While analysts and regulators weigh the pros and cons of AT&T’s recently proposed $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner, customers have begun voicing their own concerns. Topping the list: What does this deal mean for their service? “How will the AT&T-Time Warner merger affect customer service?”
When I think about the benefits of airline mergers, I’m reminded of Karen Griffin’s story.
“Two cheers for all those airline mergers”
The new American Airlines — the product of last year’s controversial merger between American and US Airways — may only be a few months old, but that hasn’t stopped travelers from forming opinions about the world’s largest airline.
The carrier, based in Dallas, has made some noteworthy changes since it settled a lawsuit with the Justice Department in December, clearing the new American for takeoff. Among them: revising some of its frequent-flier benefits, small but important changes to the way it sells flights, and new ticket policies.
“Significant benefits for customers are already being delivered,” says American spokesman John McDonald.
“Is the American-US Airways merger delivering on its promises?”
Any day now, the U.S. Department of Justice will approve the merger between American Airlines and US Airways.
Clearing the world’s largest airline for takeoff will benefit passengers and build a new, highly competitive supercarrier, according to most of the industry’s talking heads. If there’s a consensus among them, it’s that the government ought to rubber-stamp this corporate union quickly.
But the conventional wisdom is wrong. As much as I want to like the proposed “new” American — and I really do — I just can’t.
Passengers will probably pay more and get less. Cities are likely to lose airline service. Many airline employees might end up with pink slips.
“Why merging American Airlines with US Airways is a terrible idea”
The proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways may not be a done deal, even if almost everyone is behaving as if it were.
Although the combination, which would create the world’s largest airline, has pushed back from the gate, it’s still not cleared for takeoff. That may be a good thing for air travelers.
Folding the two companies into a single $11 billion airline may make sense on Wall Street, but some folks on Main Street still don’t see the point. Asked whether they’d approve the corporate marriage in a recent online survey by the Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA), a Washington nonprofit organization that advocates for travelers, more than two-thirds of the respondents (68 percent) said that they’d deny the companies permission to hook up.
“From a passenger’s perspective, there’s no reason to let American and US Airways merge,” says Charlie Leocha, CTA’s director. “None at all.”
“Should this airline merger be allowed to fly?”
The long-rumored merger between American Airlines and US Airways appeared to move a step closer early this month when Tom Horton, American’s chief executive, announced that the two carriers were in “discussions” and that a decision would be made “within a matter of weeks.”
A combination of American, which is expected to emerge from bankruptcy protection early this year, and US Airways would create the nation’s largest airline as measured by number of employees, and the second-largest in terms of operating revenue. It would also complete a cycle of industry consolidation that has defined the past decade in commercial aviation, with Delta Air Lines merging with Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines joining United, and the latest corporate coupling between Southwest Airlines and AirTran, among several others.
“Is an American – US Airways merger good for air travelers?”
It’s hard to find anyone who likes the new United Airlines.
Even at United Airlines.
“Can United Airlines fix itself?”
This is the emergency operations center at United Airlines’ new headquarters in Chicago’s Willis Tower. Looks like an average conference room, doesn’t it?
“5 fascinating facts about the new United Airlines”
If it happens, the expected union of US Airways and American Airlines could be one of the last big legacy airline mergers. Maybe even the last one.
“Would a US Airways-American Airlines merger be good for travelers?”
The Department of Justice green-lighted the Continental Airlines-United Airlines merger late last week, and now the corporate celebrity wedding seems like a done deal. The combined airline will be the world’s largest, but how will it do in the customer-service department?
No one knows, of course.
But if the past is any indication of future performance, then here are a few numbers to consider:
“How will a combined Continental-United fare in the customer service department?”