Much to our chagrin, it appears that American Airlines and US Airways have agreed on merger terms, and will announce a merger tomorrow morning at 7:30 am CT. We’ll have a full analysis after the little details are announced, but for now, here’s what we expect.
Broad strokes …
Here’s what we expect on a broad scale.
- The new airline will be called American, headquartered in Dallas, and will be a member of OneWorld.
- US Airways CEO Doug Parker is expected to become CEO of the combined company, with American Airlines boss Tom Horton staying on in the short term in a “non-executive” role, such as chairman of the board. It is widely assumed that Horton’s presence on the board is primarily to ensure that American’s bankruptcy exit strategy plan is followed.
- The US Airways name, operating certificate, and branding will likely disappear with time.
For customers …
Some of the positive and negatives from a customer’s perspective about a combined AA/US.
- If you’re a US Airways frequent flier, you’ll likely enjoy better amenities, services, and may even get access to the coveted 8 Systemwide Upgrades that American’s Executive Platinum members receive.
- If you’re an American frequent flier, you’re probably pretty nervous right about now. US Airways isn’t known for its fantastic service, they don’t serve meals in first class on flights shorter than three hours, and their first class cabins are smaller, meaning less upgrades for everyone.
- We hope that American’s plans to retrofit their aircraft with better IFE offerings don’t go by the wayside. Doug Parker and US Airways are notorious for their lack of IFE and PTVs on most flights, something that American has strived to change. Hopefully, Mr. Parker realizes that this is customer-friendly and increases the value of the customer experience on American, and doesn’t try to undo all that progress.
- We also hope that the new management team keeps American’s new branding, which we’re increasingly growing more fond of. Seriously, people. We know you all liked the old color scheme, but it was 40+ years old. A refresh was in order.
- US Airways is notorious for allowing all kinds of crazy routings on award tickets, mostly because their agents simply don’t know where places are. We sorta hope this doesn’t go away (though it very well might). If you’re in the mood for more crazy US Airways agent stories, simply click here or here.
That’s all for now! We’ll keep you updated on all things merger come tomorrow morning.