American Airlines To Drop US Airways Brand This Year As Part Of Merger

By Kristena Hansen
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 5:48pm
Updated: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 5:49pm
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(Photo by Al Macias - KJZZ)
A US Airways plane at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The most critical part of the mega-merger between US Airways and American Airlines Group Inc. will begin this summer, a process that also marks the phasing out of the US Airways brand.

The $11 billion merger between Tempe-based US Airways and Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines began in late 2013, creating the world's largest airline. Since then, the process has involved such things as consolidating various departments, relocating corporate employees and, earlier this spring, combining frequent-flyer programs.

But the largest undertaking of the process will begin as early as July, American officials said this week, and that is combining the airlines' passenger reservation systems.

It’s also the trickiest part of an airline merger because reservation systems are fundamental to an airline’s operations, handling everything from bookings and flight schedules to customer records.

In previous airline mergers, such as the one between United Airlines and Continental Airlines in 2012, the reservation system swap was agonizing for travelers, who dealt with rampant flight delays, cancellations and disabled kiosks.

But American hopes a gradual transition over 90 days will make things go far more smoothly than the United-Continental one-day switch.

The transition is expected to wrap up by October, at which time the US Airways brand will be dropped completely, as will its website and kiosks and all tickets will be booked as American.

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