American, in announcing details of what their combined program with US Airways will look like confirmed that the actual combination of Dividend Miles and AAdvantage will happen during the second quarter of 2015.
But when will this actually happen?
It matters because American elites want to know when their status will get them upgrade priority (and not just day of travel eligibility) for upgrades, and vice versa. It matters for folks wanting to use US Airways Dividend miles to book awards under their relatively more generous routing rules or with their unique partners.
This post is speculation, though I hope it’s educated speculation.
The combination should happen earlier in the second quarter rather than later:
- In announcing second quarter, this was a date range they were clearly highly confident in. There was no reason to announce a date there was any conceivable universe that they could miss. They had to believe they could easily hit a date early in the quarter, or even be ready during the first quarter and then put it off, or else they wouldn’t have announced the target. They would look bad to customers if they missed the date, and they’d look bad internally. Remember there are still plenty of management ‘synergies’ to be had through ‘redundancies’.
- They needed to kill US Airways challenges at least 90 days prior to the changeover. They killed it in late December.
- Travel starts to really pick up after March. That’s why airlines usually combine in February or early March. It’s always best to do data migrations when things are slow(er) — although this is just the frequent flyer program and not the reservation system.
Regardless, I expect that we’ll have advance notice of the actual date of combination.
It seems like they have to give us at least 60 days’ (or some reasonable amount of) notice of the date when things would get combined. So there will be plenty of time to decide whether to make a speculative award booking under US Airways rules that may need to be changed later, or make decisions about whom to fly.
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