American and US Airways merger very likely next week

Via the Dallas Morning News:

With a merger announcement with US Airways Inc. likely to come next week, the roles of top management at American Airlines Inc. may be becoming clearer.

Two people close to the situation told the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that Tom Horton, chairman and chief executive of American and parent AMR Corp., apparently will be the non-executive chairman of American after a merger.

They said US Airways chairman and CEO Doug Parker would be American’s CEO, a position that would hold the power at the airline post-merger.

Oh my, I can’t believe this is actually going to happen. If it goes through I’ll feel about as violated as Antoine Dodson:

So hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife, because we’re all about to get Doug Parkered!

I’m sticking to my predictions, and you can bet I’ll be loving the hell out of my eight systemwide upgrades without any fare restrictions this year…

Filed Under: American, US Airways
  1. Pretty excited. I really have no problems with any of the changes I suspect will happen (many of which you outlined in your post). My only big concern is the PHL hub. I suspect they’ll hold on to it, but if not – I can’t guarantee my happiness (or sanity) will be in tact)!

  2. @ Lantean — I’m sure their award chart would change regardless, so I wouldn’t feel too bad about that aspect of it.

    I don’t think there’s a rush to apply for the US Airways Mastercard. At a minimum it should be around for at least a few more months.

  3. Think about it this way untrained us air agents with oneworld award space= really no routing rules

  4. Ari- I think PHL will probably go or at least heavily reduced. Personally, I think CLT will be the only the only hub left.

  5. CLT stays – badly needed E Coast routes for AA
    PHL gone
    PHX – probably gone unless AA repositions Eagle flights to secondary W Coast markets from LAX

    AAdvantage Program – currently the best in biz – goes revenue based, and systemwide upgrades are reduced or gone. Bad news for long haul AA flyer like me. The pretty paint job won’t compensate for depreciated AAdvantage program, should it happen.

  6. If merger were to be announced next week, when do you think is the earliest that we would be able to use AA miles on US?

  7. @USAirelite, @DFWSteve I suspect your right, I’m just holding out hope. I see no way in hell to keep PHX and I see a good use for CLT. While I hope PHL will keep a good chunk of flights, I do see the reality – namely, a dumped PHL hub. Hopefully they’ll keep some form of “focus city” status at the least. In any case, I guess that’ll mean more segments (and possibly more miles) for me every year… Unless I switch to UA 😉 Haha (unlikely).

    @Jon If it’s anything like UA/CO, there would be a several-month grace period where miles could (at least, I hope this’ll happen) be able to be transferred freely between your US/AA accounts. The question of “when will the ‘new’ reward program be 100% in effect?” Who knows… My guess is 8-10 months post merger.

  8. @colpuck Grow a pair, lighten up and understand the light-hearted nature with which Ben writes this blog. Is it that easy to scare people off? Jeez!

    @Lucky PLEASE DO NOT SHOW ANYMORE VIDEOS OF CUTE ANIMALS! I fear the PETA folks will be ruthless! 😉

  9. As a rape survivor, a rape analogy is completely inappropriate here.

    Not that you’ve got all that great a sense of appropriate.

  10. If you think “hide your kids, hide your wife” is a commentary on rape, you sir/madam haven’t been on teh internets very long.

    (On the 0.001% chance you are not one of the 110M people who have viewed this:

    Anytime a meme reaches that level of cultural saturation, it becomes nearly totally divorced from the source material.

  11. I booked award trip to Europe this summer on US Airaways (used United miles). I’m Star Alliance gold. So looks like after the merger they will leave Star Alliance. What about my *Gold benefits on that flight? Will they honor them?

  12. @ Deirdre — That really isn’t my intent and I’m sorry if you feel that way. Antoine Dodson’s video is one of the most viewed YouTube videos ever, and dozens of remixes were made of it (including the “Bed Intruder” video above). Is it because rape is “funny?” Of course not, that’s ridiculous. But as Dan points out, when a video becomes that viral it’s not because of the subject matter but because of the delivery.

