I’ve had an odd little relationship with US Airways for a long time. I never quite forgave the airline then called US Air for buying the best airline ever, Piedmont. That would be the Piedmont Airlines, not that Piedmont Airlines, the DHC-8 operator. That said, the truth is that US Airways Dividend Miles is the mileage program which I have been a member of the longest with my date of joining going all the way back to the Piedmont Frequent Flyer Bonus Program in 1987. Yes, I was 17. Being from North Carolina, US Airways was quite easy for me to fly, and I have. Back in 2005 and 2006, I even rose to Chairman’s Preferred status, their top tier.

Somewhere right around that time, the airline’s operational situation took a turn for the worse. Couple that with all the drama from integrating US Airways and America West, the benefit reductions in Dividend Miles and just a general malaise that seemed to surrond the airline, I made it a point to never fly them unless absolutely necessary. In fact, I didn’t fly them for several years, and when I did, I credited the flights to my United Mileage Plus account.

Moving into the District of Columbia in late 2007, Reagan National Airport (DCA) really became an airport of choice, and Dulles became less convenient. As time has gone by, US Airways has seemed to make improvements in reliability, and their burgeoning flight schedule at DCA combined with the aforementioned improvements in reliability have made US Airways more attractive to me. Coinciding with last year’s Dividend Miles Grand Slam promotion, I signed up for their Trial Preferred program. This gave me a minimal level of elite status with which I could try to ease the transition back to US and Dividend Miles.

I took several flights, and a funny thing happened….I liked them. All of my flights last year were on time, the employees were polite if not gregarious, and the inflight experiences and comfort level were good to great, especially on their newer A321 aircraft. I had access to US Airways Clubs through my American Express Platinum Card, complete with its $200 dollar airline fee credit to cover things like inflight meals when flying coach. In short, my flights were quite comfortable, and my upgrade clearance rate has been better than 60 percent, not bad for a lowly Silver Preferred.

US Airways and Dividend Miles will be my Star Alliance airline and mileage program of choice in 2012. I can’t believe I just said that!

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