American Airlines/US Airways merger – the world’s largest airline is born


Image (c) American Airlines/US Airways

Given that we dedicated quite a lot of space to using US Airways Dividend Miles in two recent articles, it seemed a good idea to post this latest update regarding the merger with American. You will also find details of the planned changes to the frequent flyer schemes and note that bookings made before the end of March 2014 will be honoured – and you can redeem your US Airways miles 11 months in advance. So essentially you can take advantage of the same rules I used when I booked my redemption to Zimbabwe throughout 2014 and into 2015 provided you get your ticketing sorted before the clock ticks over to 31 March 2014.

The new carrier will retain the American Airlines name and become the biggest in the world. The rest of this article is directly taken from the press release today (note some good news I have highlighted in italics near at the end)

“Today is a big day for American Airlines and US Airways.

With the legal close of our merger with American, we’re one step closer to bringing you a stronger airline that offers greater schedule options, access to more destinations around the globe and a modern, fuel-efficient fleet.

The combined company will retain the iconic American Airlines brand name and will be headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth while maintaining a corporate, operational and hub presence in Phoenix.

While we’ve legally combined as one company, we’ll continue to function as two separate airlines for quite some time and very few changes will happen immediately. This is especially important throughout the busy holiday travel season, as our first priority will be delivering a superior operation for customers of both airlines. There is no impact to any existing travel 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.

We plan to begin rolling out exciting new benefits in early January, such as the ability to earn and redeem miles on both carriers and reciprocal lounge access. On March 31, 2014, we plan to join the oneworld® alliance. In the meantime, we’ll remain a member of Star Alliance, and you’ll continue to receive all your benefits when traveling with Star Alliance partner airlines.

Be sure to check this site and follow our social channels to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and benefits coming your way.

Thank you for your business and your support – we look forward to serving you on the new American Airlines.

Loyalty scheme

Enjoy a more rewarding travel experience with US Airways Dividend Miles and American Airlines AAdvantage® programs. Both are among the most popular loyalty programs in the world and will continue to offer best-in-class elite programs, unmatched redemption options and more ways to earn miles from an expanded global network of routes and partnerships.

At this time, American and US Airways will operate as separate airlines, and each company will maintain its current loyalty program. Any mileage balance or elite status you have earned is safe, secure and will be honored, and there will be no impact to your US Airways MasterCard® or US Airways Visa® card.

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.

Alliances and codeshares

In early 2014, we’ll be entering into a codeshare agreement with American, which means that you’ll be able to seamlessly book travel throughout the US Airways and American network.

On March 31, 2014, we plan to join the oneworld® alliance, which means our Dividend Miles members can look forward to mileage earning and redemption opportunities, reciprocal elite benefits and lounge access on oneworld carriers. Some of these benefits will be phased in as we work toward full integration.

Through our membership with oneworld, we’re also working to integrate into American’s joint business agreements with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair – creating more options for travel and benefits.

Important things to keep in mind for upcoming travel

  • We’ll be exiting Star Alliance on March 30, 2014. You’ll be able to earn and redeem miles on Star Alliance carriers until that date. Any existing reservations for travel on a codeshare flight with a Star Alliance partner after March 30, 2014 are safe, however, you’ll be rebooked with a new flight number from the carrier operating the flight and you’ll no longer earn miles or receive Star Alliance Gold or Silver benefits.
  • We will no longer offer codeshare flights for sale with United Airlines after December 9, 2013 and with Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS after our exit from Star Alliance on March 30, 2014. Any existing reservations are safe, but you will not earn miles for flights on these carriers after March 30, 2014.
  • We plan to continue relationships with the following airlines, which means you’ll be able to earn miles on these select partners even after we’ve exited Star Alliance: Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Ethiopian Airlines, Eva, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM, TAP and Turkish Airways.
  • As our agreement with United Airlines comes to a close, US Airways Club members will no longer have access to United Clubs after March 30, 2014. United Club members will no longer have access to the US Airways Club after that date as well.
  • US Airways customers with Star Alliance Gold status will no longer have access to Star Alliance lounges after March 30, 2014.”
Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

Not meaning to brag, but here goes. I can say I’m a travel expert and have spoken at multiple travel conferences and trade shows.

I enjoy travelling all over the world but my big passion is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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