You may recall reading a couple of posts about the debate I was having with myself regarding sticking with MileagePlus and United as my “focus” program or switching to US Airways and Dividend Miles which happens to have a small hublet at DCA, a mere 15 to 20 minutes from my door steps. Back on day of of the great US Airways Grand Slam promo, I decided to purchase Trial Preferred Silver status with US Airways and go for the switch. I thought I’d update you on my progress.
Trial Preferred status is good for 90 days, and to maintain Silver Preferred for next year, I will need to fly 7,500 Preferred Qualifying Miles (PQMs) on US Airways or fly 10 Preferred Qualifying Segments (PQSs). Beginning today through November 6th, I have 7 segments booked on US Airways. Today, I’m flying 4 segments, and Monday I have a 3-day business trip to Boston. One week from today, I leave for Fort Lauderdale with a connection in Charlotte. On today’s flights, I cleared into First Class on 2 of 4 segments, and my upgrade to Boston from DCA on Monday cleared at the 2-day window, which happens to be today. Granted today’s flights are on a Saturday, but I think that’s a pretty good record of upgrades as only a Silver Preferred. The important test will be whether MrsMJonTravel and I both clear for out flights to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. 🙂 While I rarely interact with counter and gate personnel, those that I have come into contact with have been perfectly pleasant. Same goes for cabin crews. And for those who are curious, pre-departure beverages were offered in First Class on my first flight this morning. US Airways’ website has mostly worked for me as well.
I’m writing this post from a Gogo equipped US Airways A321. I’m glad there’s wi-fi because even on this 5 hour transcon flight, you won’t find anything else resembling inflight entertainment, a big drawback to flying US Airways on longer flights in my book. But hey…I’ve got wi-fi and a MacBook Air loaded with movies. Furthermore, I’m seated in the rear exit row at 22D. Very comfortable accommodations actually. The slightly extra fuselage width of the Airbus family really makes a difference. The same type of exit row seat in a Boeing narrowbody with the tray tables in the armrests is noticeably more narrow and less comfortable.
In summary, so far, so good with US Airways. I’ll keep you posted on my experiences as I fly through my 90 day challenge. Now to decide whether I want to keep flying for Gold status next year. I think that’s gonna be a yes.