FAQ article in today's paper

Old Sep 23, 2005, 4:40 pm
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FAQ article in today's paper

From the front page of the business section of today's Arizona Repbulic

Navigate AmWest-US Airways merger with ease

Dawn Gilbertson
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 23, 2005 12:00 AM

US Airways Flight 712 now boarding for Las Vegas?

Beginning Tuesday, that won't be far-fetched. The America West-US Airways merger closes that day and the two airlines start operating as US Airways. That means all those America West flights between Phoenix and Vegas, and everywhere else on the Tempe carrier's route map, will then be US Airways flights.

There's bound to be confusion in the first few weeks, so here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Question: What's the new airline going to be called?

Answer: US Airways. The America West name is basically going away after Tuesday. Temporary signage will include both names and telephone reservation agents will say both for a while so travelers aren't confused. Similarly, gate agents will say US Airways Flight 712, operated by America West Airlines, on those routes that formerly were America West's.

America West planes also will keep the company name and logo on them until they are repainted over the next year.

Q: Where do I check in after the merger?

A: In Phoenix, it depends when you're flying. If your flight leaves before Oct. 4, check your travel documents to see who's operating your flight. If it's America West, check in at Terminal 4. If it's US Airways, go to Terminal 2.

Beginning Oct. 4, the airlines' operations at Sky Harbor International Airport will be combined, so all America West/US Airways flights will leave from Terminal 4.

In all cities, look for airport signage to direct you and call the airline before your departure for more information.

Q: Where do I buy tickets after the merger?

A: For now, continue to book the way you always have. America West is at www.americawest.com or 1-800-235-9292. US Airways is at usairways.com or 1-800-428-4322. Eventually, they will have one Web site and one toll-free reservations number.

Beginning Oct. 5, both Web sites will accept the other airline's frequent-flier numbers.

Q: With the America West name going away, what's going to happen to my FlightFund frequent-flier miles?

A: They will be rolled into the US Airways Dividend Miles program early next year. For now, your FlightFund account stays the same. Until the switchover, you'll get FlightFund miles for flights on the "new" US Airways, including those to destinations America West doesn't serve, such as Europe, the Caribbean, Charlotte, N.C., Providence, R.I., and other, smaller East Coast cities.

Q: I have some US Airways miles I earned when I lived back East. What's going to happen to them?

A: You'll still have them in your Dividend Miles account. If you've got accounts at both airlines, get out your calculator. The airlines are going to combine frequent-flier accounts, so you might be closer to a free ticket than you think.

Q: How soon will I be able to redeem FlightFund miles for a US Airways flight to Europe or the Caribbean?

A: Oct. 5. Keep in mind these are extremely popular frequent-flier destinations, as is Hawaii, and the already limited free seats often are scooped up far in advance. The Caribbean, for example, is a holiday and winter hotspot for families on the East Coast.

Q: America West offers sandwiches and snacks for sale on many flights. Will I be able to buy food on the new US Airways?

A: In-flight food service is not expected to change. Both airlines use the same caterer and offer it on longer flights. America West calls its program Buy on Board, US Airways, In-Flight Caf.

Q: Will the new US Airways have a big fare sale to celebrate the merger?

A: Fall fare sales are common because of a travel lull, but it's unlikely they'll slash fares simply to commemorate the merger. Airlines are already ailing with sky-high fuel prices, so executives are in a fare-raising, not cutting, mood.

Q: I heard about US Airways' baggage meltdown in Philadelphia during the holidays last year. Do I have to worry about my bags?

A: The baggage systems in Phoenix and other cities aren't changing. No one is saying there won't be glitches in the early days as the two airlines combine operations in cities where both operate, including Phoenix, but no major headaches are expected as a result of the merger.
enviroian is offline  
Old Sep 24, 2005, 9:16 am
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 130
Well that is a little confusing because HP flights will still be around for quite some time yet. No change in flight numbers is expected for a while. We will be under the same umbrella but a customer will still be flying on America West from LAS-SAN.
Joeypete is offline  

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