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Newly Merged American Reciprocal Benefits
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The new American Airlines is supposed to help the airline be competitive going forward and be able to offer cheap travel options, including cheap airplane tickets, discount travel deals and cheap vacation packages.
The merged airline announced its first phase of enhanced benefits for its frequent flier members in early January, including the ability to earn and redeem miles when traveling across its combined network.
American noted that it is pleased that its customers will be able to experience the perks they value the most so early in the integration process.
Changes effective for American and US Airways frequent fliers effective January 7th include:
• AAdvantage and Dividend Miles members can earn and redeem miles for travel across either airline’s network. All travel will go towards qualification of elite status in the frequent flier’s program of choice. Shortly, other frequent flier policies will align, such as upgrades.
• Elite members of each airline’s frequent flier program can take advantage of reciprocal benefits of both the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs, including priority security and boarding, complimentary access to Preferred Seats, and free checked bags.
• Members of the American Admirals Club or US Airways Club now enjoy joint club access. American AAdvantage Citi Executive cardholders can access US Airways Clubs.
• Airport and web check-in timeframes have been aligned for both airlines. Customers are now able to check into either airline online from 1 to 24 hours for domestic flights and 2 to 24 hours before international flights.
• Boarding procedures have been aligned whereby US Airways now boards military members with first class fliers, instead of before first class. US Airways has adopted American’s policy of not allowing families with small children to board early.
• Both airlines now operate out of the same ticket counters and gates at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
Within a couple of months, additional changes between the two airlines will be rolled out, including a codeshare agreement to align the two airline’s networks.
US Airways will exit the Star Alliance on March 30th and join American’s Oneworld Alliance the next day. Soon both airlines will operate out of the same ticket counters and gates in major markets including Miami and Phoenix.
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