MERGER: US and AA Dec 9 2013 implications for AA flyers (new)

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USA AMEX Platinum Members Lose Access to Admirals Club/US Airways Lounges March 22, 2014 (4 Dec 2013; not genuinely merger related, but a significant change).
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Old Dec 2, 13, 4:13 pm
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by PresRDC View Post
My only real concern is that the new AAdvantage Program adopts 4 elite levels, lifetime platinums get the second tier from the bottom and this tier does not come with Oneworld Saphire status.
I doubt that AA PLTs, lifetime or otherwise, would be downgraded from OW Sapphire. Both UA & DL's 50k levels are roughly equivalent to Sapphire, so IMHO, it wouldn't be competitive to downgrade PLTs to Ruby.

As for the MM programs/lifetime status, AFAIK, 1MM on both AA & US are already equivalent tiers (AA Gold, US Silver), so there probably won't be many changes there in terms of benefits. This is only a guess, but perhaps the downgrades for PLTs would be to bonus miles (100% down to 50%) and priority (LT & 50k PLTs will fall below the 75k level).

I do wonder how they'll deal with the elite tiers during the transition and in the new program, since AA Gold /= US Gold and AA Plat /= US Plat right now.

Originally Posted by NiceLanding View Post
Having experienced both approaches at multiple airlines, I much prefer the 500-mile upgrade version as a lower-level elite and think that AA's hybrid version (unlimited upgrades for EXP, but must pay for companions) works quite well...
Agreed. My upgrades rates were decent with stickers and UA e-500s at all elite levels, even as Gold/2P.

Last edited by Tennen; Dec 2, 13 at 4:21 pm Reason: Added quote
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Old Dec 2, 13, 4:22 pm
  #77  
 
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Here is some information we were given with respect to additional milestones in the merger. Although a US spokesman would not comment, the sources we spoke with indicated that US will move to much of its service after AA's. In addition, there are 2 more milestones that have to do with this.

The new American Airlines will face myriad challenges beyond keeping frequent flyers happy, and deciding whether to keep its current livery. Key milestone dates include January 7, April 1, and September 1, which include a major alignment of US Airways’ product to American’s…..
Above from:

American Airlines: Challenges Ahead Include Merging Systems, Changing Alliances, and Aligning In-Flight Service
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Old Dec 2, 13, 4:29 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
No, AA "forces" everyone in AUS to connect in either DFW, ORD, LAX, or JFK, with nonstops to all those locations. But I agree that PHX and CLT will be welcome additions.

In the past AA has run nonstops from AUS to SJC, SNA, SEA, BOS, and MIA. We'll see if the new management eventually becomes more flexible and brings some of those back. Unfortunately WN jumped into the breach when AA pulled out so it may to tough for AA to make the business case to dive back in on some of those routes.
Stripe, yeah you are right, however, there's been reductions on the ORD routes and there's only one JFK flight. In my experience, other than traveling to areas around PA, IL, Dakotas, etc. I end up going through DFW. From time to time I'll go through LAX to get to SFO or LAS, but more or less, if you're flying AUS to any other major US airport that isn't a hub, it almost always goes through DFW.

If you look at the passenger volume, there is 3 flights to LAX, 1 to JFK and only 3 to ORD. There's 13 to DFW. When I fly to Harrisburg or Buffalo I go through ORD as they're only serviced from ORD, and many times I get thrown AUS-DFW-ORD-BUF as the AUS-ORD flights can often sell out due to low capacity.

My main point was that LAX and JFK are far on the coast, ORD is sort of out of the way to connect to majority of the country from Austin (AUS-ORD-MIA doesn't make logistical sense). Having CLT and PHX both in the southern part of the US opens up the connection options a bit without flying way out of the way.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 4:36 pm
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Any thoughts on when Avios will be available for use on pmUS flights? I am looking forward to some 4500 Avios ATL-IAD flights.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by turkeyRIOO View Post
Any thoughts on when Avios will be available for use on pmUS flights? I am looking forward to some 4500 Avios ATL-IAD flights.
I don't believe US Airways flies that non-stop?
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Old Dec 2, 13, 4:55 pm
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by Tennen View Post
I do wonder how they'll deal with the elite tiers during the transition and in the new program, since AA Gold /= US Gold and AA Plat /= US Plat right now.
I do know on the US-side of things they are currently in the decision-making process for this. On both the AA and US side (since both will be run separately for about 18 month) the decision is whether to make the tiers equal for recognition purposes (so a US CP would = an AA EXP on AA and vis versa), or do a similar approach to UA/CO where a US CP is prioritized first on US metal, then AA EXP, so on, and vis versa on AA metal.

