American Airlines & US Airways Frequent Flier Program Merger Update: Reciprocal Upgrades, Programs Combined In 2015 & US Award Chart Enhancements

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Both American Airlines and US Airways have been emailing their frequent fliers in the past 24 hours about program updates.

American Airlines US Airways Frequent Flier Program Merger Update

Now US Airways Dividend Miles and American Airlines AAdvantage members will have reciprocal upgrades starting on June 11, the Dividend Miles program will be integrated to AAdvantage sometime in 2015 and there are some changes to US Airways Dividend Miles award charts on August 1, 2014.

You can access American Airlines web page for these changes here and the US Airways one here.

Reciprocal Upgrades:

American Airlines AAdvantage members upgrading on US Airways flights:

The upgrades for Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold members are complimentary and will be presented at the time of checking in. The passenger can be added to a first class standby list if upgrades are not available and these will be cleared by status and check in time.

The upgrades are complimentary on US Airways flights between: US (excluding Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda and Central America

US Airways Dividend Miles members upgrading on American Airlines flights:

Chairman’s Preferred members will receive complimentary upgrades and Platinum, Gold and Silver members must purchase 500-milers. The upgrades are offered at the time of checking in and waitlisting is not possible.

The upgrades are applicable for the same set of countries as for the AAdvantage members traveling on US.

It is very important for both the AAdvantage elite members traveling on US Airways and for Dividend Miles Preferred members traveling on American Airlines to check in as early as possible to snag the upgrade as these are offered on first come first served basis and not based on the status.

The upgrade process is even more convoluted for US coded AA flights and vice versa as well as combined itineraries.

Dividend Miles merger to AAdvantage

We plan to bring current Dividend Miles accounts into the AAdvantage program in 2015. That means we will combine your award mileage balances, your Million Miler™ balances, and your elite-qualifying activity from both programs. In the meantime, continue to book travel and earn miles as you normally would. We will follow up with you when we begin the process of integrating accounts, but rest assured your miles and elite status are safe as we work to combine the two programs.

The 2015 AAdvantage status will depend on the combined activity on the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs. It is interesting how the lifetime US miles will be combined to AAdvantage. I might become 3 million miler AAdvantage member in the process.

US Airways Dividend Miles Award Chart Changes August 1, 2014

For travel booked on/after August 1, we’re raising redemption levels for roundtrip travel on medium and high awards between the continental U.S. and Canada and for First Class awards on three-class service within and between the continental U.S. and Canada on oneworld® and partner flights. All award bookings through July 31 will continue to be honored.

  • On US Airways flights, roundtrip award travel in the Main Cabin between the continental U.S. and Canada will require 50,000 miles for medium and 80,000 miles for high-level 1. Roundtrip award travel in First/Business Class between the continental U.S. and Canada will require 100,000 miles for medium and 130,000 miles for high-level 1.
  • On oneworld and partner flights, roundtrip award travel in First Class on a three cabin aircraft within and between the continental U.S. and Canada will require 65,000 miles.

The current medium will rise from 40,000 to 50,000 and high level 1 from 60,000 to 80,000 miles. The oneworld and partner first class award within North America will required 65,000 miles instead of the current 50,000 miles.

Conclusion

There is nothing earth shattering here. I am just wondering why AA and US didn’t do simple status matching between the airlines before the program merger like what UA and CO did? Would have been simpler.

The fact that the 2015 membership status will be based on combined US and AA activity is nothing new. I wrote about it few months back here.

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