Last updated: 04:18 PM ET, Thu March 26 2015

American Airlines, US Airways to Combine Frequent-Flier Programs

Airlines & Airports | American Airlines | Patrick Clarke | March 26, 2015

American Airlines, US Airways to Combine Frequent-Flier Programs

American Airlines and US Airways will reach a merger milestone this weekend when the former begins to take on the latter's frequent-flier accounts this weekend.

Members' miles on the US Airways' Dividend Miles program will be automatically transferred to American's AAdvantage program starting on Saturday. Currently, US Airways' Dividend Miles program has roughly 30 million members, some of which also have AAdvantage program memberships. 

Those Dividend Miles program members without an AAdvantage account will be among the first to be alerted with their new account number and balance, according to Dawn Gilbertson of the Arizona Republic. However, it's expected to take longer to complete the transfer for members with open accounts in both programs.

"It's going to vary on a customer by customer basis,'' said AAdvantage program president Suzanne Rubin. "For many of them, it will be quite rapid. For others, there may be portions of activity that take a couple of days to finish out.''

Nonetheless, the airline appears confident that the transition won't inconvenience travelers. 

"No customer should feel the need to go and redeem all of their Dividend Miles (this week),'' added Rubin. "This is only for customers who have a very immediate travel need or a pressing reservation that they're...making in the Dividend Miles program."

American announced that Wednesday would be the last day Dividend Miles members would be able to book award travel with the program:

American anticipates the transition will take several days, likely continuing into the middle of next week. But once complete, those frequent fliers who relied on Dividend Miles will be able to book award travel through the AAdvantage program on American's website. 

American and US Airways merged back in December 2013 and expect to achieve another milestone next month when they receive a single operating certificate from U.S. regulators. 

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