As most of you probably know by now, US Airways Dividend Miles will be merged into the American AAdvantage program at an unspecified date in the second quarter of this year.
Up until then the programs are being run separately, and while there are reciprocal benefits, the experience isn’t seamless across the two carriers.
As I posted about last night, in preparation for the merger of the two frequent flyer programs, American and US Airways are now letting you link your AAdvantage and Dividend Miles accounts.
There were quite a few questions about this, which I figured I’d answer here:
Why are American and US Airways letting you link accounts now?
Keep in mind across the two frequent flyer programs, the airlines literally have tens and tens of millions of members. Merging two programs of that size is no small task. So they want to leave plenty of time to make sure accounts are being linked correctly, before the merging of programs happens.
Presumably there will be a lot of bugs to work out, like names not quite matching between accounts, duplicate frequent flyer numbers, etc. So the sooner they can address those, the better.
What are the implications of linking your AAdvantage & Dividend Miles account?
This is the biggest misconception. The only implication of linking your account is that you’re making it easier for the two airlines to connect your AAdvantage and Dividend Miles “identities” when the programs actually merge, so that your miles, status, etc., will all be correct.
They’re not matching status between programs. They’re not letting you transfer miles between programs. And if you’re presently doing a challenge, transitioning status, etc., there are no implications to linking your accounts. Zero.
What’s the process of linking accounts like?
The process is really easy and takes less than a minute. Log into your AAdvantage or Dividend Miles account on aa.com or usairways.com (not the mobile site, but the full site), and you’ll see a pop-up prompting you to link your accounts. On the AAdvantage side, the prompt reads as follows:
Once I put in my Dividend Miles number I was brought to a confirmation page:
Linking accounts doesn’t have any immediate implications. Ultimately it makes the process of merging accounts for the “new AAdvantage” easier when the time comes, and more importantly, it allows you to be sure that there are no problems with linking your accounts. So that’s why I think you’re better off doing it sooner rather than later.