Update On The AAdvantage & Dividend Miles Integration

This past Tuesday we officially learned that the Dividend Miles program would be merged into the AAdvantage program as of this weekend.

Transferring data for and merging tens of millions of accounts isn’t a task I envy, and I have to give American a lot of credit for how they approached the process.

The two programs were officially supposed to “merge” as of last night, though combining data from tens of millions of accounts isn’t an instant thing, but rather a process.

Now that I’ve woken up this morning, I see that a ton of progress has been made, at least on my account.

Overnight I received the following email from American, which summarizes the information from my US Airways account. This includes award miles, mileage expiration dates, million miler balance, along with my 2015 US Airways Preferred Qualifying Segments.

AAdvantage-Integration

Looking at my AAdvantage account, my US Airways miles have already been transferred into my American account.

Dividend-Miles-Transfer

Yesterday I made a booking for travel on US Airways through US Airways’ website (keep in mind that if you’re an elite member and want your upgrades to clear in advance, don’t book a codeshare) and entered my AAdvantage number, and my upgrade has already automatically cleared.

US-Airways-Upgrade

On my end, I’m extremely impressed by how smoothly the process has gone. From everyone that I’ve heard, Dividend Miles status and redeemable miles have already been transferred to AAdvantage. Keep in mind that if you didn’t link your AAdvantage and Dividend Miles account by March 20, you won’t be able to combine your miles at this very moment. You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks until American allows you to combine miles between AAdvantage accounts.

Bottom line

Kudos to American for the job they’ve been doing with the integration of the two frequent flyer programs. And for that matter, kudos to them with the merger overall, in my opinion. I think they’ve done a great job with communicating with members and managing expectations.

One last thing I’d note is that a lot of data is still being transferred, so if something doesn’t look right with your account yet, I’d suggest just being patient and giving them a couple of days.

What has been your experience this weekend with the programs being integrated? Is there anything you’re still waiting on with your account?

Comments

  1. Ben, I strongnly Agee with you on how well AA has managed this integration and at the pace they are doing it. While some things have taken longer than others to develop i strongly stand behind the saying “Timing is everything” as a strong and loyal AA flyer as you already know, AA has impressed me big time on this! I took a look at the website yesterday as I was making a few bookings and could tell some new additions being added info the website that were no longer there before. Minor things but they go a long way since its user friendly.

    Cheers Ben! Great post!

  2. This has been a ridiculously smooth merger on the technology front. Some confusion with upgrades and such, but the fact that two of the largest airlines in the world have been able to combine their systems with so few hiccups is staggering. I hope they release some of the technical info on how they managed this project, very interesting stuff.

  3. Ben, do you know what happens to miles expiration date?
    I have 200K dividend miles that are due to expire at the end of April. Will this remain the same under AA program or will it get extended?

  4. Hi Ben,

    How did your upgrade clear instantly? I made a reservation this past Friday, 3/27/15, on USAirways.com (not codeshare) on USAirways metal from EWR-CLT for travel this Friday, 4/3/15. I’m Chairman’s (now EXP). With the old system, I would’ve received an e-mail already from USAirways whether or not my upgrade has cleared since my departure date is within the window of upgrade for Chairman’s. However, I have not received anything confirming either way. I’m still unclear about this new process? Can you please advise?

    Thanks.

  5. @ John — You’re still outside your upgrade window. The Executive Platinum starts 100 hours out. We’re further out than that if you’re traveling on Friday.

  6. miles are merged as of this morning! wifey and I are off Cancun staying at Aloft and Hyatt Zilara all on points…YAHOO!

  7. Hi Ben,

    Do you think the award flights booked before the integration can be later changed based on AA award rules? e.g. free dates and time change given the same origin and destination?

  8. @ thyeri — The expiration date should be whichever is further in the future between your AAdvantage and Dividend Miles accounts.

  9. A question on follow up on John’s, how it will work if I have a US DM number (CP) in the reservation? Will it be recognized as the EXP number? Do I need to call them to change my FFP info for the travel on the next Saturday?

