The US Airways Brand is (Mostly) Gone, But for Employees it Will Live On Awhile

Today the US Airways brand has been mostly retired for customers. The US Airways frequent flyer program was folded into American AAdvantage back in March. What were once US Airways flights are now American Airlines flights.

Customers will use the American Airlines app and website, and American’s rules and policies (in some cases tweaked with a US Airways flavor over the past couple of years) prevail.

There’s still some ‘US Airways’ out there. US Airways aircraft won’t all be re-painted until the end of 2016. I had read that painting would be done in 2017, but that refers to when the old unpainted metal American Airlines aircraft will be completely painted in the new livery.

  • Mainline US Airways aircraft are expected to be painted by mid-next year (except for Boeing 757s that are being retired)
  • US Airways Express aircraft should be painted by end of 2016.

For employees though US Airways continues to live on in a very real way.

  • Crew scheduling systems remain separate. Although every flight is an American flight now, for the most part legacy US Airways employees will fly (and service) legacy US Airways aircraft.

  • American still needs to integrate the technology responsible for who flies where, and that will be running through next year.

  • They also have to combine seniority lists for pilots. Today US Airways East, US Airways West (legacy America West) and American pilots all fly separately. US Airways never managed to combine seniority lists after the America West merger but this merger – with raises for US Airways pilots – gives everyone a shot at hitting the reset button.

  • The Transportation Workers Union and International Association of Machinists, representing mechanics at what were once two airlines, need to come together in a new collective bargaining agreement.

  • Legacy US Airways crew will continue to wear their existing uniforms until both American and US Airways employees get new ones in the third quarter of 2016. Employee badges still have the US Airways logo on them.

The things that customers worry about have revealed themselves in the process of merging American Airlines and US Airways.

Things that employees worry about are still in the process of being merged into a single airline. That’s no easy task — United still hasn’t finished their merger after more than five years — but they’re all things that the airline should be able to accomplish with less disruptive risk to the airline.

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. I’m assuming by the pretty bland nature of this post that the cutover was pretty painless this morning?

  2. AA is now going away from Sabre, how will this change impact us travelers? Given the UA/CO merger was a nightmare what can we expect?

  3. @Tina Wichmann AA is not going away from Sabre for reservations. They moved the US Airways SHARES data onto Sabre. They are, however, moving away from allowing agents to access native sabre and training agents in the Qik overlay that US Airways agents were familiar with and now also enforcing business rules in Sabre.

  4. Interesting as we heard from a few agents, they will need to learn another system, as Sabre is going away. Good to know, and hopefully, there is minimal impact. Thanks Gary!

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