American and US Airways Reciprocity Begins

Back in November, the “new” American revealed that reciprocal frequent flyer benefits would be coming between American and US Airways as of January 7, 2014. That’s the extent of what they revealed, so naturally I think many of us were really curious what that would translate to in practice.

Well, it’s January 7 and while I haven’t seen a press release yet, there is some new functionality that’s up on both the US Airways and American website.

Earn AAdvantage miles for travel on US Airways and Dividend Miles for travel on American

Not surprisingly, members of both frequent flyer programs can now earn miles for travel on both carriers. When making a booking on the American website you can now enter your US Airways Dividend Miles number, and when making a booking on the US Airways website you can now enter your AAdvantage number.

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Book US Airways revenue tickets on aa.com

The functionality to book US Airways tickets on aa.com seems to be live now. However, in order to display US Airways revenue availability make sure you select “All Carriers” on the search page, or else availability won’t show up.

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Redeem AAdvantage miles for travel on US Airways and Dividend Miles for travel on American

Both websites display award space for travel on the other carrier, so it’s now possible to go to aa.com and book award flights on US Airways. US Airways award availability tends to be particularly good domestically in first class, while American’s domestic first class award availability has been getting progressively worse, in my opinion. So this is a nice new benefit, in my opinion.

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It’s also worth remembering that American offers some really great value off-peak economy class awards to Europe, and you can now use these for travel on US Airways.

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As shocking as it is (given that they don’t display any other partner award space), usairways.com also now displays American award space.

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While it’s still early in the day, as far as I can tell this is the extent of the new web functionality so far.

Additionally, while I’m not near an airport today, it appears that at least at LAX, American has new signage welcoming US Airways elites to use Priority Check-In and Customer Service queues:

Furthermore, online it seems to be possible for American elite members to select premium seats on US Airways, and for US Airways elite members to select premium seats on American.

So what isn’t possible so far?

  • You can’t redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel on Star Alliance (aside from US Airways), and you can’t redeem your US Airways Dividend Miles for travel on OneWorld (aside from American)
  • You can’t transfer your miles between AAdvantage and Dividend Miles
  • You can’t match your status between American and US Airways yet

There are also several things we know are happening eventually but don’t have a timeline or details on, such as:

  • We still don’t know when (or what) reciprocal upgrades will be available
  • Elite-qualifying miles should be combined at some point, though that may take awhile
  • AAdvantage miles and Dividend Miles will be able to be combined at some point, but we don’t know how or when, nor do we know what the award chart will look like

We should see more reciprocal benefits announced in the coming weeks, and I’m hoping for a press release with more details in the next day or so!

Comments

  1. Apparently it’s now possible to mix and match classes when booking USDM awards on AA flights.

    EU-US in First on the outbound and in Business Class on the inbound prices out at 112.500 miles online. 🙂

  2. Will US airways recognize my free bag benefit as part of being an aadvantage elite for US domestic flights?

    Thanks!

  3. This may have been easier than it seems….recall AA and US were mileage partners in the 1990s and into 2009, iirc. Perhaps some of their prior mileage integration helped out here.

  4. In February, I need to go to Bogota so I checked award availability on AA – good at 15k each way. The same flights on the USAIR site are 30k each way. Same dates, same flights.

  5. @ Lantean — We don’t know for sure, but my guess is March 31 at the latest, since that’s when US Airways is joining OneWorld.

  6. @ MiamiFlyer — Yep, since they have different award charts there are definitely ways to maximize the value by strategically choosing which program to book through, assuming you’re looking to travel on American or US Airways metal.

  7. I am US Airways Gold and have two upcoming AA roundtrip flights. I entered by US Airways number to my reservations and it is not recognizing me as preferred/elite. So, despite the information AA/USAir is providing, it is not working yet. 🙁

    So, I am not able to choose preferred seats, etc, yet.

  8. Thanks for the interesting and useful post!
    Lucky, do you think the EQM earned by spending 25k on the USAir credit card will count towards American Status?

  9. @ beachfan — I wouldn’t be surprised if at the end of the year you can combine your EQM total from both carriers, though I can’t guarantee it either.

  10. I’m not a superstitious man but my spidey sense is telling me to book a CX F award asap because the new US-American is about to commit Seppuku to its award chart(s).

  11. Just thought I would point out that there is currently an interesting glitch in the system. Since US only has two classes for domestic travel, if you search for F awards on US it shows availability in Z class, but only charges 25,000 miles each way. I went to AA’s site to confirm that this was booking into First instead of Business on the flight and the award availability indeed matched First instead of Business. A nice way to save 15,000 miles and try out the new A321’s!

    This happened with the UA/CO merger as well. Booking P.S. flights through CO’s website gave you both F and J availability (although you had to be careful to select a flight that ONLY had F availability, otherwise they would book into J). If we are lucky this will last until the merger is completed like it did w/ UA/CO as well.

  12. ETA: Actually its not even a glitch, it’s right there on their mileage chart. For domestic travel Business and First both cost 50k roundtrip.

  13. …and was well known in the days of p.s. F (and still is for 3-Cabin domestic F) on UA. Nothing to see here, move along. ;D

  14. @ OHS — No announcement to that effect has been made yet. I’m sure eventually Dividend Miles will be transferable to AAdvantage miles, at which point that should be possible. But till then I doubt it.

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