What Would Happen if American Airlines and US Airways Merged?

American AirlinesWe’re sure you’ve heard the rumors by now that American Airlines and US Airways are planning on merging to create the largest airline in the world. It would be the fourth large U.S. airline merger in five years, and there are several states (along with the U.S. Justice Department) that have already opposed the merger, while others are working to make it happen.

We wanted to know – if the merger went through, what would it mean for travelers?

Brand name: The merged company would keep the American Airlines name, so there wouldn’t be a new brand to get used to and there would no longer be a US Airways.

Competition: There would be one less domestic airline, which means competition would be decreased and a possibility that the costs of airline fares and fees would go up.

Loyalty program: If you’re involved in US Airways’ loyalty program Dividend Miles, your miles would be transferred to the American Airlines’ loyalty program, AAdvantage. There’s no certainty, however, about how many tiers the program would have (US Airways currently has four while American Airlines has three).

Upgrade system: The upgrade system may change: if you’re a US Airways loyalty member, you currently get unlimited free upgrades. American Airlines, however, doesn’t do the same thing – top-tier members get unlimited upgrades, however, lower tier members only get so many. It’s rumored that the upgrade system may be tailored to the way US Airways handles it.

Alliances: American Airlines is part of the Oneworld Alliance, which includes 12 partner airlines. US Airways, however, is part of the Star Alliance, which includes 27 partner airlines. A merger would result in American Airlines keeping its Oneworld alliance, so US Airways frequent fliers would have fewer partner options.

In-flight meals: There’s no guess yet as to what would happen to in-flight meals if the airlines merged. American Airlines offers its customers meals on flights less than two hours long while US Airways doesn’t offer meals until a flight is at least three hours long.

Seats: Airplane seats seem to be a benefit of the merger proposal. American Airlines has already ordered 600 new planes with more leg room and lie-flat “premium” seats. The airline has also ordered more than 40 787 Dreamliners for next year.

Destinations: Since both airlines would keep all of their hubs, customers would have more destination options departing from more cities.

Whether the merge happens or not, there will still be American Airlines flights out of EWR, and no better place for EWR Airport parking than Newark Airport Long Term Parking!