American Airlines this weekend will begin moving US Airways frequent-flier accounts to its AAdvantage program.
The transfer is one of a number of integration tasks the airline must complete following the December 2013 merger of the two carriers.
“American is trying to make it so customers don’t need to do anything,” said Suzanne Rubin, the American Airlines executive in charge of the loyalty program.
On Saturday, American will begin transferring US Airways Dividend Miles mileage balances and other data into a new AAdvantage account.
Overall, the process will involve moving some 200 billion frequent-flier miles in 150 million transactions, Rubin said. It actually begins Thursday with a freezing of the Dividend Miles accounts, which will be put in read-only mode. The change may not be completed until the first few days of April, she said.
For customers who have accounts in both programs and already connected them — about half of frequent fliers have done that, Rubin said — American will move Dividend Miles reward totals into their existing AAdvantage account. The other half, who didn’t link their accounts, will get a new AAdvantage account. They can later merge their two accounts, she said.
The airline last fall outlined a merged frequent-flier program that affects some 100 million frequent-flier members. Design of the merged plan was conservative, mostly adopting the existing American Airlines AAdvantage program, industry watchers said.
The announcement Tuesday was about actually moving US Airways customer account information into American’s frequent-flier accounts.
Four levels of elite US Airways fliers will be transferred to the three elite levels of the AAdvantage program, with Gold and Platinum levels becoming Platinum, and Chairman’s Preferred becoming Executive Platinum.
For customers who already booked travel using a Dividend Miles number, American will update the reservation with their new AAdvantage number and ensure they receive the correct elite benefits, American said.
US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard credit cards will be replaced with new AAdvantage Aviator MasterCard credit cards. That way, cardholders can reap benefits no matter which airplane they’ve booked with, US Airways or American, which are still flying separately until they are fully integrated.