American Airlines & US Airways Reservation System Switch

American Airlines & US Airways that merged back in 2013 have been using separate reservation systems that handle things such as bookings to checking in at the airport.

American Airlines US Airways Reservations Switch

The Arizona Republic newspaper wrote today about a memo that the airline had sent to its travel agents informing them about the future reservation changes and the switch to combined system in late 2015.

Below is an excerpt of the article that you can access here:

The airline decided on a gradual shift to American’s reservations system — called a drain down — instead of an overnight switch to reduce the risk of problems. In a nutshell, the number of flights identified as US Airways flights in the system will be reduced day by day as travel is completed so there is no en masse transfer the night of the changeover.

The process is designed to play out this way for travelers:

–At the beginning of the 90-day period, travelers already holding US Airways reservations for travel three months out and beyond, including Thanksgiving or Christmas travel, will be notified that their flight is now an American flight instead of US Airways flight. The confirmation code, flight times and route will not change, the airline says. Only 10 percent of US Airways customers book more than 90 days in advance, the airline says.

–Travelers holding US Airways tickets for travel during the 90-day period will not see any changes, the airline says. It will be business as usual.

–During the 90-day period, travelers can still buy tickets on USAirways.com and other sites for US Airways flights but only for travel during those three months. Travelers needing tickets past the cutover date will be automatically redirected to American’s website, aa.com, which will feature the full flight inventory of the combined airline.

Conclusion

My advise has always been to stay away from the airline(s) if they are switching from one reservation system to another or when they try to combine two separate systems. There have ALWAYS been issues checking in and lost etickets resulting long lines and frustrated passengers (myself included).

Couple of years ago, I was flying on an AA issued ticket on LAN (the ticket had 10+ coupons) day after they had done GDS switch. They were able to find the reservation but not the eticket number. Luckily, I had all the information on my phone and they were able to reconcile the PNR with the eticket and issue the boarding pass.

On the surface, the implementation strategy that the American Airlines has chosen seem appropriate. They try to gradually wind down the US Airways reservations hoping that there are no glitches along the way.

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