Last US Airways 90K North Asia Award Booked!

One of the single best award ticket values in the industry is US Airways’ 90,000 mile business class award between the US and North Asia. There are lots of things that make this awesome, including:

  • 90,000 miles is the lowest roundtrip business class award cost for any legacy US loyalty program between the US and Asia
  • The Star Alliance has a ton of great business class products, so you have lots of airlines to choose from
  • US Airways lets you route from the US to Asia via Europe, and you can even have a stopover enroute (flying just between the US and Europe would cost 100,000 miles, so you’re actually saving 10,000 miles by continuing flying)

Over the years I’ve booked several of these 90,000 mile business class awards, including:

I’ve written a couple of posts in the past with tips/reminders on how to book these:

Anyway, US Airways is leaving the Star Alliance on March 30 and joining OneWorld on March 31, 2014, so this is really your last chance to book a 90,000 mile business class award from the US to Asia via Europe on Star Alliance. Now apparently US Airways Dividend Miles will initially preserve their current award chart for travel on OneWorld, though I’m not entirely sold on the terms of that or how long it will last.

With that out of the way, I figured it was time to book one more 90,000 mile business class award to North Asia, and my friend/blog reader/contest winner/fellow accidental fetish bar goer Andrew B was up for joining me.

Andrew B is incredibly entertaining, as you may have noticed, and he was kind enough to write a post last week asking you guys for advice on which carriers you’d like us to fly. As a reminder, I’ve recently flown the following Star Alliance airlines in business class:

So the goal was to try some new carriers, and after taking your suggestions into consideration, we ended up booking the following:

  • LOT 787 Business Class New York to Warsaw. My last flight on LOT was operated by the 767 due to the groundings of the 787. Hopefully the catering is less horrific ex-New York than it is ex-Warsaw.
  • LOT Business Class Warsaw to Zurich. I can’t wait to have more “shee-ken.” Nuff said!
  • Swiss A330 Business Class Zurich to Beijing. I actually haven’t flown Swiss longhaul business class. While it’s a staggered seat and appears to be a similar hard product to Austrian and Brussels, I’m curious how the soft product compares.
  • Ethiopian 777 Business Class Beijing to Addis Ababa. You guys asked for it, and you’re getting it. Getting seat assignments with Ethiopian is more complicated than switching terminals at Charles de Gaulle. And that’s saying a lot.
  • Ethiopian 787 Business Class Addis Ababa to Frankfurt. What’s better than one Ethiopian flight? Two, of course!
  • Lufthansa 747-8 Business Class Frankfurt to Washington Dulles. I’ve flown Lufthansa’s old business class, so am excited to try their new product.


Best of all is that these are all miles I acquired for very little. Last year US Airways offered a 100% bonus on the sharing of miles twice (once in October and once in December). This was basically a way to generate US Airways miles for 1.1 cents each. So at 90,000 miles roundtrip, that means I basically spent $1,000 plus the taxes on the ticket for this entire itinerary — that’s tough to beat, if you ask me!

I’m quite excited, Andrew’s mother is quite terrified, and Andrew is… well, I’m not sure.

So what do you guys think, how did we do? Anyone else planning a US Airways 90,000 mile business class award on the Star Alliance before they exit on March 30?

Filed Under: Awards, US Airways
  1. Trying to taking advantage of the US/Turkish partnership while it lasts. Based out of Boston, have you seen any business class award space availability for their BOS-IST route?

    I am finding none whatsoever.

  2. Yes in June-July, but I’m lazy by comparison:

    HKG-ICN-SEA on OZ (15 hours in OZ A333 recliners, unless they sub in the A380 on me, it’s possible they might do it)

    Of course, I combined this with a UA combined C/F South Asia award:

    SQ HKG-SIN(23.5 hours)-BKK(stop)
    TG BKK-CNX(destination)-HKG

    I figured it was my last chance ever to get TG F at a reasonable price (given that AV routing rules require ALL segments to be in the same class, and there’s no *A F out of SEA now that UA has pulled NRT service).

