How it works: Once a customer achieves status with an airline (often after flying 25,000 qualifying miles with an airline in a calender year) they receive a handful of perks such as priority boarding, waiver of certain fees, and preferred seating. A huge benefit however was a 25-100% bonus of actual miles flown. So, where a non-status passenger flying San Francisco to New York would earn about 5,000 miles roundtrip, an elite passenger would earn between 6,250 and 10,000 for the same trip. With the new U.S Airways policy, elite (preferred) passengers will no longer receive the bonus mileage for tickets purchased on or after August 6, 2008.
This unprecedented move by U.S Airways will most certainly be watched by the rest of the airline industry and loyal flyers. While U.S Air may find their most frequent flyers abandoning them for the competition, it is possible other airlines will follow U.S Airways and make similar modifications to their frequent flyer programs.
Yesterday, U.S Airways announced the addition of two new fees: Onboard soft drinks, water, coffee or bottled water will soon cost $2.00. And, checking in the first piece of baggage will soon set you back $15.00. They also upped other administrative fees.