Tuesday marked customer day one for US Airways and American Airlines — essentially the first day that passengers might notice the two carriers are operated by the same company.
It’ll take nearly two years before American and US Airways have a single operating certificate and are truly a new American Airlines. And it could be nearly that long until the combined carrier is on a single reservation system and has standard uniforms for all employees. But Sheryl Jean of the Dallas Morning News wrote a nice story about today’s changes. I recommend it if you have not already read it.
Here is some of what changed today for US Airways and American fliers, according to the story:
- Reciprocity for frequent flier members. The programs remain separate, but elite fliers on each airline should have benefits on the other.
- Relocation of airline operations to the same terminal. This process will take some time, but American and US Airways are trying to co-locate gates, where possible.
- Alignment of boarding procedures. Families with small children will no longer board early, according to the story.
- Alignment of maximum age of unaccompanied minors. US Airways is changing its program to match American’s.
- Joint lounge access. Members of one airline’s clubs can now access the other carrier’s clubs.