  3. @ Sean — Plenty of coach award space, but you’re correct, virtually no business class award space on that route.

  4. “While it’s a staggered seat and appears to be a similar hard product to Austrian and Brussels”

    It looks like a hybrid of those plus the type offered Emirates, Alitalia, etc. The left side features single throne seats, while the right side has single non-throne seats. Be interesting to see how they compare to others…

    Is the flight from PEK to ADD non-stop?

  5. Lucky,

    What’s your recommendations for travel from LAX to Europe (thinking Prague or Vienna, etc.) and back? Star alliance doesn’t look so hot from LAX to Europe in general.

  6. I flew Swiss biz JFK-ZRH and I thought the hard product was great in the mini front cabin. A little old, but comfortable. Also the salmon was exquisite.
    The service was standard for biz… not overly personal.
    Amenity kit was a tin… nothing special at all.
    You guys should try to get the mini cabin if you can.

  7. I booked my own “final” US Air North America – North Asia Award, instead of 90k for business paid 120k for first. How did I do?

    For 3x passengers on same flights (1x originating in ORD, 1x in CLT, 1x in ATL):

    ATL/ORD/CLT – IAH – PEK (Air China First)
    PEK – TPE – HKG (Air China, EVA business; Stopover)
    HKG – ICN – FRA (Asiana First)
    FRA – BRU – ORD – CLT/ATL (United First)

  8. Yeah, first time in Tokyo*, Singapore*, and Chiang Mai…

    *airport doesn’t count. 😉

    2 weeks overseas in some of my favorite cities. It’ll be beastly hot, but I’ve done it before…

  9. I just burned a pile of mine on a 110k RT to South Africa with FOUR longhaul segments on ET. I’m looking forward to your review as a preview. I assume they have a Western and Ethiopian meal option – you’ll have to do the Ethiopian menu on at least one of the flights, presumably out of Addis it would be better.

  10. Oh, and the theme is based off of friends who did a “night of contrasts” in Las Vegas once- combining dive bars/taco trucks with Joel Robuchon and swanky cocktails.

    So I am combining hostels with 5 star hotels, street food with posh restaurants. I figure it will make for an interesting trip report.

    In all fairness, I should be flying Y in some segments to do this right… but I am not. Tempted to drop the TG BKK-CNX segment to make my trip an open-jaw, and either fly AK or DD (again) out of DMK or take the overnight train…

  11. @ SG – How did you swing that routing? How many calls did you make? Getting an around-the-world ticket across four continents (when you only actually need to cross a single ocean on a one-stop flight) is awesome. I didn’t think there were any US agents who were still stupid enough to ticket it!

  12. any recommendation on route with a stop-over in SIN then N Asia for 90k, instead of directly ord – sin that will cost 120k. Ord – sin –, to ord.
    Thank you.

  13. @ Amanda — That’ll be really tough, to be honest, given that there’s no direct service from the US to Singapore so you’d have to route through North Asia, then back again through North Asia.

  14. Nice, but aren´t you going to travel to Japan or Thailand? I´d like to read about Andrew B´s adventures on those countries.
    Anyway, I´m more excited about the possibility of flying GRU-LHR-DXB-DOH-MLE-HKG-LAX-JFK-GRU for 150k on One World´s first class.
    With Alaska blocking miles for non-North American credit cards, that´s my next choice to try Cathay and Qantas first class.

  15. If you book one of these rewards now, is it possible to change dates later on? (Not sure if changing dates is permitted at all using these miles, but especially wondering given the move from Star Alliance.)

  16. @ Harry — After March 30 you won’t be able to switch flights to Star Alliance carriers anymore. There’s a chance you may be able to switch to OneWorld carriers, though.

