American, US Airways Systems Merge This Weekend. Will There Be Glitches?

UPDATE Monday, Oct. 19: As Skift reports, the weekend went well, smooth sailing with no major glitches.

Earlier:

Mergers take time, often years, but the end is finally in sight for the union of American Airlines and US Airways. The latter makes its last flight ever this weekend even as the two carriers’ computerized reservation systems become one. What could go wrong?

American, US Airways Systems Merge

“I wouldn’t expect much in the way of major glitches,” said airfare analyst and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney, noting that American has been running tests on its passenger reservations systems for months.

Others seem less sure about the glitch factor. One media outlet reported American is asking passengers to arrive at the airport early this weekend but a spokesman for the airline said they always recommend passengers arrive two hours before departure. “We’re not asking for anything different from customers as far as arrival times,” the spokesman told FareCompare.

The airline has been prepping for the computer system integration for months; besides conducting dozens of tests, it has beefed up staffing and trained more than 50,000 employees on reservations software programs.

Yes, Sometimes Glitches Happen

When United merged with Continental a few years back, combining the reservation systems resulted in “months of rampant delays and cancellations” per one media report. Southwest also had serious problems with a one-day glitch just last week but quickly sorted it out.

Rick Seaney said if American does experience any problems this weekend, which he does not really anticipate, they would probably be along the lines of an elite traveler not getting an upgrade; in other words, minor difficulties.

American – What Travelers Must Know

In the meantime, American has sent an email to fliers with tips and information on the newly integrated system (also posted on its website) which may be especially helpful to those who’ve only been flying  US Airways.

Nevertheless, it’s probably a good idea to do as American routinely suggests and that is get to the airport a couple of hours before take-off.

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Updated: October 19, 2015