    So if you honestly think I’m “making fun” of rape then I’m sorry you feel that way. But hopefully if you step back you can see that wasn’t my intent, and wasn’t the intent of hundreds of millions of people that have seen Antoine Dodson’s videos.

  13. @ Rusik — If the merger does in fact happen it’s possible there will be a relative immediate withdrawal from Star Alliance, or it’s possible that there will be an intermediate period where benefits still apply. I’d hope that the latter happens and that you still get your benefits.

  14. Lucky, yes, you are. You are very much buying into rape culture. The fact that a video becomes a meme would only divorce it from the source material in the insensitive.

    Essentially, you’ve pulled a variant of Godwin’s Law here.

  15. You might be the most insensitive blogger since Gary Leff when he compared a Hyatt Place to Nazi Germany…wait, no…you definitely are more insensitive than him and I didn’t think that was possible.

    Honestly, I was surprised that you didn’t throw a Chase United Explorer sponsored link in there for good measure…but then I forgot…you got banned from United, didn’t you?

  16. I can’t see the new AA eliminating PHL as a hub. Even though PHL and JFK are only about 100 miles apart, the headache, amount of time consumed, and expense of schlepping out to JFK can’t be overstated. There is a tremendous amount of business travel (int’l and domestic) generated from the Philly and Wilmington, Delaware metro area. PHL-BOS has traditionally been one of US Airways’ most profitable routes. Add in the fact that you have tons of nonstop options from PHL to all over the U.S., Europe, and the Caribbean, and taking away that hub becomes problematic imo. BA would own the PHL to Europe market. I could be wrong, but I don’t see folks in this area remaining loyal to the new AA if that happened. I don’t think the new airline could afford to lose that amount of business.

  17. I find this rape discussion a little overblown. Antoine Dodson, the dude in the video, makes fun of the attempted rape situation himself after this video came out.

  18. If lucky is insensitive, then that’s fine, because I don’t think I’d want him to have the sensitivity to highlight yet more #firstworldproblems with luxury flights 🙂

  19. Sensitive…insensitive…WHO CARES?

    Is this blog about kittens and puppies and political correctness? NO! It’s about deals. You don’t have to pander to my sensitives. Just highlight what I can do with points and miles and I’m happy. Keep up the good work.

  20. I was trying to think of a polite way to say some people’s responses seem overly sensitive to me, and then KoolFatKat put it perfectly.

    It’s a MEME people. Not a rape reference.

    Ben, to confirm you have a sense of humor and others don’t, read colpuck’s trip report about his SQ Suites experience. He sounds like a mall cop lecturing suspected shoplifters (sorry if I’ve offended any mall cops)?

  21. @Lucky – any idea of the timing on this, if the merger is announced? Back to the Buy-Up to Preferred idea, would the merger of AAdvantage and Dividend Miles be likely to occur this year, or is that a 2014 or later event? (I would further wonder if US Airways might quickly drop the Buy-Up program once the merger is announced…?) I forgot what happened with United/Continental, but did each airline recognize the others’ elite flyers during the merger period?

  22. @Nick Let’s pray it doesn’t turn into a UA/CO. That transition (in the opinion of many) was a complete fiasco!

  23. I think the video is in very poor taste and has nothing to do with the topic.

    However, if the merge goes through, I would LOVE to see a situation like UA/CO and BA/IB where you can transfer miles back and forth between AA/US!

  24. “You’re buying into rape culture”?!? FALSE. Lucky, keep up the good work. Anyone who thinks you’re insensitive can go watch Tosh.0 (which, btw, I find hilarious) and then write a 500-word essay on how you are completely tame.

  25. KoolFatKat said it right… some people take a chill pill please. Whoever believes that this blog is here to promote rape is an imbecile.

  26. Can we buy our way into Chairman’s Preferred (since US allows you to buy status), and then have that carry over into AA Exec Platinum when the merger is complete? Any thoughts?

    Also, with bonuses being abound now, which miles to buy AA or USAir?

    Thank you!

