Following yesterday’s communication from the US Airways side that Dividend Miles would be folded into American AAdvantage in April, American is out today with more information.
- The programs will be combined ‘within 30 days’
- Redeemable and elite qualifying miles will be combined on a 1-to-1 basis at that time. (We already knew this — and this means 2014 elite qualifying miles for 2015 status as well as 2015 elite qualifying miles towards next year’s status as well.)
- Million mile balances will be combined 1-to-1 as well. This was always the likely scenario but many US Airways members wondered if their balances would be re-calculated based on the more generous formula (counting miles from all sources) that American used to use. That won’t happen.
In advance of the integration — and as I would expect with a complex data migration project that will involve over 100 million separate database records once complete (!) — they’re going to begin to lock down their systems.
- They’re going to stop ‘linking’ accounts before the programs merge. This page says March 20.
- They’ll presumably stop allowing new enrollments in Dividend Miles before the date the programs actually combine.
- “Dividend Miles award bookings and mileage upgrade requests will be disabled a few days before we combine programs”
They have to start locking down pieces of the equation to reduce the chances of error. In fact, I would expect that at some point prior to the data migration they’ll stop posting miles to Dividend Miles as well, and wait to post them to American AAdvantage after the cutover instead.
The two airlines will continue to operate separately until they transition to a single back-end system at the end of the year.
- US Airways will continue to offer unlimited complimentary upgrades to all elites, both from American and US Airways (really, there will just be American AAdvantage elites when the programs combine). All American elites, even Golds and Platinums, will be eligible for complimentary upgrades on US Airways flights at the standard upgrade windows.
- American will be the surviving program and when the two airlines start operating as one theirs will be the surviving upgrade system (complete with 500 mile upgrades, that US Airways elites will be given). While operating separately the current American upgrade process applies to American flights.
If you haven’t already:
- Link your American and US Airways accounts to help ensure a smooth transition for your miles.
- Book any awards you want using the US Airways chart (which allows a stopover and more flexible routings than AAdvantage, but requires roundtrip flying)
- Get the US Airways credit card, that will go away for new applications once the programs merge.