If there’s one thing American is getting right in its merger with US Airways, I think it’s communication. For sure, there have been a few missteps along the way – thinking back to the unannounced award chart change last year – but overall, I think they are doing a good job of getting a complicated frequent flier merger right.
Yesterday, American emailed members of both AAdvantage and Dividend Miles that the programs will be merging within 30 days. The airline went even further, alerting Dividend Miles members that the ability to redeem their miles for travel and upgrades would be disabled a few days before the program merger and urged them to book now if they knew they needed to travel using their miles. The email even spelled out ways to better your upgrade chances depending on how you book your flights, encouraging members to book flights marketed and operated by the same airline, either American or US Airways.
The behind the scenes work of combining two airlines is quite a challenge. Moving to the same technology platforms and aligning policies and procedures are complicated endeavors. Getting ready for the frequent flier merger has evidently gone pretty well behind the scenes, and so far, American is getting it right. Communication is key, and I’m seeing a lot more of it from American than others when it comes to loyalty program changes. Of course, its all about the details and how well things go when they flip the switch. We’ll know how well it worked very soon.
-MJ, March 14, 2015