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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
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