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Using USAir miles on Partner Airlines (Lufthansa)

Using USAir miles on Partner Airlines (Lufthansa)

May 2nd, 2012, 12:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,098
Using USAir miles on Partner Airlines (Lufthansa)

I have flights on hold. Going to Italy in June (I know, short notice) and since USAir does not fly where I want to go, checked on UA website - found a large variety of flights, including some 50,000 each way Business Class tickets and also some 30,000 each way Economy seats - mostly on Lufthansa. When I called USAir, they said that they did not recognize this availability and the only way I could find out what was available on a partner airline was to call them and they would check. Also, since USAir does not sell 1-way FF seats, if they found a 50,000 Business seat, the RT would be at least 100,000 - even if the return trip was in coach. (I had been hoping to do Business to Europe and Economy back).

USAir guy tediously went over my options (since it involved 3 potential cities - into one, out of another) and we found something that worked. And the seat availability had no match with the United or Lufthansa websites. Does this make any sense or did I miss something? Is it really impossible to check availability on a partner airlines on-line - I know it has to be booked by phone.
gail is offline  
May 4th, 2012, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 49
I would try to look on the Star Alliance web site - www.staralliance.com
twosassyk is offline  
May 5th, 2012, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
Yes it makes sense that what they book you can't always see. There are lots of variables in these alliance relationships
CarolA is offline  
May 5th, 2012, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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The part I did not get was that when either UA or staralliance website showed seats at a certain mileage, USAir said they did not have it - even though I was looking at it on the screen. I was told there was no way to tell if a seat was available on a partner airline by looking on-line.
gail is offline  
May 6th, 2012, 05:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,995
gail, many airlines (United included) will offer award seats on any class on any flight that they operate, BUT those award setas require a much higher number of miles than the award seats everyone is looking for -- usually 2x the number of miles. At United, these are called Standard Awards, and the seats that everyone wants are called Saver Awards. Or at least that what it used to be.

However, these higher-mileage awards are available only using each airline's own FF program. So, United FF members can get a "Standard Award" seat (that is, any seat on any flight for ~2x the usual mileage amount), but that award isn't available to people using miles from any other Star Alliance program.

Possibly that's what happened in your case.
DonTopaz is offline  
May 7th, 2012, 01:51 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,098
Don - thanks for the clear explanation as that is apparently what happened. They are still called Standard and Saver. I mistakenly thought that since the miles were usable within Star Alliance, the award seats were considered equal. Problem was compounded since United offers one-way award seats which you can combine in different classes on each leg, USAir does not.

In the end, I bought a few thousand miles and got 2 seats, Business, each way. Going to Italy with daughter to celebrate college graduation and am surprising her with Business seats.
gail is offline  

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