  10. @ Terence — They’re in the process of updating the frequent flyer numbers in all reservations, and it should be automatic. If travel is coming up very soon I might call to have it changed manually in your shoes, so you’re not skipped over on the upgrade list.

  11. Nice job AA. I now log into the US or AA website with my AA account and pw. The combined miles now show on both websites.

  12. Got an email from awardwallet that 50k odd miles had been withdrawn from my wife’s USDM account. When we tried to log in to US Air, it gave us a locked out message and asked to call the AA web services number. The rep said that the merger was underway and to give it a couple of days. Hopefully it’s just a glitch and everything shows up clean tomorrow.

  13. As of now, no merging of my accounts. AA account shows only my previous AA balance. With no upcoming trips planned, I’ll give it a few more days.

  14. Lucky,

    If I have a return dividend miles booking, can I now change to a one way and get half the miles returned?

    Thanks,

  15. Today I had semi-frustrating experiences with flight booking on aa.com. In looking for a multi-city for later in the year, the website was unable pull up the itinerary seen on Matrix, Google Flights, or Kayak. On another attempt, upon selecting a different itinerary, the website thought I was departing within two hours, and prompted me to go to a AA Desk within airport. Could this be a result of the system integration/updates? Perhaps. Luckily I can wait until tomorrow to book this itinerary. In the mean time, I can sit back and give kudos to AA because, as said, the integration is truly going smoothly for the size/magnitude of project this is.

  16. @ Marco — Hmmm, did you try “chunking” the flights differently on aa.com? For example, not entering in all segments and letting it logically bring up the connection? Hope you’re able to get it to work.

  17. @ Adam — In theory, but you’d have to pay the fee and the award for the one-way would be repriced at whatever it would be now.

  18. Awoke to the same email this morning and see my combines miles. However, when I went to buy the itinerary I had on hold bc I was waiting for the miles I didn’t see the purchase option? Maybe a glitch or I blind?

  19. I got this email late last night and I checked my AA account and to my surprise all the miles had already combined. I am so impressed by how well and seamless this merger of Award programs happened. I am continually impressed by AA over other domestic carriers – much to the dismay of my sister who works for UA. My preference for AA often gets us into some heated debates.

  20. US Airways agents are telling me that AA elites have to wait till check-in to request an upgrade on a US flight number on US metal. I can’t find anywhere on the US website to request it, even though my AA number is in the system (perhaps because the booking was made by a corporate travel agency?) Are the agents wrong? If so, how does one request an upgrade on US metal — by calling AA…?

  21. Yay! My million mile balances combined and I’m now a million miler! I wonder if they still send out the million miler luggage tags. I’ve so wanted on for so long!

  22. My existing AA account shows the same amount of AA miles, while my US miles have been transferred to a new AA account number, although my name and address are the same on both the old AA and US accounts, so in my case the process has NOT been successful.

  23. We were very pleased to see how smooth the mile merge was for both our accounts.

    We both have Barclay US Airways cc’s, giving us bonus miles through June. Wondering how easy and quickly those bonus miles will post, once the card goes away and new cc’s are issued.

  24. @Gaurav – I tried several times, but didn’t succeed, after carefully checking my name, address and DOB for anomalies. By then I got frustrated and figured that AA & US would take care of it by the time of the FFP program – which it didn’t.

  25. @Jeffey–hopefully it will be an easy fix to merge them if you call once the transition is complete…

  26. I checked 4 hours ago and all my miles had been transferred to AA and my upcoming trips were showing. I’ve just logged onto AA again to check something else and now my upcoming trips transferred over from USDM have disappeared… hopefully they pop up again soon…

  27. @Gaurav – I decided to e-mail them, in which I included all my info. I also asked them to keep my old rather than the new number: a matter of being used to it for many years… Thanks for asking!

  28. @ Jeffrey — Did you link your AAdvantage and Dividend Miles account? If not, that’s why. Soon you’ll have the opportunity to link various AAdvantage accounts, so you’ll just have to wait a couple of weeks.

