Video Of The Last Ever US Airways Flight

This past weekend, American and US Airways completed the last “major” step of their merger, whereby the two airlines integrated their reservations systems. With this step, US Airways officially ceased to exist as a brand, as “legacy” US Airways flights now operate with American flight numbers.

Reservations-Integration

Merging reservations systems to create the world’s largest airline is no simple task, so I was suggesting to be prepared for the worst this past weekend. As it turned out, American did a spectacular job this past weekend, and everything went over without a hitch. That’s massively impressive, when you think of the scale of what they were undertaking.

As part of the US Airways brand disappearing, there was a special commemorative US Airways flight this past weekend, which went from Philadelphia to Charlotte to Phoenix to San Francisco to Philadelphia. The flight was aptly numbered #1939, which was the year that US Airways’ predecessor started operations.

Not surprisingly there were celebrations surrounding the flight, and US Airways’ former CEO, Ed Colodny, was even on the final flight.

Anyway, American filmed the four-segment journey of US Airways 1939, and uploaded this pretty awesome video about the flight:

Very, very cool!

I wish I could have made the flight, but sadly I had a schedule conflict.

Bottom line

Kudos to American for how impressively the merger has gone, and especially the integration this past weekend. They’ve actually learned from the mergers of the other major US carriers, and tried to take those lessons and apply them to their own merger. They’ve really done a textbook perfect job, in my opinion.

Beyond that, kudos to American for commemorating an amazing brand. As much as US Airways was made fun of for years for being “no frills,” they ran a solid, dependable operation. When you boil it down, America West has become the world’s largest airline. That’s impressive.

Was anyone able to take the last US Airways flight this past weekend? How was the experience?

Comments

  1. Unfortunately I heard that there were MANY reservation issues yesterday, specifically regarding changed seat assignments, the reservation system misunderstanding seating charts, and AA agents having trouble accessing reservations booked through the USAir system. All in all, not a bad job though for such a massive undertaking

  2. Haha made it into the video … I was a passenger on the very last SFO to PHL leg in seat 12A. I wrote a trip report on flyertalk.com. While it’s not as polished as the video, I tried to document the moment as best as I could. It was an amazing experience for sure. Some people were pretty emotional about the last flight but I thought they did an amazing job and US Airways went out with a bang so to say. I heard that there were over 2000 people on the stand-by list, the system timed out after processing 999
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/1717857-final-us-airways-flight-us1939-sfo-phl.html

  3. Bye Bye US Airways, I think during the last 5 years, I’ve had multiple bookings on them and then ended up never flying on them. Oh well……

  4. Oh, NIck . . . so young and so ignorant. Google is your friend, too, don’t forget.

    I won’t confuse you yet more with the legal technicalities but, in brief, America West indeed acquired US Airways, which in turn acquired American Airlines. So, yes, America West is now the largest airline in the world. And, yes, America West effectively changed its name, first, to US Airways and then, second, to American Airlines.

    The original America West management team remains in control of the whole thing now.

    Airline geeks, such as Lucky, know stuff like this in their sleep. Me? I just read the Wall Street Journal every once in a while. It’s a newspaper that reports on stuff like this.

  5. I know about the mergers….just being too technical since America West’s branding went away in 2005.

    /Had some good times flying on America West fist class to Vegas a few times.

  6. Ah, Nick, you’re not in the financial business, are you?

    I don’t want to be too mean about this but, trust me, the who-acquired-whom thing doesn’t depend at all upon ownership percentages.

    (Apologies here to my friends on the accounting side of things; they have their own rules.)

    Majority ownership in the surviving entity usually, but not always, depends on the valuation of the two merging entities at the effective time of the merger. (The merger agreement will spell out the mechanics in detail.)

    The technical subject of who is acquiring whom is entirely separate, as is the practical subject of whose management team will run the surviving entity.

    Put more simply, little entities acquire bigger entities all the time — especially when they’re paying in stock rather than in cash.

  7. Reminds me of what was said during the Boeing merger with MD…..”MD bought Boeing with Boeing’s money.”

  8. I’ve been treated quite well by US Air in the last 24 months, with all the trips between DC and LAX.
    From all appearances, the merger’s gone pretty smoothly so far (other than the disappearance of my favorite First Class snack basket treat from the old US Air), so I think Parker and the team deserve a round of applause for the work to this stage.

    They’ll at some point have to deal with the tricky issues about union consolidation and seniority lists and how pilots select favorite routes… And, I’m hoping these are handled with the same delicate touch.

    Farewell US Air and America West and Piedmont and PSA and all the others that gave up their brands so you can fly today.

    Tachyon

  9. I flew US airways from LHR-CLT-MCO and then MCO-PHL-LHR in August. I can’t really say it was a good experience with the seat on the outbound, given the IFE being practically unresponsive and the legroom was terrible. But, for some reason, I enjoyed my experience. However, I was travelling with my parents and cousins. On the flight to MCO we had a problem with the seating assignments. My visually impared mother was seated in an exit row with my 8 year old cousin. My father explained at the gate that my mother was diabetic and has vision problems so she would need someone who is able to assist her to be near. Still seated at an exit. Eventually, my mother and I were seated together with my father and my 1st and 2nd cousins. There were no problems from MCO-PHL. We had a tight connection at PHL but luckily our bags could be checked all the way to LHR. Our flight home was operated by a 757
    with no IFE but brilliant service. The FA’s assisted my mother and even gave us a bulkhead seat so that she could administer her injections safely.
    @Lucky, Remember your US airways flight to CLT from LHR? I had the same flight as you on the LHR-CLT leg of my trip: US 733

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