When Southwest launched its double-credit promotion last week, I wondered which airlines would feel compelled to match, and when.
We now have the beginnings of an answer to that question: US Airways has launched its own double-mile campaign.
Between April 13 and June 15, Dividend Miles members will earn double miles for all flights on US Airways, US Airways Express, and the US Airways Shuttle.
The double miles can be redeemed for awards as well as counting toward elite status.
Registration is required, and only bookings made after registering receive the bonus.
Deal or No Deal
Double miles. For flights system-wide. That count toward both award travel and elite qualification. For two months.
So far, so good. What gives me pause is that they're US Airways miles. As I've mentioned elsewhere, US Airways gave away an industry-low 4 percent of its seats to award travelers in both 2008 and 2009—less than half the generosity quotient, as I call it, of airlines like American and United.
It's one thing to give away lots of miles. What makes those miles valuable, though, is the ease with which they can be cashed in for free tickets. And US Airways has proved to be a conspicuous laggard in this area.
With double miles now on offer from both Southwest and US Airways, the competitive pressure for other airlines to match the promotion has been intensified. With that in mind, I'd suggest putting off booking as long as possible, on the chance that other carriers will respond with similar bonuses.
Reader Reality Check
Dividend Miles members, how easy have you found it to redeem your miles for free trips?