What The American Airlines Merger With US Airways Means To Me


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American Airlines and US Airways announced today that the merger between the two airlines has closed. As a result, the new airline has taken the time to send me a message on what the changes mean to me, as a customer. Here is the message along with what I think it means to me.

AA US Air Merger

Message From American Airlines

Today is a big day for American and US Airways.

Our merger has legally closed, which means we’re taking an exciting step toward building the new American. We’re combining to form a stronger airline with an extensive network, greater schedule options and a modern and fuel-efficient fleet.

It’s important to note that there is no impact to any existing reservations you may have with American Airlines or US Airways at this time, and any mileage balance or elite status you have earned in either frequent flyer program is completely safe. You can continue to earn miles through existing AAdvantage participating companies — including the Citi® / AAdvantage credit cards — and redeem those miles for the same great awards.

We’ll continue to function as two separate airlines for quite some time, and very few changes will happen immediately. For now, you won’t see any changes to your travel experience as we will be focusing completely on delivering a superior operation during the busy holiday travel season. But, beginning in early January, we’ll announce exciting new benefits such as the ability to earn and redeem miles on both carriers and reciprocal lounge access.

Your continued loyalty is very important to us, and we will be working hard in the coming weeks and months to deliver a world class travel experience. Look for additional communications from our new American team on these and other benefits headed your way. You also can stay up-to-date on the latest developments by visiting aa.com/arriving, as well as following our social channels.

I’m excited to start this journey and look forward to building a stronger airline for you.

What I Think The Merger Means To Me

Mileage Balances Will Combine Into One Huge Account

With the combination, members will be prompted to merge their accounts in the near future. For me, this means I’ll have a combined balance over almost 3/4 of a Million Miles available for redemption. This makes me nervous because of the precedent with devaluations after the previous mergers.

Loss Of Star Alliance Network Balance

Since my US Airways balance is moving to American Airlines and OneWorld, I’ll lose access to Star Alliance award inventory with my US Airways miles sometime in the near future. Not a huge deal as I don’t have any Star Alliance travel planned in the near future.

Loss Of A Credit Card

I currently have both the US Airways Premier World MasterCard and the Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World Signature® Card. Since American Airlines will likely stay with their Citi relationship, I’ll eventually lose my US Airways Premier card. Not a big deal, but I do like the additional bonus opportunities they’ve sent in the past.

Loss of a Favorable Award Chart

The US Airways award chart has some sweet spots, like the 90,000 mile Business Class award ticket to North Asia as an example. I suspect that the award charts will be rationalized once the integration is complete.

AAdvantageGeek’s Blog Will Reign Supreme

Since there is no US Airway’s Geek Blog, the AAdvantageGeek will continue to be my first stop for information all things American Airlines related…among a few other channels.

Better Route Network (From the Southeast)

In the past, American Airlines wasn’t really much of an option for me as an Atlanta based flyer. Sure I can redeem Avios for cheap flights to New York, Chicago, Dallas or Miami. And sure, I can redeem American Airlines miles for British Airways First Class to London. But once you add in destinations beyond that, the connections really didn’t make sense.

US Airways on the other hand, has timely connections through Charlotte. It adds an hour layover to the flight, but the prices were often much cheaper. I suspect the combination will add favorable options to earn and redeem flights from the Southeast given US Airways hub in Charlotte.

Bottom Line

On the balance, I think the changes balance out. While I’m a hub-captive Delta flyer, who enjoys flying Delta, having the ability to redeem on American Airlines with access to more routes from the Southeast will be appreciated. The service aspect is what I’m going to keep an eye out for as the two labor forces combine.

What does the American Airlines and US Airways merger mean to you?

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The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at theweeklyflyer@gmail.com

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Comments

  1. for me, it means ton more miles to redeem for CX F

    downside is that so does everyone else, so CX F would become harder and harder (and CX might tighten the lid due to massive influx of AA miles)

  2. Out of the 2, I hope they get their online award system working so overseas trips do not require a phone call.

    I’m with Patricia on the CX first awards, so far AA is tops for these awards.

  3. @patricia, you’ll have to wait and see. If they are like United or worse, and if they devalue the combined miles by 100% to 200% on partner airlines, then don’t be surprised to see more CX F availability.

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