US Airways and American Airlines Merger – What Now?

The mileage community is on a buzz with this mornings news ; US Airways and American Airlines are merging!  Although the rumor has been idling in the back burner for some time, the official words are now coming from both companies.  I received two emails this morning from American Airlines and US Airways talking about how great its going to be.  They make it sound like a marriage between two rich 18 yr olds, who plan on serving caviar and Mountain Dew at the reception.

They will be operating under the American Airlines name, and will be a part of OneWorld, instead of Star Alliance.  What this means, is if you have US Airways miles, you may soon be able to redeem them on American Airlines, and any of the OneWorld carriers.  I think the part I will miss about this, the fact it was so easy to redeem for ridiculous routing rules on US Airways, since their agents had the geography skills of 2nd graders.  Of course, nothing is set in stone yet, and like any corporate mergers, there will be casualties.  Although there is no official word on routing specifics and what rules will change, if any. I am confident change is coming, and at times, the rug will be pulled from under our feet.

So What Does This Mean to Me?

In terms of credit card mileage bonuses, I recommend you get the US Airways MasterCard 40,000 miles after first spend offer soon, before it’s gone.  The card is issued by Barclays, and is pretty easy to get.  Bear in mind the Citibank American Airlines VISA and American Express cards are also out there, and with the merger, this all could change.  They aren’t going to disappear tommorow or even next week, or even a month from now….but they will change, for sure.  I’m guessing though, that Citibank will be the card provider for the American Airlines credit cards, and not Barclays.  These points will eventually be combined into your AAdvantage account.  If you don’t have an American Airlines AAdvantage account, go sign up soon. Its free.  Pick up as many miles as you can, with the offers they have out there.  This includes NetFlix, FTD Flowers, AVIS, etc..etc.  Technically, when it’s all said and done, they will offer new credit cards, under the new banner, and new offers, which YOU will qualify for since its a new product!  Even if you received miles before, you will then be able to apply for the new credit cards and get the bonuses.  I know from experience this was the case for me when United merged with Continental and the America West/ US Airways merger.  I got over 100,000 miles, just from two credit card sign-ups!!

Like the Continental Airlines and United Airlines merger last year, they were both operating independently for sometime, and eventually all systems became one.  This is going to be the same way I predict.  Expect a full union by the end of the third quarter 2013, as stated by the email.

What do you think about all this? Please comment.

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