  17. Last month I booked my wife’s IAD-YYZ-TPE-NRT-IAD trip for July 2014 using EVA from YYZ-TPE. I was trying book the same itinerary but in August. US Airways seemed to block Eva Airline after August. I had a reservation with Eva originally, but when I called to ticket. My reservation was cancelled for unknown reason, and they cannot see the Eva from YYZ-TPE on their system. The booking was brutal(waiting 6 hours to get a representative) due to the snow storm and flight cancellations.

  18. My US 90K N. Asia Star Alliance swan song…DFW-PHL-CDG(US)Stop CDG-ZRH-NRT(LX)Dest NRT-ICN-LAX(Oz hopefully A380)-DFW(UA). All for two US Mastercard signup bonuses and one annual bonus.

  19. Lucky, a quick question regarding LOT flight. So I used my US miles and book into an I class flight from New York to Warsaw. Then I called LOT to confirm everything is fine but the LOT New York agent told me I am booked into the “premium class”, not business class. I mean doesn’t “I” means business for star alliance non-rev. ticket? He said it’s different for dream-liner and O is for business but I is only for Premium(Econ Plus??).He suggested me to call US Airways to solve the problem…. Am I missing something here?

  20. @ Jason — “I” is business class, sounds like you got a clueless LOT agent. Were you able to select seats?

  21. Looking most forward to the Ethiopian segments and the segments on the 787, glad you could integrate those in! Any chance you will eventually fly on TAP?

  22. @ Euro — Might try to do one more 90K before the alliance switchover, in which case I do want to try TAP.

  23. He was 100% sure that I was in premium class so I wasn’t gonna keep arguing with him. One thing weird about this reservation is I have 7 airlines involve but only have 2 PNR code (one for US, one for SN). So I really can’t select a seat online or even see it online… At this point, Chicago’s LOT office is not picking up the phone so I will wait and call some other offices to figure out what’s going on…

  24. Two trips planned –

    TLH-CLT-JFK-TPE-PVG -open jaw – PEK-NRT-JFK-CLT-TLH (United/ EVA/ ANA Business 90K)

    TLH-CLT-LAX-SYD (dest) -BKK Stop -CDG-EWR-CLT-TLH (United /Thai 1st class)

    Now if only I had time to work in a trip to South Africa

  25. IAD->YYZ->TPE->HKG (United; EVA; EVA)
    HKG->REP (Dragonair Economy w/ Avios)
    PNH->HKG (Dragonair Business w/ Avios)
    HKG->TPE (stopover)->SEA->CLT->DCA (EVA; US)

    From your trip reports, it sounds like EVA is a winner, and having already flown Asiana, Thai, and ANA, this should be a fun new product.

  26. When will you depart Zurich? I might be able to spot your plane depart and take a nice pic. If I catch you I will tag you in my image!

  27. I’ve just tried booking one of these bad boys (SEA-PHL-FRA-CDG-NRT-ZRH-BRU-JFK-PHX-SEA from 5/23-5/28) based on UA saver award availability, but none of the segments were showing up as available for the US rep; he said it may be because of the impending departure from *A – any work-around for this issue? or best to just wait until US is in oneworld to book a similar ticket?

  28. Not bad! I just booked myself my last 90k business award as well. Europe to Asia routing through Middle East and Africa.


    Excited to try out some new J products!

  29. Wow–this will be fun to read! Should be madcap adventures with our two zany characters traipsing around the globe.

    I think, however, you should used one of my favorite Luckyisms and done a strike-through above on the word “accidental” in front of “fetish bar goer.” 😉

  30. Can you tell us in detail how you booked via Africa, where the stopovers are etc? I want to do a similar trip

  31. Make sure you go to the Warsaw Uprising Museum; it’s really well done. It’s a bit outside the main tourist area, but if you happen to stay at the Westin Warsaw (I’m assuming you’re going with either Starwood or Hyatt) it’s only about a 0.75 mile walk. The Hilton is even closer and is actually not a bad use of HHonors points, particularly with cash & points.

