A few hours ago I shared the good news that you would now be able to use American Airlines miles to book US operated award flights and vice versa.  That is a big point in the merger, but it was not going to be the only milestone in the merger today.  There are several other big steps forward.

AA and US merger

  • Monthly traveler and daily Wi-Fi passes are now valid on both American Airlines and US Airways flights.
  • Reciprocal US Airways Clubs and American Admirals Club lounges access.  Note that this will be valid for the AA and US lounges, not all the partner lounges.
  • Earn and redeem miles for travel on both airlines (note that again that doesn’t mean on both alliances, it means on both airlines)
  • All eligible travel on either airline will count toward elite status qualification in the program of your choice
  • Miles and segments cannot be combined between the Dividend Miles and AAdvantage programs to qualify for elite status until the programs are fully integrated
  • There are some elite benefits that you can now enjoy on either airline when you have status on at least one of them:
    • First/Business Class check-in
    • Priority security checkpoints
    • Priority boarding
    • Complimentary checked bags
    • Access to Preferred seats
    • Priority baggage delivery
  • There is still a March 30, 2014 date for exit from the Star Alliance for US Airways and a March 31, 2014 join date for OneWorld

I will note that the biggest confusion I am hearing about this so far is misunderstanding between the difference of benefits being available on the respective US and American airlines, as opposed to the Star and OneWorld alliances.  For example, just because you can book now US Airways operated flights with AA miles, that doesn’t mean you can book US Airways operated flights with British Airways points the way you can AA flights.  US Airways is not yet in the OneWorld alliance, so things like that are on hold until at least March 31st.

Still big steps forward for American and US Airways travelers, though I’m sure elite travelers have some strategizing to do when it comes to choosing how to credit elite qualifying miles.  You can get more information about the details of these announcements here for US Airways and here for American Airlines. 

How do these changes impact you?  Will you be taking advantage of the sweet spots in the respective award charts in the near future?

Posted by Mommy Points | 13 Comments

13 Responses to “American and US Airways Merger: Elite Status, Earning & Redeeming, and More”

  1. Nathan says:

    Just booked several $128 RT trips from PHL to Las Vegas on US Airways with an AA platinum number. I’m trying to keep my status this year. I was able to select priority seats for free, and the check out page noted I can check up to 3 free bags as a Plat. member.

    As a PHL flyer with AA Status, this is great, great news.

  2. James says:

    Been on hold with AA.com for some time now trying to book award travel on US Airways flights using Aadvantage miles. It isn’t going smoothly. Also, You can’t do it online. Apparently, you have to call. And I’m being told they won’t waive the phone booking fee of $25 per ticket.

  3. James says:

    @nathan – I’ve been looking at those too. nice cpm on that route. I’m closer to IAD, but I may make the trek to PHL for that $128 RT.

  4. Aaron says:

    I’m really hoping to combine my USAir and AA miles for a larger award. Will this be possible soon? Transferring miles between programs is on the horizon right?

  5. Nathan says:

    @James – Yeah, I’m going to take the 6:00 out on a Tues. and the 11:05 PM flight back, sleep on the plane and then go to work.

  6. Jim says:

    @james, I just booked some awards on AA with a US flight.Web site worked fine.

  7. Ben L says:

    @MP
    You said “US Airways is not yet in the OneWorld alliance, so things like that are on hold until AT LEAST March 31st.” Capitalization mine. I was really looking forward to booking USAirways operated flights via BA. Do you think this will be immediate? Or will it take some time beyond March 31st?

    • mommypoints says:

      Ben, I would expect it as of March 31 if everything goes as planned, but with airline mergers I just don’t put money on anything until it actually happens. ;)

  8. Sorisobel says:

    I tried to book a flight (half USAir/half AA) on USAir. When the AA segment was included, it did not give me my USAir benefits (no award booking fee, 5000 point reduction). I may be willing to live with that if I am clear on whether I will get free bags because I have the AA card as this is a flight where we will need to check bags.

  9. Ross says:

    Looks like US airways awards that are classified as AASaver are not bookable via Avios yet..

  10. Mike says:

    @Ross: This is addressed in the post: “just because you can book now US Airways operated flights with AA miles, that doesn’t mean you can book US Airways operated flights with British Airways points the way you can AA flights. US Airways is not yet in the OneWorld alliance, so things like that are on hold until at least March 31st”

  11. Ross says:

    @Mike, thanks.. classic case of “Ready, Fire, Aim”

  12. Richard H says:

    Do you think that the reciprocal club access will allow me to get into the AA Admiral Club with the complimentary US Airways club pass that I got with my US Mastercard?

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