Nearly Worthless Mileage

We did some vacation planning today. Over the past few years we have changed our family’s airline loyalty from USAirways to Southwest. We haven’t been unhappy. Southwest has met our expectations.

Still, we have USAirways miles left in our account. Steffie has over 40,000 and I have a little less than 30,000. Today we tried to use them

We were thinking of going to California in March and I would like to visit my parents in Florida in January. We went scouring on the USAirways website.

No matter how we sliced it, our flights were unavailable.

USAirways shares their frequent flier program with United – an alliance that can’t be booked online. So, that remains a possibility. I am, however, not optimistic based on prior experiences.

I called USAirways on the phone to double check on the United deal. This truly was voice mail hell. I had to go through three or four levels of prompts, with long explanations and admonitions to go to their website, before being left to listen to ads and advised my wait was five more minutes.

Their menu options have changed. Whose hasn’t?

What I don’t understand is why most airlines avoid Southwest’s very easy, very customer pleasing, solution. If a flight is available, you can book it with miles – period. There are a few minor date restrictions, but compared to the draconian controls used by the legacy carriers, it’s amazing. And, the mileage requirement is much, much less.

I really want to use these miles before USAirways goes out of business.

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