From the Dallas Morning news, and an interview with Doug Parker, all around great guy, and CEO of the new American Airlines Group, Inc (AAL);

Jan. 7 will be “our first big day” for customers, Kirby said. On that day, each airline will recognize the other’s elite frequent fliers. In addition, a passenger on one airline will be able to earn frequent-flier miles on the other airline if they choose.

“You can earn and burn [miles] on each other’s metal,” he said. “If you’re an American flier flying on US Airways, you can get your credit counted toward your American miles, etc.”

From Jan 7 things get a little confusing, On March 30th you’ll see US Airways leave Star Alliance and on March 31st US will join oneworld.  At some point along the way next year you’ll see a new award chart, possibly when the two programs merge in late 2014, early 2015.  There will likely be moments where you can exploit weaknesses in the award charts of each other. Of course if those opportunities exist we’ll discuss them.

What Doesn’t Happen Jan 7

January 7th is not the day where you can use US Airways miles to book on Cathay Pacific, British Airways, or any other Oneworld carriers. It is not the day you can book with AA Miles on Thai, or ANA, or LH (That day will never come).  What is it then?  Think of Jan 7 as the day US and AA become partner airlines.  We’ve discussed partner airlines before here, and they are very useful for award bookings.

When you’re stuck, and alliance members can’t get you home–check those partners and you just might make the trip work.

Creating our US/AA Route Map

The best way to see the combined AA/US Route map is with airline route mapper software. We’ve discussed this routing solution before on Milenomics, and if you haven’t started using it, please do check it out.  All of the bookings I do start on ARM.

To create a combined AA/US Map, do the following. From the drop down menu, select “Custom”:

ARM CustomIn the dialog box that pops up, type “US, AA”:US AA Custom

You’ll now have a map of AA and US Flights you can use when researching flights with either airline. At the very least, until March this will be useful.  For a longer term fix you can edit the “alliance.dat” file in the AMR folder, and add the following:

 

Star Alliance+AA A3 AA AC AV BR CA CM ET JJ JP KF LH LO LX MS NH NZ OS OU OZ PZ SA SK SN SQ TA TG TK TP UA US ZH

oneworld+US 4M AA AB BA CX AY HG IB JC JL JO KA LA LP MA MH MN MX NU QF QR RJ S7 US XL

Saving the changes, and reloading the program you’ll now have 5 alliances, Star Alliance, Oneworld, Skyteam, and our custom Star Alliance + AA (for booking with US Miles) and Onewold + US (for booking with AA Miles).  Again this will only be helpful until March or whenever US leaves *A and joins Oneworld.

More options for us will be good–at least in the short term. Options mean more chances to make our bookings work without needing to use our flexiblity points–date, destination, and class of service.


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– Written by Sam Simon. All ideas are my own, but I encourage you to see my point of view and I promise I’ll try to do the same. Connect with me on Twitter @Milenomics.

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5 thoughts on “Start using AA and US Miles on Each Other Jan 7

  1. Sadly those of us who use Macs can’t use the windows-based flight mapper program. My husband said there is a way to make a Mac mimic a PC but I fear my aging MacBook is too old for that. Do you suggest any work-arounds to enable Mac users to take advantage of the flight mapper program, or perhaps there is something similar that works on Macs?

    I believe I asked about this before but couldn’t locate your answer (or my question!). Maybe an update to the post would help, with a link for future mentions of flight mapper, so those of us who use Macs either know to not bother with flight mapper, or can turn to a decent substitute, if there is one. You mention flight mapper often enough and I imagine I am not the only reader with a Macs who would benefit.

    Thanks!

    On another topic, I was surprised recently how easy it was to get Barclays to waive my husband’s annual fee, along with a promise by the rep to monitor my account to refund the fee when it hits on 12/31. I wondered aloud over on TBB whether Barclays might be trying to keep its US Airways credit card customers. I haven’t really been following very carefully what will happen to credit cards but I think the assumption is Barclays will lose. Perhaps they are trying to retain all current customers, hoping to switch them to another card rather than lose them completely. If so, it may indeed be a great time to ask for a fee waiver and/or apply for a new or second US Air CC.

    • Elaine: Macs can run PC programs using software like VMware, Parallels, VirtualBox, or dual booting. I don’t know if it is worth it for this one piece of software. Non-visual ways of looking up routings exist (see my article on awardnexus.com), and are effective. I’ll work on a mac solution and will write a post for it as soon as I come up with something.

      Also: good tip on the Barclaycards. I suspect they’re getting agressive to keep cardholders. When the nightly news is saying “US airways is merging and will become AA” I bet the number of people calling asking about closing their cards is very high. Good to know, I’ll ask for a waiver when my wife’s card comes up. I think you’re absolutely right–cost to acquire a new customer is much more than cost to keep ($89), and converting to another Barclaycard is likely their end game.

      • Re: Barclays/US Air – Adam from Point Me To the Plane said this just today, when describing a recent AOR with his family over Thanksgiving, “approved WITH a current card (seems like this is the new norm – over 10 readers report the same)!”

        And thanks for the added info on the Mac as well as any other info you may come up with. Have a good week.

  2. As a CVG flyer, I’m excited as this gives me 3 new <650 mile "positioning" airports (DCA, CLT, PHL) that I can get for 4500 Avios one-way.

    Currently I just have ORD and JFK (and MIA and DFW if I want to spend 7500)

    • Dan; Indeed this opens up great opportunities to cities served by both AA and US, at least in the short term once US joins Oneworld. Not only for short Avios positioning flights, but also should give you more options to Europe with AA miles than CVG-JFK or CVG-MIA.

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