Amol shared some information this morning about the beginning of the integration between American Airlines and US Airways. Today, January 7, is the first day of reciprocal benefits: “Passenger Day 1.” As he noted:
- You can earn or redeem miles with AA or US loyalty programs when you travel on either carrier. This does not extend to other alliance members because US Airways is still a member of Star Alliance and will not join oneworld until March 31.
- You can receive select elite benefits when you travel on either airline through reciprocal elite recognition. These benefits include first and business class check-in, priority security, priority boarding, access to preferred seats, priority baggage delivery, and complimentary checked baggage.
- You can access the airport clubs of either airline if you already have a club membership. This includes access to US Airways Clubs for customers with the AAdvantage Citi Executive card.
- You can check-in at one location at JFK, where ticket counters and gates have been co-located.
Today is also the launch date for American’s new A321T transcontinental service, with three cabins and lie-flat seats between Los Angeles and New York-JFK. Amol is one of the lucky ones to be enjoying first class on this trip. (An award booking? I have no idea how he snagged it.) I will be flying business class two weeks from now, and we’ll compare notes. While first class is likely to be amazing, I’m not certain it will be worth the added expense since business class already has a lie flat seat and reserved meal service. You can follow Amol on Twitter as he blogs about the experience as @pointstopointb.
If you do pay for a ticket, be sure to register for American Airlines’ promotion that offers 15,000 bonus miles on round-trip A321T itineraries in first or business class. Economy class passengers can receive 5,000 to 10,000 bonus miles. Use offer code TR15K and register before you fly.
If you need to rely on a redemption, Points, Miles, & Martinis shares a trick to save on your award ticket. US Airways now has access to American Airlines’ award inventory, and it charges only 50,000 miles for a round-trip ticket in first class. It doesn’t seem to differentiate between this first class cabin and other first class cabins on traditional two-cabin domestic flights. American, on the other hand, charges 65,000 miles.