February 13th, 2013
Update: 02/13, It’s on folks.
This was originally posted on 02/06:
It seems that American and USAirways are all but certain to announce merger plans next week. I sure hope they don’t, but that’s where the arrows are pointing.
What does that mean for you?
-The American brand and AAdvantage program will survive.
-The new airline will be part of OneWorld.
-We will lose a great way to earn Aegean Star Alliance Gold. Mileage Run anyone?
-At some point you will be able to transfer miles back and forth between your AA and USAir accounts. Your miles and lifetime statuses will be 100% safe.
-There will be more short-haul flight destinations for BA awards!
-At some point you will lose the ability to transfer AMEX points to USAirways at a 16% loss.
-While multiple people have been able to duplicate ticket from NYC to South Africa with a stopover in Israel for 40,000 USAirways miles such system issues don’t happen over at AA.
-The ability to route via a 3rd continent that USAirways allows on awards will end. AA doesn’t let you go to Australia via Asia or Asia via Europe. While with USAirways you can fly to Asia via Europe in business class all for just 90K miles.
-The easy to churn Barclay USAirways card will be phased out and harder to churn Citi AA cards will become the sole credit cards for the combined airline.
-There will be a new award chart that is likely less generous than AA’s or USAirways’ current charts. Though that won’t come until the merger is complete in a couple years.
-USAirways’ Doug Parker will be running the show while AA’s Tom Horton will step aside.
-USAirways still hasn’t fully integrated with America West…should be fun seeing how another airline in the mix will stir that pot.
-Fewer airlines=less capacity=fewer award seats across the board.
-Fewer airlines=less capacity=more expensive airfares across the board.
-USAirways route network adds almost no value to AA’s route network. They have virtually no presence in Africa, Asia, Australia, or South America. This is clearly a merger of the unwanted ones that were left behind at the prom.
-AA has never flown to Tel Aviv due to pension issues that were left behind by TWA. While AA didn’t merge with TWA there were still threats made about seizing their aircraft should they fly to Tel Aviv. Should be interesting to see what happens now. I’d imagine they will try to work something out behind the scenes rather then ending USAirways’ Tel Aviv service, but perhaps they won’t be able to? Assuming they do work things out and continue to fly to Tel Aviv I’d have to imagine that there’s a strong chance they the service switches to AA’s Miami hub instead of Philadelphia.
-Speaking of hubs, it seems unlikely than an airline would keep 4 East coast hubs open. Charlotte, JFK, Miami, and Philadelphia likely can’t all be sustained, though in order to gain regulatory approval look for them to lie and say they will all stay open before they start to downsize one or 2 of them once the merger goes through. Phoenix also seems redundant between Dallas and Los Angeles. In other words all of USAirways’ hubs are at risk here.
So what are your guesses?