US Airways and United Airlines will move forward quickly to implement their marketing alliance following an announcement today that the Department of Transportation has concluded its review of the agreement.
“The US Airways alliance with United is a vital part of our business plan. It will enhance our revenue and marketing capabilities while offering substantial benefits to air travelers in the U.S. and around the globe, ” said US Airways President and CEO David Siegel. “We are delighted to link our system with United`s, which will offer travelers the best that both carriers have to offer.
“Our complementary networks—with US Airways` extensive service in the eastern U.S. and rapidly growing system in the Caribbean, and United`s presence in the western U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America—will provide passengers with unparalleled choices and convenience,” he said.
“This is great news for United and a win for travelers,” said Glenn Tilton, United`s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “This agreement is a good strategic fit for both carriers, and our customers will enjoy expanded service options and frequent flier benefits, as well as access to each carrier`s airport clubs.”
A central feature of the alliance, which was announced on July 24, is the expansion of the US Airways network under the practice known as “code sharing.” This practice allows passengers to book a trip that involves flights on both airlines with the convenience of single-ticket pricing, a one-stop check-in and coordinated baggage handling. US Airways` code share flights, operated by United Airlines, will be offered in reservations systems with the `US` flight designator.
Code share flights will be phased in during the first quarter of 2003, with subsequent phases to be introduced soon thereafter. The first tangible benefit of the alliance for customers will begin Oct. 14, 2002, when members of either carrier`s airport club program will be able to use the lounges of both.
For members of US Airways` Dividend Miles and United`s Mileage Plus frequent traveler programs, the alliance will offer greatly enhanced opportunities to earn mileage points and new award destinations. Mileage accrual will begin first in the coming months, to be followed by the ability to redeem reward points in 2003. For Dividend Miles members this will mean access to new award destinations in Asia, Europe, Latin America, South America, and the U.S., including Hawaii.
US Airways and United will remain separate companies. The two airlines will independently set prices and establish schedules, and they will continue to compete on all routes served by one another. In addition, unlike some existing airline alliances, there is no equity ownership element between US Airways and United.
US Airways, the US Airways Express carriers and US Airways Shuttle provide service to 203 destinations worldwide, including 38 states in the U.S. The Caribbean destinations are: Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cancun, Cozumel, Grand Bahama Island, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay, Nassau, San Juan, Santo Domingo, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and St. Croix. US Airways Express also serves North Eleuthera, Governors Harbour, Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay from Florida. In Canada, US Airways serves Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. US Airways` European destinations are Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Manchester, Munich, Paris and Rome.