Merger Monday – US Airways & American Airlines – The Next Chapter

The US Airways & American Airlines merger is now legally complete. It’s a big day because the joint airline now becomes the largest in the world offering  service to more than 330 destinations over 50 countries with 1,500 aircraft.  US Airways, American Airlines and oneworld have all released some bits of information today.  Here’s a few key points:

According to oneworld:

  • Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will have the top Emerald status in the oneworld program. Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Dividend Miles Silver will be oneworld Ruby.
  • From 31 March, Dividend Miles Chairman, Platinum and Gold members will be able to access some 600 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines when they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers.
  • As oneworld Emeralds, Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will be able to use First Class lounges, where available – and receive an additional baggage allowance and access fast tracks through departure security at select airports
  • All Dividend Miles members will be able to earn mileage and status points when flying on any oneworld member airline from 31 March, but the ability to redeem mileage rewards for flights on other  oneworld airlines may be phased in shortly afterwards

Besides American, oneworld members include: LAN, Airberlin, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Russia’s S7 Airlines, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas. In addition, there are another 30 affiliated airlines.   US Airways, Brazil’s TAM and SriLankan Airlines join oneworld early next year.

According to US Airways:

  • Will begin rolling out exciting new benefits in early January, such as the ability to earn and redeem miles on both carriers and reciprocal lounge access.
  • American and US Airways will operate as separate airlines, and each company will maintain its current loyalty program. Any mileage balance or elite status you have earned is safe, secure and will be honored, and there will be no impact to your US Airways MasterCard® or US Airways Visa® card.
  • US Airways is exiting Star Alliance on March 30, 2014. You’ll be able to earn and redeem miles on Star Alliance carriers until that date. Any existing reservations for travel on a codeshare flight with a Star Alliance partner after March 30, 2014 are safe, however, you’ll be rebooked with a new flight number from the carrier operating the flight and you’ll no longer earn miles or receive Star Alliance Gold or Silver benefits.
  • They will no longer offer codeshare flights for sale with United Airlines after December 9, 2013 and with Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS after our exit from Star Alliance on March 30, 2014. Any existing reservations are safe, but you will not earn miles for flights on these carriers after March 30, 2014.
  • As the agreement with United Airlines comes to a close, US Airways Club members will no longer have access to United Clubs after March 30, 2014. United Club members will no longer have access to the US Airways Club after that date as well.
  • US Airways customers with Star Alliance Gold status will no longer have access to Star Alliance lounges after March 30, 2014.
  • They plan to continue relationships with the following airlines, which means you’ll be able to earn miles on these select partners even after exiting Star Alliance: Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Ethiopian Airlines, Eva, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM, TAP and Turkish Airways.

Here’s an interesting info-graphic from the American Airlines Website:

destination map


What you should do next?  Personally, I’d suggest US Airways members consider buying up if they’re close to the next highest status level – especially if you’re close to Chairman Status. Of course, you have to weigh out the pros and cons and decide if the expense is worth it to you personally.   Follow the airlines on social media to stay up-to-date on the changes and new benefits as they being to roll them out.  Consider what credit cards you may want to sign up for while there are still separate American and US cards available.

Personally, I’m excited about the changes and look forward to learning more! I got one of the inaugural pins that was released and can’t wait to see what’s next.

[USAirways Barclays]

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