by Michael J. Shapiro | January 08, 2014
The newly combined American Airlines has kicked off the first phase of aligning customer loyalty programs and policies between American and US Airways. The ability to earn and redeem miles on either airline's network began Tuesday, and all travel on either airline will accrue for elite status in the customer's chosen loyalty program. Elite travelers in either program can enjoy the equivalent benefits on either airline. Additionally, airport and web check-in timeframes will be made consistent for both carriers. At New York's JFK airport, ticket counters and gates now are co-located. Among changes that will occur in the coming months are a codeshare agreement between the two carriers; US Airways' transition from Star Alliance to Oneworld Alliance; co-location of ticket counters and gates in Miami, Phoenix and other key markets; and the alignment of select frequent-flyer-program policies, including upgrades. The two airlines will continue to operate separately in the meantime, with their respective loyalty programs, reservations systems and websites. Specific merger-related information can be found here.