What throws a bit of a wrench into it on the US side is the added complexity of how much an elite member has flown on US metal being used as the tie-breaker for upgrades. So with that being the case, even if US/AA go the route of making the tiers equal, I don't think US would keep track of an AA elites flying on US metal, and therefore the AA elites would essentially be placed 'below' their US equivalents anyways when it comes to upgrades.

I'm hoping they make AA elites have priority on AA metal and US elites have priority on US, to make it fair.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 4:56 pm
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by turkeyRIOO View Post
Any thoughts on when Avios will be available for use on pmUS flights? I am looking forward to some 4500 Avios ATL-IAD flights.
April 1 according to this article. And I agree about the sentiment of US probably not flying ATL-IAD, but they probably do fly ATL-DCA.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 5:13 pm
  #83  
 
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Originally Posted by aaupgrade View Post
April 1 according to this article. And I agree about the sentiment of US probably not flying ATL-IAD, but they probably do fly ATL-DCA.
Originally Posted by nall View Post
I don't believe US Airways flies that non-stop?
You are right- ATL-IAD will die with the loss of the UA codeshares. I will have to settle for the ATL-PHL 7500 Avios flights.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 8:11 pm
  #84  
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Originally Posted by yyzAAguy View Post
Make sure you're sitting down before you look at the 319 seat map.
I don't fly AA 319s much-I am more familiar with their 772/77W/M80/738 models (and BA 744/777->55% of my EXP requalification was done on those 2 planes, mainly LHR-HKG v.v, LHR-SIN-(SYD) v.v, LHR-YVR v.v, LHR-DFW...)
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Old Dec 2, 13, 8:19 pm
  #85  
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Originally Posted by turkeyRIOO View Post
You are right- ATL-IAD will die with the loss of the UA codeshares. I will have to settle for the ATL-PHL 7500 Avios flights.
Doen't US fly DCA-CHO? Or is it DCA-TYS that I'm thinking of? They also fly DCA-BHM and DCA-GSP. And they used to have a flight to AGS from DCA. I know they are a couple of hours drive from ATL. But they would all be at 4500 Avios.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 8:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Lots of stuff to speculate on under the "implications for AA flyers" umbrella. Here's what's on my mind...

Clubs - Probably no closures, except at airports where both have clubs. Reciprocal access should come fairly quickly. AA's complimentary F&B amenities are already quite meager so it's hard to see cutbacks in that area. It will be interesting to note whether the paid food model continues. I wonder how profitable it really is for AA. Membership fees for the US clubs are less than for the AC, and there is no $50 first year fee. It is hard to believe that this will be rationalized in any way other than to quickly raise the US fees to the AC level.


UA.
While you're talking about clubs, which In the interim can be handled easily through reciprocal access and a smoothing of fees, what about the airports?

AA can easily move to T4 in PHX. Not sure about PHL or CLT because I haven't been there in years, but due to their dominance, US concourses can probably absorb AA. T3 at ORD can absorb US flights. US can move out of terminal E at DFW easily into one the other four. US has already moved to T8 at JFK.

That leaves a complicated LAX situation and LGA. Much debate has occurred in other AA threads about the Eagles Nest at LAX. US is all the way over at T1. No room at T4Want to take a flyer? The "important day" January 7, 2014 is also the day of the first 321Transcon from LAX to JFK. Announcement that AA will begin negotiations to build a new terminal east of Sepulveda and the United terminal. Anyone have any other ideas concerning logistics at LAX? Retreat?

That brings us to LGA. AA is in Concourse D and a good chunk of Concourse C. US shares it's terminal with DL. You might be able to move the US flights to the United gates in Concourse C. But why would United move? More importantly, LGA will begin the redevelopment of it's central terminal in 2014 with completion in 2018. It's going to be a mess.

And then we have the Denver's, Tampa's, RDU's, Reagan's, SFO's and Seattle airports. Very capital intensive decisions to be made.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 9:20 pm
  #87  
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Originally Posted by george 3 View Post
That leaves a complicated LAX situation [...]. Much debate has occurred in other AA threads about the Eagles Nest at LAX. US is all the way over at T1. No room at T4Want to take a flyer? The "important day" January 7, 2014 is also the day of the first 321Transcon from LAX to JFK. Announcement that AA will begin negotiations to build a new terminal east of Sepulveda and the United terminal. Anyone have any other ideas concerning logistics at LAX? Retreat?
Actually, it's not as complicated at LAX as it sounds.

First of all, US is already moving out of T1 to T3. That was announced a while before the merger.

Second, US only has 3 gates at T3.

Third, AA/US was forced to give up 2 gates at LAX in the settlement with the DOJ. So that leaves only one US gate at T3.

That means they're only losing one gate if they surrender T3 completely. If they keep one T3 gate for now, remember there was a T4-T3 airside bus back when AS was in T3, so theoretically they could reinstate that for a US T3 gate in reaaly needed.

