US Airways to Leave Star Alliance March 30, Join Oneworld March 31, Begins Integration of Frequent Flyer Accounts
Following the close of its merger with American Airlines earlier today, US Airways announced specific plans to switch airline alliances and begin the process of integrating frequent flyer accounts from the two carriers.
On Monday, US Airways said it will leave Star Alliance, an airline alliance that includes United Airlines and Lufthansa, on March 30, 2014 and will become a member of the oneworld alliance the next day.
US Airways Dividend Miles members will receive new membership cards with the oneworld logo prior to March 31. Chairman-level members will be given Emerald status, the top level, in the oneworld program. Platinum- and Gold-level members will receive Sapphire status within oneworld, and Silver will be oneworld Ruby. All Dividend Miles members will receive miles and earn status points when flying on any oneworld-member airline starting on the 31st. The ability to redeem awards will be phased in. Members of other oneworld-member airlines will have the ability to receive miles and earn status points when flying on US Airways starting that day as well.
Star Alliance, founded in 1997, is considered the world’s largest airline alliance and currently has 28 members. Oneworld, founded in 1999, has 13 current members. American Airlines is a founding member of oneworld.
The two airlines have a Herculean task facing them.
“It’s two complex organizations that need to be melded into one over time,” incoming CEO Doug Parker told the Associated Press. “That’s the biggest challenge by far.”
In a letter to employees, Parker said that customers will soon be able to earn and redeem rewards miles on both program. The US Airways program, Dividend Miles, will eventually be merged into American’s AAdvantage program. In addition, in early January, the AA code will be placed on all US Airways flights and vice versa, as the combined airline aligns its schedule.
Another significant change for customers will be the co-location of American and US Airways in airports, starting with its hubs.
In addition, US Airways said that it will continue numerous relationships with airlines in Star Alliance after it leaves at the end of March. Flyers will be able to continue earn miles on the following airlines: Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Ethiopian Airlines, Eva, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM, TAP, and Turkish Airways.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)