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American Airlines and US Airways Announce Reciprocal Mileage Earning and Redemptions

by on January 7, 2014 · 57 comments

in American Airlines, US Airways

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American Airlines and US Airways have officially started to merge from a consumer perspective, announcing a slew of reciprocal benefits today. Dubbed “Customer Day 1,” the two airlines have been training their employees extensively about these new benefits, which include:

  • AAdvantage and Dividend Miles members can earn and redeem miles when traveling across either airline’s network. All travel on eligible tickets on both airlines will count toward qualification for elite status in the customer’s program of choice.
  • Elite members of each airline can enjoy select reciprocal benefits of both the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs, including First and Business Class check-in, priority security and priority boarding, complimentary access to Preferred Seats, priority baggage delivery, and checked bags at no charge, consistent with the current baggage policies for each carrier.
  • Members of the American Admirals Club or US Airways Club will have reciprocal club benefits, providing them access to the 35 Admirals Clubs and 19 US Airways Clubs. In addition, American AAdvantage Citi Executive cardholders will have access to US Airways Clubs.
  • Airport and Web check-in timeframes will be aligned for both US Airways and American.
  • Boarding announcements will align to accommodate elites of both carriers.
  • Airport ticket counters and gates at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport are now co-located.

Award availability for both airlines is now showing on each airline’s website, which is a surprise to me because US Airways does not show any partner award availability online. This is great because American has very generous off-peak award windows, like October 15- April 15 for Europe at 20,000 miles each way vs. US Airways Jan 15 – Feb 15.

US Airways awards now bookable on AA.com

US Airways awards now bookable on AA.com

Lots more tran-Aatlantic that don't require flying British Airways and paying huge taxes and fees!

Lots more transatlantic flights that don’t require flying British Airways and paying huge taxes and fees!

USAirways.com shows AA awards, which is great because US to Asia in business class is only 90,000 US Airways miles roundtrip vs. 100,000 AA miles.

US AA Award LAX NRT

AA flights to Asia now price out on USAirways.com

Asia awards finally show on USAirways.com!

Asia awards finally show on USAirways.com!

There are still a lot of benefits to come, like combining miles, elite miles and reciprocal elite upgrades, but this is a good first step. I’m glad they are still able to roll out these merger “enhancements” during the difficult weather/operational environment. More to come!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Blake

    Will you be able to use Avios to book U.S. Airways flights?

  • mikemilzz

    Glad this happened relatively quickly. Flying US tomorrow out of PHX so it’ll be interesting to see how this US hub welcomes AA flyers. One true benefit of merger is being able to tap into the AA flight schedule…long term we’ll see how the schedules work out but for now we’ll take what we can get.

  • Lively

    Any idea when we can combine our frequent flyer accounts?

  • Kerry

    Do you know if I can use the $99 companion fare coupons from the Barclaycard US Airways MC on AA flights?

  • thepointsguy

    When US joins Oneworld March 31,2014

  • thepointsguy

    Nope.. Wouldn’t expect it anytime soon or else they would have announced it

  • http://continentaldrift.co/ Eli Stoughton

    Probably once the Oneworld integration kicks in on March 31, 2014

  • thepointsguy

    I don’t believe so

  • dee seiffer

    Yay! Hubby has lifetime AA Platinum status and we have two USAirways trips coming up.

  • E

    Are booking fees waived for elites now on both ends?

  • Richard

    Of great value to me as US Airways does not fly out of the local airport… but American Airlines does fly out of the local airport. The US Airways companion vouchers are of no value to me currently.

  • roadwarrior84

    So, do you think it is wise to get the US airways credit card for 40,000 miles after the first purchase??? If we are going to be able to combine miles, then just wait for the miles to post to the US dividends account and then transfer over to AA.