Meanwhile, AA is gaining the use of 4 gates in TBIT (though I'm not sure what the timing is). And/or they could ask Qantas to go there (Qantas using a bit of AA gates in T4 currently).
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Old Dec 2, 13, 9:30 pm
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Originally Posted by george 3 View Post
Much debate has occurred in other AA threads about the Eagles Nest at LAX. US is all the way over at T1. No room at T4Want to take a flyer? The "important day" January 7, 2014 is also the day of the first 321Transcon from LAX to JFK. Announcement that AA will begin negotiations to build a new terminal east of Sepulveda and the United terminal. Anyone have any other ideas concerning logistics at LAX? Retreat?
The US operation in LAX is quite small. Absorbing it in the short run is probably feasible; in the medium-term is easy. The question is what to do about long-term growth.

AA is getting preferential access to four gates in the new TBIT terminal, which would be more than enough to accommodate the international flights and remaining wide-body domestics. (Is there room for gate reconfiguration after that?) Plus the T4-TBIT connector will be finished by 2015 to ease connections. The Eagle's Nest is getting a new AC, and doesn't appear to be going anywhere...
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Old Dec 2, 13, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Actually, it's not as complicated at LAX as it sounds.

First of all, US is already moving out of T1 to T3. That was announced a while before the merger.

Second, US only has 3 gates at T3.

Third, AA/US was forced to give up 2 gates at LAX in the settlement with the DOJ. So that leaves only one US gate at T3.

That means they're only losing one gate if they surrender T3 completely. If they keep one T3 gate for now, remember there was a T4-T3 airside bus back when AS was in T3, so theoretically they could reinstate that for a US T3 gate in reaaly needed.

Meanwhile, AA is gaining the use of 4 gates in TBIT (though I'm not sure what the timing is). And/or they could ask Qantas to go there (Qantas using a bit of AA gates in T4 currently).
Isn't US leasing one of those three gates from WN?
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Old Dec 2, 13, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by george 3 View Post
That leaves a complicated LAX situation and LGA. Much debate has occurred in other AA threads about the Eagles Nest at LAX. US is all the way over at T1. No room at T4Want to take a flyer? The "important day" January 7, 2014 is also the day of the first 321Transcon from LAX to JFK. Announcement that AA will begin negotiations to build a new terminal east of Sepulveda and the United terminal. Anyone have any other ideas concerning logistics at LAX? Retreat?

.....

And then we have the Denver's, Tampa's, RDU's, Reagan's, SFO's and Seattle airports
At LAX, US is due to move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 in order to allow WN to renovate Terminal 1. This move was supposed to be complete by now but was delayed until approximately February. AFAIK US only utilizes 3 gates in Terminal 1 currently (they only run 16-20 flights) and as part of the DOJ settlement US/AA are required to relinquish (post-move Terminal 3 gates) 31A and 31B. If this means that US/AA will only retain a single gate in T3, I am not sure it make sense to bother operating from T3 at all. Lease out the remaining gate and consolidate into T4 using hard stands or reduce operations. AA will eventually get additional gates in TBIT when that construction is complete. (If US is entitled to more than 3 gates in T3 and will therefore retain 2 or more gates, this becomes a more difficult call. T3 is a better location for new AA to work with than T1, at least.)

LGA is definitely one of the trickier locations to consolidate. Will be very interesting to see how that is managed. **

Regarding the other airports you mention:
DEN - There's a cornucopia of airlines in A with AA. One (or more) of them could pretty easily swap for US's B gates. (The rest of B is soon to be former US *A partner United)
TPA - Both airlines are already in Airside F
RDU - AA and US are in the same terminal building, if at different ends. But the terminal isn't that big, so this should work for now. Delta would have to swap with US or United would have to swap with AA, presumably, to get the combined AA in contiguous gates. Probably the former.
DCA - US is in C and B (Pier 2). AA is in B (Pier 2) already. ***
SFO - This one is iffier, I am not sure if there is room to move all US ops into 2. (and isn't AA moving out of 2 eventually?)
SEA - Seattle's made a bunch of moves this year, but I think AA and US are pretty far apart in A and D so this could be an interesting one as well.

I'm sure there are additional airports that will be a bit tough to merge as well, but LGA is definitely the sticking point that jumps out right now.

** Along with the slots US/AA have to divest at LGA, they also must give "Up to two contiguous gates on Concourse C currently leased by American at LGA."

*** Along with the slots US/AA have to divest at DCA as part of the DOJ settlement, they have to give "Up to five (5) gates from among Gates 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32, if necessary" to support the slots. These gates are located in B (Pier 2). With the exception of 2 VX flights per day to SFO, US and AA are the sole (current) tenants of B (Pier 2). US is the sole tenant in C.

Last edited by ty97; Dec 2, 13 at 9:41 pm Reason: Added LGA gate divestiture information
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