US air schemes merge
New programme has 100 million members
American Airlines says that its 30 million AAdvantage reward scheme members have been migrated to the US Airways Dividend Miles scheme in a move that creates a near-100 million member programme.
The two carriers merged in 2013 to create the biggest global airline.
The most notable aspect of the combination of the two schemes is that it is initially planned to stick with the existing model of linking frequent flyer status to the distance that passengers fly with the airline.
This goes against the recent trend of rewarding passengers by how much they have paid for a ticket, penalising those who fly large distances on the cheapest fares – a system that has now been adopted by carriers including Southwest, BA, Delta Airlines and United Airlines.
US Airways hopes its distance-flown policy will be a differentiator.
The airlines say the migration of the AAdvantage scheme has gone well, but he biggest IT challenge is likely to come towards the end of this year when the two carriers reservation systems are merged.