Judge Approves Exit of American Airlines From Bankruptcy

Amidst the other airplanes still with the old livery, an airplane is adorned in the new livery on March 15, 2013 at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Photograph by FlyerTalk member SFO777. Click on the photograph for a discussion about the brand new identity, logo, livery and color scheme of American Airlines.

Sean H. Lane — the judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York who approved the merger of US Airways and American Airlines back on March 27, 2013 — granted American Airlines approval earlier this morning to exit bankruptcy, which clears another major hurdle pertaining to the merger.

The court ruled that the settlement by the United States Department of Justice with American Airlines and US Airways — which had originally sought to block the merger of the two carriers — did not require American to ask its creditors and shareholders to ratify the modified plan. Additionally, a request by attorneys — representing a class action lawsuit seeking to block the merger of American Airlines and US Airways until a full trial is held — to issue a temporary restraining order was declined by the court because they failed to convince Lane the potential irreparable harm to the traveling public portended by the merger.

AMR Corporation — the current parent company of American Airlines — first filed for bankruptcy almost exactly two years ago.

The merger — which will create American Airlines Group Incorporated, to become the largest commercial airline in the world with Doug Parker slated to be its chief executive officer — is set to be closed on December 9, 2013.

FlyerTalk member uxb may have summed up the feelings of the majority of fellow FlyerTalk members with this comment pertaining to the combination of the first night of Chanukah tonight and the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow: “This is the crappiest Thanksgivukkah ever.”

If there is a silver lining in all of this, it is that you can expect your frequent flier loyalty program accounts to eventually be merged, giving you more frequent flier loyalty program miles to use towards awards — for what that is worth. Earnings in both the American Airlines AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles frequent flier loyalty programs which count towards elite level status may be combined to grant you elite status for next year which may otherwise not have occurred.

Am I grasping at straws yet?

More likely, the merger will lead to further consolidation, which could lead to practices unfriendly to you — such as higher airfares, more ancillary fees, and further perceived devaluations in the future — and possibly contribute to your further irrelevance to travel companies as a frequent traveler.

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