US Airways Last Flight: US Airways Last Flight
Published: October 16, 2015
US Airways Last Flight: US Airways Last Flight, The last US Airways Flight 1939, named for the year that US Airways’ predecessor company All American Aviation began, will depart Philadelphia at 10:05 a.m. Friday. It will stop in Charlotte, Phoenix and San Francisco. The plane will leave San Francisco at 9:55 p.m. and land in Philadelphia at 6:18 a.m. on Saturday.
When the Airbus A321 returns here from its 5,394-mile final journey, the 76-year-old carrier that began with airmail service in Western Pennsylvania, will join other defunct airlines that include TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Braniff, Continental, and Northwest.
Airport check-in kiosks, ticket counters, and gates that had been US Airways at Philadelphia International Airport will say American as of Saturday.
The US Airways website and mobile app for ticket purchases and check-ins will no longer work. Customers will be redirected to the American websiteand app.
Although American and US Airways finalized their $17 million combination in December 2013 to create the world’s largest airline by passenger traffic, it took nearly two years to integrate the passenger reservations systems, the most complicated part of any airline merger.
“We’ve been working on this the past 22 months,” American chief information officer Maya Leibman said, about the switch to a single passenger reservation system. “We have really tested the heck out of everything. We are completely committed to get this right,” she said, during a conference call this week with reporters.
Most of the US Airways signage in terminals at Philadelphia airport already has been taken down. “We are working day and night, literally, to get it done,” said Cedric Rockamore, American’s vice president in charge of operations in Philadelphia. Airport workers are switching out signs on roads, curbs next to terminals, and on airfield hangars and buildings.
American said it trimmed its flight schedule on Saturday by 200 flights, or 11 percent, in Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Phoenix, its former US Airways hubs, to make the transition easier for ticket and gate agents.
American began transferring US Airways’ passenger reservations to American’s software system in July, a process referred to as a “drain down.”
By switching data gradually, American hoped to avoid computer glitches that plagued other airline mergers, including US Airways and America West in 2005 and United and Continental in 2012.
Fort Worth, Texas-based American said it added 1,300 new check-in kiosks at worldwide airports, and hired an additional 1,600 reservations representatives, and 600 airport agents across its network.
Some 50,000 employees have had more than 1 million hours of training to be ready for the reservations system switch, said Kerry Philipovitch,the airline’s senior vice president of customer experience.
American will staff a 24-hour command center with 1,000 employees to help with any customer questions or concerns between Oct. 17 and Oct. 27, Leibman said.
Although the flights will be called American, travelers will continue to see US Airways planes until the end of next year when all the aircraft will be repainted in the American colors.
US Airways timeline:
1939: Started as All American Aviation with airmail service in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley.
1949: Began passenger service as All American Airways.
1953: Changed name to Allegheny Airlines.
1968: Merged with Lake Central Airlines and expanded to the Midwest.
1972: Acquired Mohawk Airlines with service throughout New York and New England.
1979: Changed name to USAir to reflect expanding network.
1987: Acquired Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) and Piedmont Airlines as subsidiaries.
1992: Started a marketing affiliation with Trump Shuttle, which became USAir Shuttle.
1997: Changed name from USAir to US Airways.
2002: Filed the first of two Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions.
2005: Merged with America West, keeping US Airways name.
2013: Combined with bankrupt American Airlines, adopting the American name.
2015: On Oct. 16, US Airways flies its final flight.
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