The big travel news today (December 9, 2013) is that the American Airlines and US Airways merger has now legally closed, creating the world’s largest airline. Just like previous mergers (like Delta + Northwest and United + Continental), though, it’s going to take time (months, even years) for the two to truly become one. They’ll continue to function as two separate airlines for quite some time, and very few changes will happen immediately. Here are some things to takeaway in the short term:
- Any existing reservations you may have with American or US Airways will not be affected.
- Your miles and/or elite status will be completely safe. Beginning on January 7, you’ll have the ability to earn and redeem miles on both carriers and get reciprocal lounge access.
- Starting around mid-January, the airlines will begin merging flight codes.
- The plan as of now is for US Airways to leave the Star Alliance for American’s oneworld Alliance on March 31.
- The merged airline will operate under the name American Airlines, traded as AAL on the NASDAQ exchange. The new CEO is Doug Parker, who comes from US Airways.
Here’s more on the merger from the two airlines involved:
- What’s next, from the American Airlines website
- Press release from new CEO Scott Parker
Here’s more coverage on the story from around the web:
- CNN Money: American Airlines, US Airways to form largest air carrier Monday
- L.A.Times: American Airlines-US Airways merger becomes official
- Chicago Tribune: American, US Airways complete merger
- What to Expect Next From The American-US Airways Merger
- ABC: American Airlines, US Airways merger is complete
- Boston.com: New American Airlines emerges as deal closes
- StarTribune: American Airlines emerges from bankruptcy as new No. 1 as it completes US Airways merger
- FOX News: U.S. Airways, American merger creates world’s largest airline
- Politico: Airline merger: New American Airlines to emerge as deal closes
- NBC News: New American Airlines chief: Fares won’t go up …for now
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