Flying American Airlines This Weekend? Plan Ahead…

As reported by the Wall Street Journal in July, this Saturday, October 17th, will be the date that American Airlines and US Airways will completely merge their reservation systems. Here are the actions American is taking to try to make this transition as smooth as possible, as reported by The Chicago Tribune earlier this morning:

American Airlines officials say they have spared no expense to decrease the chances the airline will have trouble Saturday but can’t guarantee complete success. Here’s what American has done so far:

•It switched to the larger airline’s reservation system, which requires moving less data and less retraining of employees.

•In July, it began draining US Airways reservations from the system, leaving fewer records to migrate, just 4 percent of all reservations.

•American did six full-scale tests of the migration with 5 million mock plane reservations.

•Staffing levels at airports will be increased 20 percent Saturday.

•American’s flight schedule Saturday has been reduced by some 200 flights.

•Airport agents and reservation agents had extra training.

•USAirways.com will automatically redirect to AA.com on Saturday, and the US Airways mobile app will be disabled.

Even though American is doing a lot to try to mitigate the risk of delays, many frequent travelers remember the United/Continental Reservation System Fiasco of 2012, and likely will remain leery, taking the approach of “I’ll believe it when I see it.” So if you are flying on American Airlines this weekend, check your flights status often, plan ahead for delays, and keep your fingers crossed!

Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel.

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