American Airlines and US Airways began offering reciprocal customer-facing benefits today, as they move towards integrating their operations over the next two years.
Passengers can earn and redeem frequent flier miles on both networks and have reciprocal elite frequent flier benefits, according to a statement from Fort Worth, Texas-based American. In addition, check-in timeframes have been harmonised and the carriers have established joint ticket counters and gates at New York JFK International airport.
“We're kicking off the new year by bringing our customers the first phase of enhanced benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles when travelling across our stronger combined network," says Scott Kirby, president of American, in a statement.
At Ronald Reagan Washington National airport today, boarding announcements included both American and US Airways’ frequent fliers.
The carriers plan to roll-out a systemwide codeshare in February, move US Airways to the Oneworld alliance on 31 March, and co-locate ticket counters and gates at key airports, including Miami International and Phoenix Sky Harbor International, by the end of the first quarter.
American and US Airways plan to move to a single reservation system and operating certificate by the end of 2015.
They merged to create American Airlines Group on 9 December 2013.