  • http://continentaldrift.co/ Eli Stoughton

    Definitely wise. It was nearly a year ago when TPG had this post that recommended getting credit cards on both airlines while we still can: http://thepointsguy.com/2013/02/maximize-monday-maximizing-a-potential-american-airlines-us-airways-merger/

    We’ve ended up having much more time to get the cards, but at some point the ability to get US Airways cards will go away.

  • Manny Pagan

    Can we book U.S. to London on US Airways using AA point and avoid fuel charges?

  • Kakakhel

    Does this mean if I am Chairman Preferred that I will be upgraded along with EXP?

  • Rowing Traveler

    I’m really struggling to find any reasonable award fares on the US Airways site. I’m in San Diego so finding anything out of here seem to be a struggle. What suggestions do you have for using US Airways miles or a voucher when I can’t find award availability.

  • thepointsguy

    Yes

  • thepointsguy

    Not yet- elite upgrades are not a part of these initial changes- I anticipate that’ll happen some time in the next couple months

  • thepointsguy

    Use united.com to find saver availability and then call US to book those flights with US miles. The Us website doesn’t show any of their partners (except now AA)

  • Kent

    I’ll be flying out to Puerto Rico next week on US Airways and have been wondering how best to leverage my card benefits.

    If I’ve got the Citi AAdvantage card that includes a free checked back – will that apply for myself and anyone flying with me?

    I’ve also got the US Airways card but I don’t think it comes with the first checked bag free and doesn’t provide check-in/boarding privileges to those traveling to you.

    Would I put my AAdvantage number down on the reservation to get those benefits? Or would I be better off just putting my Dividend Miles number down?

  • Melissa

    I’m trying to find the best use of miles from LAX-PPT, however I don’t have many AA miles (and I really like their low mies and fees). Anyway to transfer UR or MR points to US Airways to take advantage of the merger? I’m not favoring the SPG route…

  • http://elistoughton.com/ Eli Stoughton

    You should get Main Cabin Extra seats starting now though.

  • Peter K

    First day glitches: I tried to update an existing reservation on AA to include my US DM number (since I’m CP) and spent 30 minutes on the phone (after 1 hour on hold) attempting to get it done. Ultimately, the rep and her manager were unable to figure out how to get the system to accept my US DM number. She told me she would call back when she resolved the issue, but I’m not crossing my fingers. Instead, I may be relegated to a back middle seat…

  • http://elistoughton.com/ Eli Stoughton

    Same here, except that AA was finally able to apply the US DM. They did it over the phone, and then again over a Twitter DM. I’ve been able to select complimentary MCE seats from having US Silver.

  • Peter K

    You Tweeted US and they were able to change an AA reservation?

  • http://elistoughton.com/ Eli Stoughton

    No. I Twitter DMed AA (@AmericanAir) with the Record Locator and the US DM #, and they were able to swap out the AA # for the US DM #

  • Shawn

    Got a bunch of AA miles and none for US. Live in Houston so not a hub for either city. Don’t see any benefit of the merger other than being able to fly to Charlotte, Philly, and Phoenix direct using AA miles. Any other recommendations?

  • Peter K

    Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  • Miah Cottrell

    You think I could use an AA SWU on US now?

  • Joseph Yasso

    On the US Airways website I tried to book RT award travel from PHL to GRU (Sao Paulo) for this summer but the farthest date forward I can find American flights is April. Do you think they’re loading in availability slowly or do you think this is as far as it will go and when US joins oneworld all the redemption values/availability will be changed again? Any idea what’s the farthest forward we can book an international award flight on American metal through the US website?

  • shonuffharlem

    I think, once USAIR is in Oneworld, this really expands the use of Avios. For instance, I’m at FLL – American is huge in Miami, but USAIR is big at FLL. WIll have insane amazing choices between the two airports (and if you know the area, you live by FLL, you fly out of FLL unless you aboslutely have to drive to MIA or WPB) – both Domestic or International (avoiding MIA for a one-stop international flight is a big difference).

  • Paris E. Smith

    US Airways off peak currently is 15 January to end February, not Jan 15- Feb 15.

