Although I am not sure what time in which time zone, sometime within the next couple of hours, TAM and US Airways will have officially left Star Alliance and joined OneWorld. If you are a member of American AAdvantage or British Airways Avios, this means you now have 2 new airlines to book awards on! If you are a member of US Airways Dividend Miles, this means you will now be booking your awards using the OneWorld alliance partners. You will find US Airways listed as an American Airlines affiliate since they are in the process of merging.
US Airways also plans to continue partnerships with some Star Alliance airlines on an individual basis – Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM, TAP and Turkish Airways. We still don’t know if you will be able to mix awards using OneWorld airlines and these individual partners. Some of the partners such as Air New Zealand & Singapore Airlines will end this agreement in June.
HEADS UP TO ECO-TOURISTS
With TAM in OneWorld, this creates a nice opportunity for cheap award flights around Brazil using Avios! I’ve highlighted a few destinations in yellow in the route map below that are of greatest interest to birders. Brazil is a very easy country to get around and it is very simple to book most of the best eco-lodges online so this will make it easy to create your own individualized birding itinerary!