More merger news… what a rigmarole!

I have such a hard time going through merger articles, I really do. Not necessarily because of the content being discussed, but mainly because all of this idle speculation is starting to annoy me. In the United forum on FlyerTalk I’ve seen reference made probably a hundred times to “what happens to my miles/awards/tickets/status/etc. if United goes under?” I really find all of the speculation like pretty sad, especially when UA is far from liquidation. If anything they’ll find a partner of some sort, but I really don’t think UA is going anywhere, at least in one form or another.

So on to the article, this time The New York Times.

With the United-Continental deal scrapped, a new set of pairings is likely to take place. UAL is expected to push to reach a deal with US Airways, with which it had also been discussing a merger, people involved in the talks said.

I’m curious who all of these people are that are “involved in the talks.” Are these the same people that said a CO/UA merger would be announced on Tuesday? As much as I think UA needs a merger of some sort, come on, USAir?!??!!? Other than the fact that they’re both in the Star Alliance I really can’t think of a single thing they have in common. Even worse I’m not sure what US brings to the table. Maybe a decent east coast network, but other than that nothing. Let me say that again– N-O-T-H-I-N-G, nada, zilch, the empty set, nuffin’! Come on UA, you’re not the Salvation Army, and if anything merging with US will only make the situation worse. What am I missing here?

Meanwhile, Continental is expected to press ahead with preliminary talks to create a three-way alliance — short of a full merger — with American Airlines and British Airways.

I find this to be intriguing. Not that I necessarily understand it or think it’ll work, but I’m curious. AA and BA have a hard enough time working together with their no miles from the US to Europe policy, so I really wonder what benefit they get from adding CO to the mix. I’m sure I’m missing something here since I think the leadership teams of all three airlines are competent, so I’m definitely staying tuned to see what they come up with. Again, I’m just not very imaginative.

They also hinted at forming a new alliance, saying, “We are considering alternatives to SkyTeam” — an alliance with Delta and Northwest — “as we carefully evaluate which major global alliance will be best for Continental over the long term.”

Very interesting. Of course that raises the question as to whether they would somehow start a new alliance or join OneWorld. OneWorld seems like an obvious answer when AA and BA are involved, but at the same time I have a hard time wrapping my mind about the concept of an alliance (NOT a merger) involving two Texas based airlines. Seems a bit too comfortable, especially without a merger.

Filed Under: American, Continental
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