As reported in multiple media outlets today, American Airlines is going to bring US Airways over to American’s SABRE reservations system starting this summer. That’s a little sooner than I’d expected, but when you take a deeper look, it makes sense. According to thestreet.com,
“The American/US Airways reservations system merger is likely to begin in July and be completed 90 days after it starts, or sometime in October, said Maya Leibman, American’s chief information officer, during a briefing with reporters on Monday.”
If you remember the US Airways cutover to SHARES, everything happened on a date certain, and when it did, things did not go so well. Instead, American will take a phased approach beginning in July. According to the article, in July, for flights beginning in October, if you head to usairways.com to book a flight, you’ll be directed to AA.com to complete your transaction.
While American has the benefit of hindsight when it comes to how to do these things, I’ll admit that I’m surprised at the very deliberate and methodical approach they’ve taken. Surprised….in a very positive way. First, merging the frequent flyer programs, and then the phased approach to merging reservations system is the smart way to do things. We’ll have to see how things turn out beginning in July, but when the biggest complaints so far are catering-related, they must be getting at least a few things right. This will be interesting to watch.