Yesterday, the boards of directors for Continental Airlines and United Airlines agreed to merge the two companies, creating the largest airline carrier. The new company will bear the United name and the Continental brand will cease to exist. If the government approves the merger, like it did recently for Delta and Northwest, there will be even less competition in the marketplace and less incentive for airlines to work to woo customers.
A quick survey shows that air travelers are generally more satisfied with Continental than they are with United, so this merger will be unfavorable for customers, at least at first.
I’ve accumulated some frequent flier miles on Continental, and I’ve been hoping to use them all this year. Judging from the Delta/Northwest merger earlier this year, Continental’s OnePass program will be merged with United’s MileagePlus program, although the entire merger process will likely take a long time to complete. Both airlines are members of StarAlliance, a collective of airline companies that allow a limited range of benefits across airlines for frequent fliers.
What do you think about this merger?