American US Airways loyalty On Dec. 9, 2013, American Airlines and US Airways announced the legal close of its merger.

Fast forward 15 months and the airlines’ respective loyalty programs are set to merge. Suzanne Rubin, President–AAdvantage Loyalty Program, American Airlines, participated in an engaging interview with Loyalty360 to discuss the impending loyalty program merger.

When will the merger of the loyalty programs technically begin, and what are the main goals for the merged programs as they move forward from a customer engagement/customer experience perspective?

Beginning Thursday, March 26, the Dividend Miles program will go into a read-only state so we can prepare all of the data to be migrated into the AAdvantage program early Saturday morning. For Dividend Miles members, this means some functionality such as redeeming miles for award tickets and upgrades will be down. We will begin operating a single frequent flyer program on Saturday, March 28, once that data migration is complete.

Our main goal is always to provide the best frequent flyer program for our loyal members. Being able to operate as a single loyalty program is not only one of the largest milestones in our merger, but it allows us to get one step closer to offering our customers a seamless experience.  American US loyalty program

How will officials involved attempt to make this as seamless a transition as possible?

We have put a few processes in place to help make this migration a bit smoother. First, we have evaluated all of the members that proactively matched their accounts, and any member that would reach a new status level with their combined activity in both programs will be granted that status later this week before we even begin the data migration. This allows us to ensure these customers don’t experience any sort of gap since the migration is expected to take a few days to complete.

Second, we created a tool that will continue to sweep itineraries and replace Dividend Miles numbers with that member’s new AAdvantage number after the data migration is complete. Customers won’t have to worry about their miles being credited to the correct account for a ticket purchased prior to the programs being merged.

Third, we will be offering reciprocal card benefits whether you’re flying on American or US Airways metal beginning on Saturday, March 28. All Citi® / AAdvantage® card members will begin enjoying first checked bag free on domestic flights and boarding privileges with Zone 2 when flying on US Airways. This is in addition to the current benefits they already receive on American. US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard® card members will begin enjoying first eligible checked bag free and Group 1 boarding on domestic American flights once we combine programs. This is in addition to the current benefits they already receive on US Airways.

What does Customer Loyalty mean to both airlines and has that definition changed in this era of the Empowered Customer?

We are grateful our customers choose American every time they fly, and we know it’s a competitive industry. We work hard to reward our loyal customers and we work hard to make sure our program embodies this. I’m not sure the definition has changed, but we are aware the industry is always changing, and we will strive to ensure we offer a loyalty program that is fitting for customers of the world’s greatest airline.

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