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No. 5 American Airlines achieves several merger milestones

In 2015, American Airlines achieved several integration milestones of its merger with US Airways. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)
In 2015, American Airlines achieved several integration milestones of its merger with US Airways. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison) Star-Telegram

It was a year of merger milestones for American Airlines.

First, American combined its AAdvantage frequent flier program with US Airways’ Dividend Miles program in March, enabling members to have one mileage accrual account on the airline.

Then in April, the airline received its single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. The certificate meant the end of the US Airways operating as a separate airline and pilots would no longer use the “Cactus” call-sign associated with the airline.

But the biggest test was the integration of its two passenger service systems in October.

The carrier trimmed its flight schedule by 200 flights on the Saturday cut-over date, mostly in former US Airways hubs, to make the transition easier on the gate agents and customer service representatives.

Customers were no longer able to use the US Airways mobile app to check-in or the airline’s website to book tickets. The US Airways website also began redirecting customers to American’s website.

Instead of combining American and US Airways’ reservations and transferring all the data overnight, American slowly moved the data or "drained down” the US Airways systems starting in July. By migrating data slowly, American was able to avoid some of the computer problems that other airlines have had during technology transfers after a merger.

As a result, the systems combination went smoothly and for customers, the two airlines finally appear to be one.

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