American to retire US Airways brand on October 17

People wait for a US Airways flight to depart for North Carolina from Miami International Airport in Miami September 3, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) - US Airways will become history on Oct. 17, as the carrier’s flight reservations move over to American Airlines in one of the last steps in the creation of the world’s largest airline.

American Airlines Group Inc AAL.O, formed by the two carriers' 2013 merger, said on Friday it will have a single website, reservations system and brand starting on Oct. 17. The last two flights on subsidiary US Airways are scheduled to leave at 9:55 p.m. local time on Oct. 16, from San Francisco to Philadelphia and from Phoenix to Denver.

The company still must reach joint collective bargaining agreements with certain work groups and combine technical systems related to flight movement and dispatch.

US Airways flights scheduled beyond Oct. 16 will gradually receive American-only flight codes starting on July 18. Travelers already ticketed on one of those flights will get an email in coming weeks with their new reservation information, the airline said.

The change is not as simple as switching flight codes. The company must transfer thousands of customer reservations from US Airways’ platform to the one used by American.

The airline hopes a gradual approach will stave off technical errors. Competitor United Continental Holdings Inc UAL.N had flipped the switch on reservations and frequent flyer systems in a single day, which led to customer service delays.

American said it canceled flights around Oct. 17 to make the transition easier. It has hired some 1,300 full-time and part-time reservation agents and 600 airport agents, who will fill in for US Airways employees who are being trained on new systems.

“We have not spared any expense in order to ensure we have the quality we need for something like this,” said American’s Chief Integration Officer Maya Leibman.

Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in New York; editing by Richard Chang