This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
American Airlines is bracing itself for another significant merger milestone come October 1: merging flight operating systems (FOS) with US Airways. Should you expect delays?
Though the merger was approved more than two years ago and US Airways flew its last flight last year, next month will see a major step forward in finally completing the years-long process that is making two airlines fly seamlessly as one.
AA still somewhat operates with separate crews and fleets — that means that American has struggled with efficiently scheduling and routing aircraft. Not after October 1, when the company moves to merge FOS. That means all pilots move to one system (and the two airlines can begin to operate as one).
So should you be concerned? So far, every step of the merger has gone mostly smoothly and caused few departure delays. Passenger-facing changes like merging the US Airways Dividend Miles program with American’s AAdvantage and combining flight reservation systems were completed last year and were technically successful. (In 2012 after United and Continental combined their reservation systems all United flights were grounded for a few hours and more than 1,000 flights were delayed, all due to technical glitches.) And October 1 is a Saturday, a usually light travel day, which should minimize delays.
This next step in the process could go a long way toward solving American’s on-time arrivals problem. According to a DOT report of domestic airlines (released last month), AA ranked last for on-time arrivals in the first half of the year (and second in consumer complaints).
Still to come for the new American: integrating flight attendants (scheduled for 2017), merging maintenance programs, engineering systems and more. We’ll keep you posted on the progress.
Do you have any hesitation flying AA on October 1?
H/T: View from the Wing
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards