In Back to the Future, US Airways Survived Five Days Longer Than in the Real World

Back to the Future Day is this coming Wednesday:

I’ve been waiting for Back to the Future Day—October 21, 2015, when Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to the future from 1985—pretty much my entire life.

In the ‘real world’ US Airways had its last flight on Friday, October 16. But thanks to Twitter, we learn that US Air actually survived as an independent brand at least until October 21, 2015.

Let’s take a closer look. US Air even had an Asia route network. Here they’re advertising a flight to Vietnam.

Why couldn’t the integration of American and US Airways have been delayed just one more week…?

Probably because it’s been 22 months since US Airways acquired American the merger of the two airlines and they were ready. It went really really smoothly. Here’s an image I tweeted yesterday. I think United just didn’t get it (their acquisition by merger with Continental, not so smooth).

Here’s my conclusion on the whole event, as offered to the Arizona Republic,

Gary Leff, who writes the frequent-flier blog “View from the Wing,” booked a flight from Austin to Phoenix this morning so he could see firsthand how the airline’s operations were faring. He was in Florida when America West and US Airways changed their computer systems in 2007 and recalls long lines and excruciating waits to reach a reservations agent on the phone.

“Everything is going a lot more smoothly than I expected even though I expected it to go smoothly,” he said.

Monday could bring a bigger test as business travelers head to the airport and crowds swell, but Leff said he thinks any major technology problems would have surfaced by now. Plus, he added, airport agents will have two days of experience on the new system by Monday morning.

“The agents will be more comfortable with it,” he said.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. 2 quick notes:

    1. Remember that Pam Am made it into both 2001: a space odyssey and 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Of course the original Pam Am didn’t make it past 1991.

    2. I was also in Florida when the US Airways – America West reservations changeover took place. Was in Tampa flying back to Charlotte from the ACC Tournament. Was a mess – but it did mean that I was upgraded by the system, not a human, on an award flight. So there was a good thing out of the chaos.

  2. This is weird. I was suprised to have first class to myself. In fact the entire plane is kind of empty. Turns out, US Customs in Toronto (who preclear passengers to the US before boarding), don’t recognize this flight number as it’s one from the old US Airways. Americans have gotten through okay, while Canadians (75% of the passengers on this flight) are still mired in customs. The flight now is already delayed 2 hours. If we leave at 9:00 I’ll still make the connection to Florida. Just when I thought I’d seen it all! My flight attendant said things didn’t go well yesterday. Gate agents would hit a familiar function key on the new system only tob have everything wiped . There was a lack of supervisors. There was supposed to be one at every gate. As a result, people’s seats were being given away. My flight attendant couldn’t even get a seat to get deadheaded yesterday.

  3. The AA customer service counters get quite lively at Terminal B at DFW. That’s always a good place to find lots of AA drama.

  4. Not to be pedantic, but US Air has been gone since circa 1997. After that it was US Airways.

    That said, I do still expect the Cubs to win the WS!!!

  5. I traveled a few years ago(on a saturday) the day United convereted to continentals computer sysytem.., WHAT A BIG mess for a week…. no one knew anything.. and our return flights were cancelled…had to go to airport and wait in line to get them back!!!!!

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