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« Holiday Gift Ideas for Travelers | Main | Five Ways to Snag the Mileage-Award Seats You Need »

December 02, 2009

Are Your USAirways Miles Safe?

Last week's FlyerTalk Challenge yielded ten top frequent-flyer-mile questions that we will be answering here on The Perrin Post over the next couple of weeks. And by "we," I actually mean Randy Petersen -- a.k.a. the world's leading expert on frequent-flyer programs -- and his merry band of mileage mavens over at Boarding Area.

First up, this question from reader Ann:

I have a lot of USAirways miles. The airline seems to be on shaky ground, economically speaking. Do I need to be in a rush to use my miles for fear of the airline going under, or do most defunct airlines usually get taken over by another airline and the miles get transferred to another program? Is this likely for USAirways?

Here's the first part of Randy's answer:

You've got a question that more and more frequent flyers are beginning to ask … and for good reason. While it is true that there have been any number of airline mergers in the last several years (TWA with American, America West with US Airways and Northwest with Delta,) that is not to assume that all defunct airlines' frequent-flyer miles end up in happy homes. Outside a merger, the opposite is actually true; at least four airlines in the past year have gone out of business and left all the members of their frequent-flyer programs with no dreams of ever using their miles and points: ATA Airlines, Aloha Airlines, Eos and Maxjet.

You can read the rest of Randy's answer -- including precautionary steps to take if you're worried about your USAirways mileage vaporizing -- here at FlyerTalk.

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