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There are a few things while traveling which I did not want to miss and my beloved Senator Status (Star Gold Status with Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program Miles and More) is among those things. So I am trying to requalify for this status. This means every now and then I have to squeeze a few extra trips into my schedule to get me over the required threshold. One of the cheaper and most comfortable ways to do this is using one of the instant upgrade fares with US Airways, which are fares with Economy Class fare details, but instantly upgrading into First Class and earning First Class Miles. These types of fares also exist on other airlines like American Airlines.

With the merger of US Airways and American Airlines it was also announced that US Airways will leave Star Alliance as the merged company will be a member of Oneworld Alliance. During a press conference on Valentine’s Day, the two CEOs of AA and US expected that the merger will happen in the third quarter 2013. Being on the safe side, this meant I should squeeze my extra flights into my schedule latest End of June or the end of the second quarter. With a trip to the US planned for June / July, this would be a good opportunity. Of course most likely the forecast of Doug Parker would be too optimistic and the merger would not be happen in 2013 at all, but with my experience with the takeover of bmi by BA I wanted to be on the safe side this time.

So I booked a mileage run similar to the one I had done in 2011 for 2013 in late March, as soon as I got the details for my trip to the US. US Airways had modified the fare rules for. Some airlines give you also the possibility to make a stopover without additional cost. The difference between a stopover and a transit it that the later is less than 24 hours while the first means any stop for more than 24 hours. So you have to be careful, a stopover is not a transit. I use this possibility to minimize the cost of each trip. And it is also a way to minimize the hassle of a long-haul trip by doing a night in a hotel after or before your transatlantic and even do some sightseeing if you stop in a hub with hourly flights to certain destination, e.g. from Chicago or New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco.