The ‘on / off’ merger of US Airways with American Airlines is now, finally, ‘on’. The deal will complete in the next few days.
Integrating the two carriers under the American Airlines brand will be a long process, albeit one that has been seen numerous times in the US in recent years. Over a period of years, planes will be repainted, schedules co-ordinated and service levels equalised.
From a frequent flyer point of view, the key point is that US Airways will leave Star Alliance on 30th March 2014. On 31st March, it will join its new parent, American Airlines, in the oneworld alliance.
British Airways is also a member of the oneworld alliance, and allows reciprocal ‘earning and burning’ of miles. This means that, from 31st March, you will be able to book US Airways flights with your Avios points. You will also be able to earn Avios and British Airways tier points when you fly with US Airways.
(If you have any US Airways miles and were planning to use them for Star Alliance travel, you need to start planning that redemption now. Note that, after 31st March, you will not be able to change an existing Star Alliance redemption – the only option available will be to rebook using oneworld airlines.)
The US Airways and American Airlines frequent flyer schemes will also be merged. No date has been announced yet, but it is almost certain that US Airways miles will transfer at 1:1 into American Airlines. If you have status with US Airways, you will receive the equivalent level of AA status.
US Airways has key hubs in:
- Washington National
Anyone travelling to those parts of the US will see the most benefit. However, in total there will be 60 airports where you can go with Avios for the first time – 56 in the US, along with 3 in Canada and 1 in Mexico.