  27. Looks like US has decided to already follow AA’s lead and not allow off peak envoy award travel to Europe. Only Coach to Europe. Changed sometime over the night. Sucks as I was in the middle of wanting to go to Paris next week in Envoy

  28. A lot of chicken littles here, it seems. This merger will be good for both carriers and the customer experience will be enhanced across the board. Parker is a smart guy-he’s not going to ruin Aadvantage, turn AA into Ryan Air or anything else that will kill his crown jewel airline. I think we can expect some fierce fare wars with UA (good news) and more efforts to poach elites from both UA and Delta. And the merger will move faster towards completion than anyone realizes right now.

  29. Are we still able to book the US Airways partner award flight, North Asia via Europe for 90k in business for now?

  30. I am somewhat excited about this. I have not used the Hong Kong via Europe award but might do it before it is gone.

    On the other hand, I live in the DC area and it would be nice to have the new AA/US Airways dominant at DCA. United has taken over IAD and it is no fun and BWI is too far.

    Wait a minute, oh no, what will happen to the two lounges across from each other at DCA? :-O

  31. To switch memes… i bet Miss South Carolina Caitlin Upton will be excited about there finally being US Americans…. And half of the agents don’t have maps.

  32. Can someone please give a educated answer to comment number 34 by Kalboz?

    I’m interested in the answer too

  33. Maybe you can consider removing the video. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean that you should help propagate it.

  34. Lucky,

    I am a U.S.-based traveler who currently has both Dividend Miles and AAdvantage accounts. Assuming this all takes place, should I open a MileagePlus account to serve as my entry into Star Alliance, or would another Star carrier’s mileage plan be more advantageous when it comes to mileage accrual, reward availability, etc.? Thanks.

  35. Sigh. Just after switching alliances from UA to AA now this. I predict I’ll be cutting up my AA Citi credit card soon.

  36. I hope it does not dillute the value of AA ff miles.

    I have close to 900K miles that don’t need any modification .

  37. So a question on the credit card.. if i apply US airways CC now, get those 30k or up to 40k miles, it will then gonna be merged to one system anyway right?? Well my question is: its worth it no? and do you guys think we should wait till the merger is official?

  38. I don’t have any status in either airline, so for me, this merger means one less carrier I can collect miles and redeem on…soon we will just have one big colossal airline

  39. This is a great example of the liberal pussification of America. And this is coming from a gay man who voted for Obama.

  40. One thing I have always liked about AAdvantage mile redemption is the free stopover at the US gateway city. It allows me to redeem for 1.5 vacations instead of just one. It seems everyone agrees that AAdvantage will be kept after the merger. Do you see the gateway stopover retaining intact?

  41. @ Kalboz — I shared my thoughts on that here:

    I probably wouldn’t do it yet, as status would only be valid through February of next year, and it’s anyone’s guess how long the merger will take at this point.

    US Airways miles are cheaper than American’s, though it could be months before they’re redeemable for travel on OneWorld. So I guess it depends on whether you want to redeem your miles for Star Alliance or OneWorld.

    @ Maury — Yes, nothing has changed with that as of now.

    @ Dee Tee — Hah, I think it’s safe to assume one of them will close.

    @ Joe — Your best bet with Star Alliance will still be United, so I’d focus on them in your shoes.

    @ Marty — I’d recommend getting the US Airways credit card either way. If a merger happens those miles will be merged into the new program, while if it doesn’t happen (which seems unlikely at this point), you still have a useful mileage currency.

    @ Lance — I suspect it will since I think the new frequent flyer program will look more like AAdvantage than Dividend Miles. That being said I’d actually prefer the US Airways system, which allows a stopover at a gateway city or Star Alliance hub.

  42. You guys should give Lucky a break on the video. The kid is what, 22? Hell, I’m 48 and my idea of a joke is to ask Lucky how good of a time him and Rosie Palm had in the first class suites! As for the rest of you calling those offended by the video “imbeciles,” grow up and respect their position. They are obviously sincere – because if they weren’t, they would also be piling on Lucky by calling him a racist for showing the video.

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