  32. Like to book two tickets but could not find anything after mid July from PEK back to US (LAX/SAN etc.). Any suggestions?

  33. I need to go to a conference in Seoul in August, and our budget would not really even support coach, so I did 90K to go SEA-ICN on OZ and then return ICN-TPE-CDG-FRA-IAD on BR and LH. Not thrilled with OZ A330 angled flat seats, but a nonstop flight that’s basically a daytime flight (departs 1440, arrives 1800+1) is better than horrible connections via TPE. (Using the open jaw since I’ll already be on the west coast and then just want to get home to Virginia.)

  34. @Josh, actually wasn’t that hard and all within the rules. Did make a few calls but that was for other reasons. Happy to elaborate offline if there was a way to reach you. Maybe Lucky can facilitate?

  35. @Ben – yes all 3 of us in F for the same 3 flights. took lots of searching and plenty of flexibility. also tried first with TG F, put 2 on hold BKK – FRa hoping a 3rd would open but it didn’t… will happen this August

  36. Lucky just got a good one ticketed,

    YYZ-MUC(Stopover)-LIS-GIG-JFK, IAD-YYZ(Open Jaw)

    All over X-mas (German festivals) and New Years (Rio beaches) for 100k in business! I live on the east coast so it’s just a short flight up to YYZ using BA miles to connect on to Germany. I’ll definitely be throwing away the last segment. I can’t believe she let me have a stopover, an open jaw, and route through Europe. Ticket number and everything confirmed on US, AC, TP, JJ, and UA. Hang up and call again is definitely your best friend. So excited!!!

  37. Sigh! No segment on Egyptair with a stopover in Cairo. How disappointing. I had imagined Lucky & Andrew sitting on a balcony overlooking the Nile, gazing upon the sunset, discussing whether Professor Plum did it in the Conservatory with the lead pipe.

    As a consolation I guess I have the Ethiopian trip reports to look forward to.

  38. @ lucky – While I read your post about you doing less of these mileage runs, you seem to be doing longer ones whenever you do them.

  39. Just returned on SWISS business class ZUR-MIA. Hard product very similar to Austrian with some throne seats and staggered seats with cubby holes for feet. Soft product had friendly flight attendants with above average service and food, although no flying chef or coffee menu. No cappuccino available either. IFE had nice selection of movies and tv shows.Was surprisingly addresses by name although not until midway through the flight.

  40. @Lucky Are you doing this trip at end of June? Would be great if we were on same flight! ZRH-PEK

    Wife and I wanted to burn our United miles before the devaluation and booked trip to NZ with stop in Japan. Then she finds out her favorite band Pearl Jam is touring Europe. So I added on a 80k US Airways award to Berlin with a stop in Beijing in Business.


    Hope we run into you guys 😉

  41. As with SG, not 90K but 120K each for 2 in J:

    PER-BKK-BOM-ZRH-BRU-YUL: TG 333/TG 744/LX 333/LX 322/AC 333
    YUL-CDG: AC 77W
    CDG-ZRH-HKG-BKK-PER: LX 321/LX 343/TG 744/TG 333

    So, some Choko la purchases at the new terminal at Chatrapati Shivaji, followed by Pâques in Québec, and then a TGV ride and Fête du Travail in France … trés bon!

  42. Really nice routing, lucky – have a great time. Always liked the thought of one of these 90k trips but couldn’t really justify having to fly from Europe to the US to start it!!

    Be interested to see what you think of LX business – I liked it but beware the ‘foot cubby’ issue. They’ve got the nice ‘Captain Kirk’ seats which are great for working at – you’ve got a desk both sides of the chair – however then when it goes flat to sleep the space for your feet is miniscule. I couldn’t sleep on my side as a result and actually almost felt a bit claustrophobic! Others have reported similar issues so best be forewarned! (ironically these seats are considered by LX to be ‘better’ ones and restricted to *G members for pre-selection!)

