American Airlines and US Airways Are Officially Merging. Here's What it Means.

Last month's unveiling of American Airlines' new logo and livery (er, paint job) was a prelude to this: the long-awaited, full-blown merger with US Airways.

The airlines are making it official this morning after their respective boards approved the $11 billion deal yesterday.

US Airways CEO Doug Parker will head the combined carrier, with AA chief Tom Horton relegated to the somewhat ceremonial position chairing the board of directors. For a year.

So, what does this all mean? A few quick points:

- The new American -- the US Airways name and logo will be phased out -- is back atop the list of world's largest airlines. It will stay headquartered in Fort Worth.

- Fares will likely go up, at least on some routes, as there are now fewer airlines competing for customers.

- All those frequent flier miles you've stockpiled should still be valid.

- American's famously bad relationship with labor, which was a big contributor to its performance woes, is smoothed over, at least for the time being.

- Some of American's 22,450 local employees will inevitably lose their jobs. How many is an open question at this point. Parker, according to WFAA, has said publicly that layoffs will be minimal, which is not to say zero.

- You will continue to be gouged by baggage and other ridiculous fees.

- The merger's going to take a year or two as American creditors and regulators approve the deal. And then, kumbayah.

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TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

...many details are still up in the air...

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Frequent flier miles will certainly not get lost.  This rumor blows out every time a merger happens.  The airline is desperate to retain its customer base at a critical time.


Blown Photoshop opportunity there

mavdog topcommenter

So American ends up merging with the "ugly girl" (as the ex Continental Air pres called US Air) because all the other airlines have already found their mates in this wave of consolidation.

higher fares are certainly on the horizon. let's just hope that better service and a modernized fleet also come to pass.

I'm not so sure that will happen tho..AA is a shell of what it was.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Actually the merger of the airlines will be approved and finalized and trading on the stock market in about 6-8 months.  It will take far longer to merge the seniority lists of all the labor unions.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@mavdog cant speak for better service but one assumes that with new flight attendant blood coming in it should.  The modernized fleet is already happening,, there are now more 737s on property than md80's and if you listened this morning 60 more new planes this year and 600 new planes in the next 12 years.


@ScottsMerkin @mavdog not questioning your numbers but if there are more 737's than md80's then how on earth do I always draw the short straw and get one of those md80's (I usually take upwards of 30-40 flights a year)? They are awful.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@briannesbitt no problem,  most if not all of the md80s are based out of DFW with some in ORD.  So you are still more likely to get an md80 on anything less than 2.5hr flight.  They are high maintenance and they have tons of parts in DFW to fix em so unfortunately, if you hate em, you are still likely to get stuck on one for a few more years.  when you are booking your flights you can try to avoid the md80 by seeing what aircraft is operating the flight, it tells you when you pick your flight

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