  • Wahlflower

    Can i still apply for both the American Airlines and Delta Card for merger of miles?

  • http://elistoughton.com/ Eli Stoughton

    American and Delta aren’t merging, so no.

    But you should be able to get both the American Airlines cards and US Airways cards now, and eventually they should be merged (might not be until 2015 though).

  • http://elistoughton.com/ Eli Stoughton

    Definitely. It opens up a bunch of new possible routes for domestic (US) Avios redemptions. The expanded ability is dependent upon the continuation of those routes after the 3-year time period though.

  • Steve

    i have an Air Canada flight coming up and had given them my US airways FF #. Can i change this to my AA FF # as I will have mostly AA flights this year and would prefer to accrue EQMs there?

  • Peter K

    You can get Delta too if you really want…

  • Rjh

    Yes but you can’t combine miles from each program to book

  • http://elistoughton.com/ Eli Stoughton

    No, because Air Canada has nothing to do with the merger. You’re best of just leaving the Air Canada flight under US DM. You could evaluate how many miles you’ll get from the Air Canada flight (no see whether its worth going for status with US this year).

  • Conflicted

    Very nice. What is your view of award redemption at new American (ie including US air as a partner) versus United after the devaluations. So on April 1 – which do you think has the better program?

  • MYRflyer

    90,000 US to Asia on Cathay Pacific J ? Can’t wait

  • Drew

    How do we do this? I have called both airlines to try and use my US Air miles to book a 20,000 one way ticket on an American flight but they say that they cannot book the one way flight on US Airways and American says that they don’t have the ability to see US Air dividend miles. It seems that you can’t use US Air miles to book an American Flight and vice a versa. Thanks

  • Kalboz

    When can we transfer points between accounts?

  • http://elistoughton.com/ Eli Stoughton

    Probably not until they merge the two programs.

  • Matt

    Any idea when US/AA will no longer be able to book *A flights?

  • KDR 70

    Would like your opinion thepointsguy…currently on trial preferred silver with us air (just started a new gig and travel will be ramping up this year so used it to jump start things). Anyway, once I complete the 7500 miles to keep silver…think I should continue to credit future travel to us air or go with aa…aa seems to offer some nicer perks on the low end (500 mile upgrades for every 10,000 miles traveled even at aa gold…if I read that correctly). Or would you keep applying miles to us air….

    Have pretty solid balances in both and no miles redemptions on the horizon…

    Thanks for any thoughts you may have…

  • mp1007

    Can anybody tell me if this is already valid for AA’s Explorer Awards? Tks!

  • Charlie

    AA does not charge YQ on TATL flights on AA metal. They do on BA metal though. DEN to LHR off peak is 20,000 AA miles and $5. CGD to DEN was 20,000 plus about $85 in fees. I believe it’s just Avios that hits AA metal with TATL YQ.

  • Isabel Latch

    Any idea if/when I can use DM’s to upgrade a flight on AA?

  • Traveltheworld

    Looking to book award space on AA flights online with US Airways online, but response is always te same: can’t be done.

  • Scott

    Brian, I am silver with Usairways and Gold with American. Combined I would be just short of Exec or Platinum. Which airline do you suggest I combine my flights on this year. Should I use US FF or AA FF account

  • Traveltheworld

    We’re looking to book award space on AA flights online with US Airways online, but response is always te same: can’t be done.

  • GG

    will you be able to upgrade using Avios?

  • R Ray

    Is there any way to book a one-way AA award ticket using US Air miles? I don’t have AA miles, and US Air doesn’t book one-way for award tickets.

  • thepointsguy

    Unfortunately not at this time. US will allow you to book a one way, but will charge uou round trip pricing unfortunately

  • Michael Perron

    I talked to US airways today, they said it could be as much as a year away for combining accounts. Today I booked all my AA flights in April using my USairways account, since I am already in a higher class there.

  • Joe

    Can you use your Silver elite status on BA and use it on US Airways now?

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