American & US Airways EQMs Will NOT Be Combined For 2014

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)

Comments

  1. This was part of the FAQs at the end of last year I believe.

    I read it as saying EQMs won’t be combined for 2014 status (earned in 2013). Am I way off?

    As an Gold with US and EXP with AA with both airlines, I’d sure like to be able to get my complimentary upgrades on US and have it count towards EXP requalification.

  2. Elite credits will not be an additive between the two programs to determine a customer’s 2014 qualification or status
    vs
    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.

    May be misinterpreting program year? For ’14 (this year), can’t combine last year’s miles. But next year, can combine this years? Fingers crossed!

  3. This means if you do 50 and 50 in each program by July 2014 you will not get EXP until March 2015. If you did 100 all in one program you would get it for the rest of 2014 too. I think they will still be combined for 2015 as I read it.

  4. Are you sure you’re reading this correctly? You note that the FAQ says “Elite credits will not be an additive between the two programs to determine a customer’s 2014 qualification or status,” but isn’t the open question whether they will add to determine 2015 status?

  5. Of course elite qualifying miles earned in 2014 will be combined for status throughout 2015.

    Because the Dividend Miles program will be going away in early 2015. All Dividend Miles accounts will get merged into AAdvantage accounts.

    It wasn’t much of a revelation when folks saw t&c what they thought meant 2014 EQMs would be combined for 2015. It wasn’t in much doubt, either, that US Airways miles will transfer 1:1 into AAdvantage miles. I’m not sure it’s been written anywhere either. But it’s still gonna happen.

  6. So when I called Dividend Miles a few days back to get them to dig up my million mile status from US Airways (been crediting to United for awhile now), I was transfered to a Dividend Miles supervisor who told me that their internal information is telling them that Dividend Miles won’t fold into AAdvantage until 3Q 2015. She didn’t know for sure one way or another if US Airways and American EQMs would be added for 2015 status, but she hadn’t heard anything to suggest they would be either. Now of course this is just a single data point from US Airways, so I’m not sure I’d 100% believe without more data, but it is suggestive that split earnings would not count together…

  7. Agree with Adam H. I interpret the FAQ to apply throughout 2014 but not to the final determination of 2015 status. To wit, if I have a US account and a AA account and my US account has me at Gold status (i.e. 50K EQMs) and my AA account has me also at Gold (but requiring 25K EQMs). During this year I put half my EQMs into each account. However, I will not receive instant “combined” status when I earn 50K EQMs (i.e. 25K in each program) and thus assume I will move up to instant AA Platinum for the balance of this year.

    But, at the end of 2014 my AA Plat (50K+) and US Gold (50K+) will give me AA ExecPlat starting March 2015. I can’t see any other way of ultimately merging the programs, but for this year not permitting a form of status double dipping.

    Hope this explanation makes sense.

    (As for 3rdQ 2015…that seems a very long time off and makes little sense when benefit years start at the end of the 1stQ of each year and there’s plenty of time to work out such a merger.)

  8. Why would they combine EQMs when they’re already allowing you to credit flights on either airline to a single program of your choosing this year? That’s essentially a way for someone to combine EQMs proactively, even if it means giving up certain benefits to do so.

  9. OK, so that is interesting. I took a recent flight on US and had it credited to AA. My husband was on the same flight and tried to have it credited to AA at the gate but they had no idea how to do it, so his was credited to US. What is interesting is how the mileage differed. We flew in paid first. My husband got 750 EQM on US. The flight was 214 miles. I got those miles plus the 786 bonus for EXP for a total of 1,000 miles plus an additional 107 miles for the 50% bonus for US/AA codeshare flight. While I got more miles (1107), I only got 500 EQM. So, I had originally thought that he got the better deal by staying with US, but now I realize that his will not count for status on AA. At any rate, it was interesting to see how the two airlines dealt with crediting the same flight in their own programs.

  10. I’m with Gary here. I’d be pretty shocked if EQMs weren’t combined across both airlines to determine status for 2015. Why would they want to alienate some portion of their customer base and convince them to take a look at other programs?

  11. If you can give EXP status for free to a UA 1k for matching, why not give EXP to the CP? That is a no brainer.
    .
    I think the 2014 year is now, and the status on it was gained LAST year from AA and US, 2 separate programs.
    .
    For 2015, it would be suicidal of AA to alienate frequent flyers, who are loyal to left arm or the right arm of the same company. See how UA did that and they are still not quite right there yet?
    .
    So I agree with Gary, they would count for 2015 status year. (for which earning is in 2014), but until then one can not combine EQMs between the two if you credited to 2 different programs, e.g., LH flights till March 31 and BA miles on AA
    However, if at all you can, do credit to one as your level would be higher than if you split it (whichever is better for you) and you still get credit for elite status on both to some extent when you fly the other

  12. One fact is worth a 1,000 conjectures. I’m glad Lucky is asking.

    To me, you qualify in 2014 for status in 2015. If the miles aren’t additive for either qualifying or status in 2014, that means it isn’t additive for 2015 status earned in 2014. There isn’t any reason for them to do that when you can credit elite qualifying miles to whichever one you want.

    There are EQPs as well as EQMs, making the process of combining things tricky. Furthermore, I hope they integrate slowly, the slower the less likely of a United like snafu.

    I hope I’m wrong. Then I will put spend on both my USAir card and my AA club card to get 20k EQM.

  13. Hi Lucky.

    Using AA “Z” class from LAX to JFK via SFO, can you use the Red Carpet service at LAX along with Flagship lounge?

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