Today, it was announced that American Airlines and US Airways have officially voted to merge into one airline – the new American Airlines. This is going to cause quite a number of changes over the next few months (they say the merger will take place in the 3rd quater). This will now create 4 large airlines – American Airlines (as the largest), United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. Within the last decade, Delta and Northwest merged, United and Continental merged, Southwest and Airtran merged, and today, American and US Airways merged. Now, when the Delta/Northwest and United/Continental mergers took place, things were different because those airlines were in the same alliance as their eventual partner. In fact, you could book award reservations on each other’s airline with miles from the other, before the merger. However, with this new merger today, two airlines from separate alliances are coming together (US Airways is in the Star Alliance and American Airlines is in the Oneworld Alliance).
From a mileage point of view, this should be helpful. The reason is that you will eventually be able to start moving miles between those programs and possibly book awards with the separate alliances (for example, move US Airways miles into American and book travel on Cathay Pacific, which you cannot do right now). There will be a short period of time when the airlines are in somewhat of a warp zone that this will be possible. Eventually, both programs will merge and your miles will become one with the new American Airlines within the Oneworld Alliance.
So, what can you do in the meantime? Start racking up miles with US Airways and American Airlines as fast as you can! Each airline works with different banks right now (American with Citibank and US with Barclays bank) and soon credit cards issued for the new, merged airline will be from one bank (most likely Citibank). What you should do is start planning a strategy that will allow you to apply for these cards in the next few months to get as many miles as possible. Theoretically, if you do what might be the max of applications in the next 6 months, you should be able to earn 230,000 miles per person for the new American Airlines – all with 4 personal applications and 1 business. Over the next few days, I will put out which cards you should concentrate on if you are trying for miles within this new airline.
To read more about it, visit the new site that will be explaining about the new airline and the new program – here.
Here are some of the news stories about the merger, if you are interested:
- ABC – What the US Airways and American Airlines Merger Means for Travelers
- NBC – American Airlines, US Airways Announce $11B Merger
- Dallas News – American Airlines, US Airways Merger – Everything you need to know