New AAdvantage Means More Competition
The implementation of former-US Airways loyalty members into American Airlines’s AAdvantage program is scheduled to be completed next month. This is also the timeline for completing the full, overall merger of the two companies following American Airline’s buyout of US Airways in 2013. However, with the integration of US Airways loyalty members into the new American Airlines AAdvantage program comes a greater competition between loyalty members for special treatment and upgrades.
As both US Airways Dividend Miles members and current AAdvantage members move into the new AAdvantage system together, they can expect to see longer lines for upgrades at the airport. However, it is unknown how much longer these lines will grow. Top-tier AAdvantage members will experience little change besides these longer lines, unlike the lower-tier formerly-US Airways members, who are likely to experience much of the hassle of switching programs and not being as easily eligible for top-tier placement in the new AAdvantage program.
Despite the potential for headaches early on, the merger to the new AAdvantage program is seen largely as a positive step for both loyalty program membership groups.