This past weekend, American and US Airways completed the last huge “milestone” of their merger, whereby they migrated US Airways over to American’s reservations system. I was preparing for the worst (given the scale of what they were doing), though it went over without a hitch.
US Airways as a brand is now dead, and there was even a special commemorative flight to mark the occasion.
Not surprisingly, in terms of the customer experience, things didn’t change overnight. While policies are now completely aligned (in terms of the frequent flyer program, standby, fees, etc.), American and US Airways planes still feature very different products.
American is taking delivery of new planes with entertainment at every seat, power ports, etc. Meanwhile US Airways doesn’t have any power ports or inflight entertainment throughout any of their domestic fleet.
So over time we’ll see the products on the two airlines be streamlined, hopefully with the addition of Main Cabin Extra throughout much of US Airways’ fleet.
But there’s one thing about US Airways’ demise which makes me especially happy. In August I wrote a post about what I consider to be US Airways’ single most egregious policy.
I’m talking specifically about US Airways’ ChoiceSeats program, whereby US Airways would charge for the window and aisle seats towards the front of the cabin on most planes. In many cases ChoiceSeats included middle seats and seats pretty far back. These fees weren’t even waived for elite members.
At the time I gave the example of the below seatmap:
As an Executive Platinum member I could select an exit row seat for free, but had to pay for an aisle seat behind the exit row, or even had to pay for a middle seat in front of the exit row. And it’s no small price either — nearly $80 for a four hour flight. That’s ridiculous, especially given that all Main Cabin Extra (extra legroom economy) seats are free for Executive Platinum members on American.
Anyway, what I’m especially excited about with the death of US Airways is that the ridiculous ChoiceSeats program no longer exists. For example, here’s the seatmap for a “former” US Airways A319:
No, the plane still doesn’t have Main Cabin Extra. And yes, the plane still has “preferred seats,” but at least the fees are waived for elite members.
It might sound minor, but that’s a policy which pissed me off more on principle than anything else, so I’m thrilled to see it go.
I’m also happy that US Airways adopted American’s same day confirmed change policy, even if American’s isn’t the best in the industry.
There aren’t many things which offend me in life, though this policy was one of them.
Anyone else excited to see ChoiceSeats disappear with the integration of the American/US Airways reservations systems?