Back in November, the “new” American revealed that reciprocal frequent flyer benefits would be coming between American and US Airways as of January 7, 2014. That’s the extent of what they revealed, so naturally I think many of us were really curious what that would translate to in practice.
Well, it’s January 7 and while I haven’t seen a press release yet, there is some new functionality that’s up on both the US Airways and American website.
Earn AAdvantage miles for travel on US Airways and Dividend Miles for travel on American
Not surprisingly, members of both frequent flyer programs can now earn miles for travel on both carriers. When making a booking on the American website you can now enter your US Airways Dividend Miles number, and when making a booking on the US Airways website you can now enter your AAdvantage number.
Book US Airways revenue tickets on aa.com
The functionality to book US Airways tickets on aa.com seems to be live now. However, in order to display US Airways revenue availability make sure you select “All Carriers” on the search page, or else availability won’t show up.
Redeem AAdvantage miles for travel on US Airways and Dividend Miles for travel on American
Both websites display award space for travel on the other carrier, so it’s now possible to go to aa.com and book award flights on US Airways. US Airways award availability tends to be particularly good domestically in first class, while American’s domestic first class award availability has been getting progressively worse, in my opinion. So this is a nice new benefit, in my opinion.
It’s also worth remembering that American offers some really great value off-peak economy class awards to Europe, and you can now use these for travel on US Airways.
As shocking as it is (given that they don’t display any other partner award space), usairways.com also now displays American award space.
While it’s still early in the day, as far as I can tell this is the extent of the new web functionality so far.
Additionally, while I’m not near an airport today, it appears that at least at LAX, American has new signage welcoming US Airways elites to use Priority Check-In and Customer Service queues:
— Amol (@PointsToPointB)
Furthermore, online it seems to be possible for American elite members to select premium seats on US Airways, and for US Airways elite members to select premium seats on American.
So what isn’t possible so far?
- You can’t redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel on Star Alliance (aside from US Airways), and you can’t redeem your US Airways Dividend Miles for travel on OneWorld (aside from American)
- You can’t transfer your miles between AAdvantage and Dividend Miles
- You can’t match your status between American and US Airways yet
There are also several things we know are happening eventually but don’t have a timeline or details on, such as:
- We still don’t know when (or what) reciprocal upgrades will be available
- Elite-qualifying miles should be combined at some point, though that may take awhile
- AAdvantage miles and Dividend Miles will be able to be combined at some point, but we don’t know how or when, nor do we know what the award chart will look like
We should see more reciprocal benefits announced in the coming weeks, and I’m hoping for a press release with more details in the next day or so!