US Airways is likely the only airline, besides United, that allows you to buy up to their highest status level without even setting foot into their planes.
The Buy Up To Preferred-program sells you the missing preferred qualifying miles (or all if you so wish). Now, the bought status is valid all the way until February 2015. You can access this offer on US Airways website here.
US Airways has a separate Trial Preferred-program that allows you to buy up to a chosen status level for three month period and, after completing a challenge, to keep it. You can read more about this program here.
Buy Up To Preferred-Price
Here’s the price excluding the federal exercise tax of 7.5%, if you decide to buy the status without having any activity
Buy Up To Preferred-Thresholds
If you have had activity with US Airways, these Buy Up To Preferred-fees are not bad at all.
What Level To Buy Up To?
I would buy up to either Gold or Chairman’s:
1. Star Alliance lounge access for Gold or above
2. Higher likelihood of getting upgraded on US Airways upgrade eligible flights
3. Second and third bag free on US Airways flights
4. Higher elite bonuses on US Airways and some Star Alliance carrier flights
Should You Sign up?
It really depends of your future flight activity. If you know that you have lots of US Airways flights coming up in 2014, it may make sense to get the status upfront and enjoy the benefits.
Also, if you have international flights coming, having lounge access, business class check in, extra luggage allowance and preferential treatment during possible irregular operations definitely comes handy.
If you need to change, book, refund or cancel award tickets, the fees are waived for members at the Chairmans level. Gold members get the award processing and quick (within 21 days of travel) ticketing fees waived.
American Airlines Status Wild Card
The US Department of Justice is opposing the merger of AMR, the parent of American Airlines, and US Airways. It is unclear at this time, whether it will go through or not. The courts will ultimately decide it.
If the merger goes through/is green lighted:
If Delta/Northwest and United/Continental mergers are any indication, you are likely able to link your US Airways Dividend Miles and American Airlines AAdvantage accounts sometime in 2014, although airlines have indicated that they try to link accounts shortly after the merger is completes.
You can then transfer miles between accounts and likely get similar level of status with American’s program as you have with US’. If you get really lucky, you may get the AA Executive Platinum status that comes with Oneworld Emerald benefits for being a Chairmans member.
US Airways offers two distinctive options for getting accelerated status. One requires some flying and other option doesn’t (necessarily). Both of these options, however, do require a cash payment.
I would definitely consider either this Buying Up To Preferred or Trial Preferred for accelerated status with US Airways that might even turn to an American Airlines status IF the merger between the two airlines goes through.
Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:
Price includes federal excise tax of 7.5%. Between January and May, pricing is determined by your current or previous year’s Preferred-qualifying activity, whichever is greater. Between June and December, pricing is determined by your current year’s Preferred qualifying activity, which may result in a pricing increase. Preferred status purchased through the ‘buy up to Preferred’ program is non-refundable, and purchase does not earn you Preferred-qualifying miles or Preferred-qualifying segments. Program is subject to all Dividend Miles terms and conditions.