Here’s a few additional tidbits that weren’t included in the emails sent this morning by American, but listed in the official media press release. Additionally, during our DL weather delay at LGA’s Terminal C, I headed over to the US Airways gates (which in between US flights can be a bit quieter and have many more open seats) and ended up sitting next to one of the integration project managers. He couldn’t’ share too many details or be all that descriptive, but a few notes from our conversation are highlighted in red below.
The benefits customers traveling on both airlines will begin to experience today include:
- AAdvantage and Dividend Miles members can earn and redeem miles when traveling across either airline’s network. All travel on eligible tickets on both airlines will count toward qualification for elite status in the customer’s program of choice.
US Airways flights are now searchable on AA.com and can be redeemed directly online:
Economy to the Caribbean
American flights are now searchable on US Airways.com and can be redeemed directly online (US allows roundtrip award flights only and this won’t be changing. At some point down the line you’ll be able to move your US miles to AA and redeem one-way awards):
First (as Points, Miles, & Martinis points out in this JFK-LAX-JFK example, American Airlines requires 65,000 AAdvantage miles plus $5 in taxes for this first class flight on a 3 class aircraft while US Airways only requires 50,000 Dividend Miles plus $30 in taxes and fees). If flying JFK-LAX, be sure to select one of the new A321 transcon flights!
- Elite members of each airline can enjoy select reciprocal benefits of both the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs, including First and Business Class check-in, priority security and priority boarding, complimentary access to Preferred Seats, priority baggage delivery, and checked bags at no charge, consistent with the current baggage policies for each carrier. Reciprocal benefits will be MANUAL at first, meaning you’ll have to present your membership card in order to utilize the elite benefits. This process will become automated in the coming weeks/months.
- Members of the American Admirals Club or US Airways Club will have reciprocal club benefits, providing them access to the 35 Admirals Clubs and 19 US Airways Clubs. In addition, American AAdvantage Citi Executive cardholders will have access to US Airways Clubs.
- Airport and Web check-in timeframes will be aligned for both US Airways and American.
- Boarding announcements will align to accommodate elites of both carriers.
- Airport ticket counters and gates at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport are now co-located.
Additional customer benefits will roll out as both airlines continue to combine operations. While full alignment will take time, customers can expect the following benefits in the coming months:
- A codeshare agreement to provide easy access to each airline’s global network. The first phase of the codeshare is expected to be available in the coming weeks.
- US Airways’ exit from the Star Alliance on March 30, 2014 and entry into the oneworld® alliance on March 31, 2014. Unfortunately, as per our convo…you won’t be able to move miles back and forth between the two programs until after this date, meaning no Star Alliance awards using your AAdvantage miles 🙁
- Co-location of additional ticket counters and gates in key markets, including Miami and Phoenix, as well as other domestic and international stations is expected to completed by the end of the first quarter.
- Alignment of select frequent flyer program policies, including upgrades.
As they’ve mentioned with each of the airline mergers these last few years, customers should continue to check in for flights and conduct business with the airline operating their flight just as they did before the close of the merger.
PS – Don’t forget the AA 777-300ER Point Me to the Plane Contest ends today!