  29. @ Josh — The process is automatic. Which I realize is odd for those of us used to American’s system. But you’ll automatically be waitlisted and the upgrade should automatically show. At least that’s what happened for me. The agent you got was misinformed.

  30. Ben –

    I took your advice to call AA for a recent trip, and was impressed by their IT (syncing with AS) !!

    My upcoming trip consists of both AA and AS, and it had my DM# until minutes ago I called the desk to manually change the FFP #. Right after that, after I logged into AS website, I was already able to choose the seats reserved for AS/AA’s elite members!

    Amazed by the syncing between their systems!

  31. “Your AAdvantage Elite status has been confirmed.
    There may be new seats available to you, click Change Seats to view the updated seat maps.”

  32. Not a smooth transition for me. I can’t get into my AA account and am getting a message about incorrect password. Tried multiple time and know I’m using the correct password. I linked my accounts when asked and am an AA EXP. Ben… have there been any reports of log-in glitches like this?

  33. @ Mary Beth — That’s very odd. Only such case I’ve heard. Hope you get it figured out soon!

  34. I seem to be having an issue I haven’t seen anywhere else yet — my accounts combined properly, status, flights, etc. are showing correctly however my million miler isn’t showing any update. The confirmation e-mail from AA showed that my million miler account should be posting anther 160K miles but no update as of yet. Anyone else encountering this?

  35. I have not begun the process of merging or linking my accounts. I have 2 USAir accounts and one AA accounts. Has anyone had success merging multiple US Air accounts to AA?

  36. @ Ben – Huh. So upgrades continue to be free on US Airways but require 500-mile stickers (for non-EXPs) on AA? Seems odd, for US Airways to treat AA’s elites better than AA does. But I guess it won’t last long?

    @ everyone-fretting-about-US-miles-not-transferring – Don’t worry, it’s no hassle to merge two AA accounts with the same name & DOB. Just sit tight and wait till your US account has migrated into a new AA account, and then merge it with your existing account. AA agents are perfectly used to doing this, mainly due to credit cards sign-ups which didn’t accurately include a FF number.

  37. @ Josh — No, the system is the same on both airlines. Sorry, I thought you were referring to EXP upgrades, which are automatically requested. Those needing to use stickers have to manually request upgrades on flights over 500 miles.

  38. @ Tom — Hmmm, that might be tricky. How did you get two US Airways accounts? You’re only supposed to have one per member.

  39. Ben… I called AA today about the password issue, immediately asked for IT and was connected very quickly to a person who could help. They asked me to try my Dividends Miles password and that worked to get me into my account. The person I spoke with said they are aware of this issue and that this is the work-around until fixed.

  40. One side note – you will want to reinstall the American Airlines app on you mobile devices because it too was updated.

  41. I’m in the same boat as Mary Beth, locked out of my account. Been on the phone to AAdvantage a couple of times and none of their workarounds have helped. For what it’s worth, overnight on March 29th I got an email from American Airlines with the subject line “An update on matching your accounts”, and the entire text of the email was the following gibberish:

    [[FBD4HF-IYUK56-6OADM-66MCH-H33BL4-T-M2-20150329-a19993d3a93ba4b79]]

  42. Hi Ben,

    Just a FYI, award travel booked with USDM prior to the merger cannot be changed once travel has started (the old US rule). I have an award travel coming up soon. For the return home, my itinerary is NRT-LAX-JFK on JL F and AA F. I was hoping that something in F would open up on JL NRT-JFK so don’t have to go through LAX.

    I called USAirways to ask this question. The lady said I cannot change once travel has begun since the award was ticketed using USDM and not AAdvantage miles.

    Good thing I called so I don’t have to keep monitoring if NRT-JFK F opens up while I’m on vacation.

    Thanks.

  43. Here it is May 9, 2015 and I am still waiting for my US Airways miles to show up in my AAdvantage account. I talked to AAdvantage about a month ago and they told me my miles should show up by the end of the month (April). Is American Airlines going to honor the US Airways miles or not?

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