American Airlines/U.S. Airways Merger: Focusing On The Positive

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New American

Fact: The majority of travel writers in my network were thrilled about the New American Airlines until the U.S. Airways merger got thrown into the mix. There’s worry about price (one less airline in means less competitive market pricing), diminishing perks, and all sorts of stuff that makes frequent fliers like me nervous.

I am a million miler member of American Airlines AAdvantage. Getting to the destination is half the fun. I like using the Admirals Clubs (I have a bunch more to review–will get to it eventually), sitting in first class (most of the time), priority boarding and all the stuff related to getting from point A to point B (jet lag aside). Flying is fun. Flying with kids is even fun–my daughter grew up flying transpacific and is a good traveler to this day.

So, yes, I’m a bit nervous about how this merger is going to affect my future travels, because we are dependent on the oneworld Alliance to take us where we need to go. If service goes downhill, so will my personal experience and that’s worrisome. Travel is too expensive for that.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to focus on one thing American Airlines has done to make me a very happy flier. They’ve ordered new livery–nice, new planes that seem almost up to the standards of what we’re used to on Cathay Pacific and British Airways. They were lagging in this department as well as in customer service, where they have also drastically approved. Their social media team is amazing.

This video is from the summer, but features the new interiors of the Boeing 777 and Airbus 321 planes, designed for international travel. Love the improvements!

Knowing new planes are on the horizon makes flying in an MD80 (a friend on Twitter likened it to being propelled into space in a tall beer can) in a few days much more tolerable. Time will tell what else is coming down the pike–hopefully, it’s all good.

In the meantime, have a look at 8 ways to maximize your American AAdvantage miles without flying. The airlines are expected to operate separately for the time being, so it’s business as usual.

Please share your thoughts on the merger. I’d love to know what you think.  This is the sort of stuff that preoccupies me on a  Friday night when the kid has the flu.

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