What to Know Now

A fully unified loyalty program between American Airlines and US Airways is finally on the way.

I know, I know, you’re beside yourself with excitement, but there’s plenty to look forward to in the new joint program. No longer will you need to worry about accruing elite status on one carrier or the other — within 30 days, elite and flown miles will be integrated into the AAdvantage program. As for upgrades and may other parts of the separate programs combined, well, that may take a few months.

If you haven’t started the process yet, now’s a good time to log into your AA or US account and link your programs. From here on out, the programs will quickly knit together.

Social Quote of the Day

LCCs gonna LCC. RT @airlineroute: Air Transat says it plans to increase capacity on A330-300 aircraft, from 345 to 375

– @thatjohn | John Walton, Airline and Travel Writer

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Airlines

Gogo Looks to Delta Pressure For Help With Its Airbus Problem: As Gogo transitions from air-to-ground technology to its satellite-based solutions, things seem to be going fine with Boeing but Airbus “is a little tougher to work with.” Read more at Skift

American, US Air Programs to Merge in April: It’s been well over a year since American and US Airways completed their merger. Completed their merger on paper, that is. Operationally, merging the two airlines has been a decidedly slow-motion affair. Read more at FrequentFlier

Etihad Brings Its Fancy Dreamliner to Washington, D.C. for Open Skies Battle: Following its announcement of its new A380 The Residence service in New York, Etihad Airways begins daily service to Washington, D.C. on its new ‘Reimagined’ 787-9 Dreamliner on March 15. Read more at Skift

Airports

From Freddies to Skytrax: Making Sense of Airline and Airport Awards: As the aviation awards season gets under way we thought we’d take a moment to review some of the more popular recognitions in the industry, and the decision-making process behind them. Read more at Skift

United Airlines is Updating Their Gate Experience: On my recent trip to Chicago with United to experience their new United Club cuisine, we were shown something that the airline had been working on. Something that would have been obvious to so many, but that not so much to others. United has been working on many different ways to improve their boarding experience. Read more at Airline Reporter

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Tech

Self-Driving Car to Embark on 3,500-Mile Trip Across U.S.: Call it a preview of the cross-country road trip of the future. Read more at Skift

Travel Metasearch Is Missing One Big Thing: Good Data: Even as metasearch sites continue their strong growth and the distinctions between metasearch and online travel agencies get murkier, the metasearch players still don’t own the customer and their transaction data. Read more at Skift

Gogo connectivity should get faster, but it may not be cheaper: Gogo has never been shy about the value proposition for its 2Ku satellite-based inflight connectivity solution. After signing a deal with Delta Air Lines to equip 250+ planes with the new broadband system starting in 2016 the company has come out more bullish than ever on 2Ku and the potential it presents for Gogo’s profitable future. Read more at Runway Girl Network

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Hotels

The State of Luxury Hotel Marketing Organizations According to Their Top CEOs: In the vast space between independent hotels and global hotel brands sit several hospitality consortia and organizations that provide some of the same marketing and promotional functions as large operators while remaining dedicated to the unique characteristics of their portfolio properties. Read more at Skift

The Skills Hoteliers Want In Employees to Make Guest Experiences Better: Coming home means reentering a place where familiarity reigns, people understand how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. On the other hand, returning to a hotel room after a long day of business meetings or touring doesn’t always stir the same empathy. Read more at Skift

What 5 Hotel Front Desk Employees Would Change About Check-In: Following up on Skift’s interview series, The Future of the Guest Experience, with the CEOs of global hotel groups, we went to the front lines of the hospitality workforce and asked front desk employees at five popular New York City hotels what they would change about the check-in experience. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

Our congratulations to travel pioneer and Fortnighter Alex Basek on getting over 529 rewtweets on his photo of a box of cereal.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo Credit: American's AAdvantage program is about to formally US Airways members. American Advantage