Today marks another big step in the American Airlines and US Airways merger for miles and points junkies as you can now book American Airlines operated flights with US Airways miles via the US Airways site, and book US Airways operated flights with American Airlines miles via the American Airlines site (at least at the saver levels).
As a very simplistic example, here you can see the option to use 12,500 American Airlines miles to fly the US Airways operated flight one-way from Houston to Charlotte.
In a somewhat more interesting example, you can fly US Airways operated flights during the American Airways off-peak times and rates such as this example below that is 20,000 American Airlines miles one-way from Houston to Rome in April. In this case, you can choose from the British Airways operated flights which will hit you with large fuel surcharges, or the US operated flights that won’t.
If you booked the same flights via US Airways it would cost you 30,000 miles each way, and you would not be able to book just a one-way for half the price of a round trip. Your final RT price would drop to 55,000 US Airways miles if you have the US card via the US site, but your final price with AA miles for the same trip price effectively drops from 40,000 to 36,000 American miles RT if you have the co-branded AA card and get 10% of your redeemed miles back as a result.
I couldn’t personally find examples of American operated flights coming up as options at the US Airways off-peak times via the US site, but it is possible I just did not search extensively enough. There will be many examples where it pays to book via one site or the other until the programs align their award charts and/or operate as one program.
I expect many more developments to unfold today, such as details on reciprocal elite benefits, and more!
Thanks to this Flyertalk thread for the head’s up!