Today is sad day for many American and US Airway flyers as the DOJ has dropped their objection to the US/AA merger and has approved the merger that will create the #NewAmerican and leave the Star Alliance with one less carrier as long as the U.S. Bankruptcy court agrees with the term of the merger.
Under the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the States of Arizona, Florida, Michigan and Tennessee, the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the District of Columbia US Airways and American have agreed to allow the airlines to merger as long as the airline does the following:
- Divest 52 slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA)
- Divest 17 slot pairs at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA),
- Give up gates at both airports to facilitate competition
- Divest two gates and related support facilities at Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International Airport, and Miami International Airport.
- Maintain service to small & Medium sized markets from DCA
- Maintain all commuter slot pairs for service from DCA
- Announce schedule changes to effective communities so new airlines can bid for service from LGA & DCA with newly allocated slots
- Maintain its hubs in Charlotte, New York (Kennedy), Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago (O’Hare), Philadelphia, and Phoenix consistent with historical operations for a period of three years
After completion of the required divestitures, the combined company expects to operate 44 fewer daily departures at DCA and 12 fewer daily departures at LGA than the approximately 290 daily DCA departures and 175 daily LGA departures that American and US Airways operate today. The divestitures required by the settlement are not expected to impact total employment at the new American.
With this settlement the two airlines can now focus on their merger, aligning frequent flyer benefits, transitioning to the OneWorld Alliance, and what I am most scared of, Doug Parker ruining EVERYTHING that’s good at American. So what’s next for us Frequent Flyers? One can only guess, but I expect a devaluation of the American Airline AAdvantage program, a poorer inflight experience, and the US Airways Credit Card will be disappearing soon as well.