Here’s today’s Christopher Elliott Show. Guest Charlie Leocha and I discuss travel insurance, airline mergers and we are joined by a cat. No, seriously.
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.
In today’s episode of the Christopher Elliott Show I talk with Charlie Leocha of the Consumer Travel Alliance about how to deal with reservations that get lost. We also discuss the odds that the Justice Department will approve the American Airlines – US Airways merger.
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.”
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.
It’s hard to find anyone who likes the new United Airlines.
Even at United Airlines.
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?