Customers Reap Benefits From American, US Airways Merger


One month after its merger with US Airways, American Airlines has introduced some procedural changes for its customers. The world's largest airline is assuring its best clients they'll keep their perks.

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And the recently merged American Airlines and US Airways just launched the first of several changes the carrier says are designed for its frequent flyers.

Bill Zeeble with member station KERA in Dallas reports that what is now the world's largest airline is assuring its best clients they'll keep their perks.

BILL ZEEBLE, BYLINE: The first thing Fort Worth-based American Airlines wants customers to know is that they can collect and use frequent flyer miles earned on either American or US Airways. Airline consultant Michael Boyd says the airline learned from more turbulent recent mergers.

MICHAEL BOYD: When United merged with Continental, there were a lot of glitches there of transferring miles and it caused some heartburn among passengers.

ZEEBLE: So American's new president, Scott Kirby, who held the same title at US Air, said in a statement: Customers get to reap the benefits of the merger, and experience perks they value most.

Boyd says the move just makes sense.

BOYD: This calms the herd - if you will - so the frequent flyer knows that, I'm not going to have to worry about my club room benefits. So you get that out of the way. Consumer anxiety is what causes consumer dissatisfaction. That's what they're trying to do away with.

ZEEBLE: Elite customers of both carriers also will continue early check-in and boarding, and have bags checked at no charge. The company says other changes will take place over the next 18 months or more.

For NPR News, I'm Bill Zeeble in Dallas.

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