When Will American and US Airways Finally Become a Single Airline?

Pearls of Travel Wisdom suggests that the American and US Airways frequent flyer programs will be combined by year’s end. That’s 2014.

I believe this is wrong.

While they could always beat their timeline (although I’ve never known an IT project to finish under cost and ahead of schedule), public statements on integration are:

  • Frequent flyer programs combine first half of 2015 (my bet is end of first quarter, although that could be aggressive — at one point I understood they were looking at late 2015).
  • Single operating certificate in the second quarter of 2015 (target late April)
  • Passenger service system (single reservation system) late 2015.

The biggest challenges here are IT/data. I don’t think they actually know when the programs will get merged, they have targets but will do it when the IT is ready and working right.

On all of these things, sooner is better. American’s leadership wants the ‘merger synergies’ which means reducing duplication in systems and starting to see more and more benefits from combining operations in terms of revenue. Senior executive compensation is tied to achieving those.

But they don’t want to screw it all up the way United/Continental did (and US Airways/America West did).

When the merger first got the go-ahead, I said there were 10 things to expect. Those are generally holding up pretty well.

Here’s how the merger is doing overall.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I am not very excited and dread the final complete merger because that will be the time for a great award devaluation.

  2. I have a US booked trip starting 24Dec returning 02Jan. I just got an updated email showing where it changed from US to AA with a different confirmation number

  3. The source on that was that ‘Mighty’ site, which is not reliable. Will stick with your view.

    Barbara’s move there is interesting timing though. They are definitely getting ready for communication of meaningful change

  4. Q: When Will American and US Airways Finally Become a Single Airline?

    A: Hopefully never, but this merger has been completed—I don’t like to fly on US Airways. I objected to this merger with US Airways, I will never connect in PA, ever. All American had to do was buy the US Airways BOS-JFK-DCA shuttle and be done with it.

    Instead we have a merger with America West, not US Airways.

  5. Hi Gary, sorry for the delay responding but I just flew into VER. First, thank you for reading my post. Or did you? 🙂

    I never suggested that the AA/US FFP will be combined by the end of this year. Rather, I referenced another post that made this claim. Frankly I was as shocked by it as you are because it is contrary to everything I have read or heard, including from Doug Parker’s own lips.

    For the benefit of your readers who don’t want to read my post, I said, “My best projection has been mid-2015 but will not be surprised if that date gets stretched out.” Then I added, “Is Mr. Jacobi right about the (2014) merger date or is his definitive statement in reality nothing more than a guess?”

    We certainly agree they don’t want a UA/CO debacle and you may be correct about the 1st Qtr 2015. My thought is it could easily take longer, not as long as WN/FL but won’t be rushed because this has to right the first time.

    I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy yours.

    Carol

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