  43. I booked IAD-BRU (on Brussels), BRU-FRA-HKG (on Lufthansa), HKG-PEK-NRT (Air China), NRT-IAD (on ANA). Stops in BRU and HKG. During the time in HKG I’m going to do a side trip (using Avios) to Burma on Dragonair.

  44. Lucky, was it hard finding an agent who would route you via ADD? Was MPM an issue? This is nearly triple the direct mileage between IAD and PEK.

    Also, did they allow an open jaw AND stopover? Or do you have a domestic segment on one end (IAD-JFK)?

  45. Lucky,

    I’ve been trying to take advantage of the 90K awards for 2 leaving the east coast on Sept 1 and haven’t had much luck finding availability. Basically all I’ve found is JFK>WAW. any recommendations for other routes to get to Europe? Thanks so much.

  46. @ James — Agent didn’t question routing at all. The trick part was getting a stopover and an open jaw, but agent gladly booked that as well.

  47. @ joe — September is still a tough month for award space to Europe since school is still out over there. If you’re flexible with dates I’m sure there would be other options, but LOT isn’t a half bad one on the 787.

  48. Hey Ben,
    When will you be in Warsaw? Are you overnighting? If so, I could possibly swing up there.
    Also check the IC WAW. I stayed there a few times (as a RA). Nice upgrade and it’s usually super cheap (under 70euro).

  49. Awesome itinerary, Lucky! I understand you are allowed one stopover or an open jaw. I’m presuming in your itinerary you don’t have any stopovers and just had the open jaw as the flight ending in IAD rather than at JFK?

  50. @Lucky, if I make a phone call today, when is the last travel date in 2015 that I can book? is it February 16 2015?

  51. @ VV — If I’m not mistaken US Airways can be booked 330 days out, which takes us to February 8, 2015.

  52. What was the issue getting seats assigned with Ethiopian airlines? I am going to book a trip with them soon

  53. @ danny — Call got disconnected about five times halfway through the call before I got an agent that actually assigned seats.

  54. I just flew SWISS A330 Business Class from Montreal to Zurich and I have to say it was fabulous. I’m specially talking about the soft product. The flight attendant was super friendly, courteous, attentive, … (the list goes on…). Everything from the minute I’ve entered the airplane to the moment I’ve left I felt “at home”. Your are going to enjoy it!

  55. I booked 2 Business Class tickets on SAA from IAD-CPT return and used 110,000 Dividend Miles per ticket and the taxes for both tickets cost $207.02! Booked these 2/24/14 and travel is for January 2015!!!!

  56. Hey Lucky,

    Thanks for being so quick to respond. Im still working on a trip that works with our schedule. Do you have experience on ANA 77W (ORD>TYO).

    Really, this is my wife and I first business class experience, so it would be nice to get on a really nice product to make our trip that much more enjoyable…

    Any other awesome Business class products youd suggest?

    Thanks again.

  57. Just booked a ticket similar to you on my way back home for only 90K, so my trip is

    SIN-CAN SQ Destination

    CAN-TPE BR Stopover
    TPE-PEK BR 777ER

  58. What carriers can I use on an SFO-HKG ticket via Europe? I want to avoid BA because of the fuel surcharges. Ideally, I would like to visit Spain/Portugal or Sweden/Norway/Finland. Thanks.

  59. @ Donald — Other oneworld carriers without fuel surcharges would be Iberia, airberlin, American, and US Airways. Between them you should be covered between the US and Europe, and can then do Cathay Pacific to Asia from there.

  60. On American and US Airways, Is it possible to book different classes of service on the outbound and return trips, such as first class on the outbound and economy on the outbound?

  61. @ Donald — If redeeming US Airways miles you get charged the roundtrip cost for the highest class of service you fly. With American you can book the one-ways at the respective award rates.

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