Update: Maybe this is referring to 2013 status (for the 2014 program year), and not 2014 status (for the 2015 program year). I’m now seeking clarification on this. Sorry for any confusion.
There are lots of questions left unanswered about the American & US Airways merger (even after “customer day one” on January 7), so whenever I find something that has the potential to be interesting I try to share it. Last week I wrote a post referencing the change in terms & conditions on the US Airways Preferred Trial page on usairways.com, where they added the following:
Status for the 2015 program year beginning in March 2015 will be determined by the member’s activity in 2014 in the US Airways Dividend Miles program and the American Airlines AAdvantage program.
I read it as meaning that the mileage totals in the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs would be combined to determine status in the new program for 2015. In the comments section of that post, reader Chris had an alternative interpretation:
I don’t think those T&Cs are as crystal-clear as you suggest. They don’t say “combined” activity; arguably they just state that your activity in a given program will determine your 2015 status (which is consistent with what AA/US have already said as of Jan 7).
And unfortunately it seems that Chris was right. There’s a new “loyalty & benefits” page on usairways.com with an FAQ, and most of the questions and answers are pretty obvious. However, there’s one that really took me by surprise:
Can I combine my AAdvantage and Dividend Miles elite qualifying miles and segments to qualify for elite status?
No. Because we are currently maintaining two separate programs, elite qualifying miles and segments (and American’s points) only count toward elite status in the program in which they were earned. Elite credits will not be an additive between the two programs to determine a customer’s 2014 qualification or status.
So it seems that American AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles elite qualifying miles and points will NOT be combined at the end of the year to determine status for the 2015 program year. There’s a chance (I’d actually argue it’s very likely) that redeemable miles will be transferable by the end of the year, though that’s not official one way or another.
It seems that this merger isn’t moving along quite as fast as we may have anticipated in terms of frequent flyer program integration. Who knows, it’s still possible that maybe they’re just saying the above to manage expectations, but will still combine totals at the end of the year if everything moves along at a fast pace.
(Tip of the hat to Casey)