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American, US Air Frequent Flyer Integration Begins

SmarterTravel

Following the completion of their merger in December, American and US Airways promised that their customers could expect to see some merger-related benefits as soon as January 7. It was a promise without much in the way of detail, and might have been overlooked or forgotten in the post-merger hoopla.

But, good to their word, American and US Airways today announced that the following measures will take effect immediately:

  • AAdvantage members can earn and redeem miles for US Airways flights. And reciprocally, Dividend Miles members can earn and redeem for American flights. Miles will count toward elite status in either carrier’s program.
  • Elite members of the two airlines’ programs will enjoy some reciprocal perks: first and business class check-in, priority security and priority boarding, complimentary access to preferred seats, priority baggage delivery, and checked bags at no charge.
  • Members of the two airlines’ airport lounge clubs will have access to the combined network of 35 American Admirals Club and 19 US Airways Club lounges. Additionally, American AAdvantage Citi Executive cardholders will have access to US Airways Clubs.

Among the additional changes promised “in the coming months”: more reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits, including upgrades; a codeshare agreement; US Airways’ exit from the Star Alliance (March 30, 2014) and entry into the oneworld alliance (March 31, 2014); co-location of ticket counters and gates at key airports, including Miami and Phoenix.

This is a nice down payment on complete benefits consolidation. And the speedy implementation is a positive sign for the integration overall.

Full integration of the two airlines is expected to take between 18 months and two years.

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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