American Airlines, US Airways target Oct. 17 to merge reservation systems

The merger creating the world's largest airline is expected to complete a key step Oct. 17, when all flight reservations for US Airways are transferred to the computer systems for American Airlines.

The airlines announced Friday that, over a three-month period starting July 17, all reservations made for US Airways flights will be gradually transferred to the American Airlines system. The conversion is due to be completed by Oct. 17.

When the transfer is complete, the US Airways website will disappear and the last flight under the US Airways name will depart from San Francisco, landing in Philadelphia after 6 a.m. Oct. 18. The two airlines have already merged their loyalty rewards programs.

Steps remaining in the merger include the union of several labor groups, the selection of a common uniform for all employees and the painting of US Airways planes with American Airlines logos and colors. That work is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

American Airlines officials said they chose to transfer reservations over three months to avoid technical glitches that have plagued United Airlines since it merged with Continental Airlines in 2012.

In the latest mishap to hit United, hundreds of flights were grounded for about two hours Wednesday because of a malfunctioning computer network router.

During a conference call with reporters, Maya Leibman, American’s chief information officer, said American's reservation computers were designed with redundant systems to reduce the chances of such failures. 

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