge from bankruptcy. It plans to petition for additonal time (August 31) but its plan must be approved by the bankruptcy court. Then it must also get an extension from GE.

The rising fuel prices are severely hurting USAir. The original amount needed to emerge from bankruptcy did not include any provisions for increased fuel costs.

As it stands now, flights through June 30th (guarantee period) should be OK. If their extension is approved, July and August should be OK. If no approval, don't know how fast USAir will begin to liquidate. Obviously they will sell whatever will bring in money (planes, routes,etc).

No TI will cover FF tickets. Free ticket, so nothing to insure.
nibblette is offline  
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