Last Thursday, American Airlines and US Airways agreed to merge, creating the world's largest airline. And while airline executives claim that the merger will benefit customers in the long run, many of those customers are afraid it will only increase prices and cause problems with other things like frequent flier programs.
It's true that prices may increase with only four competing airlines, although experts say it probably won't be significant enough to worry about.
What's more worrisome for our industry is that these mergers tend to be complicated, no matter how "seamless" the executives plan for it to be. With pilots and flight attendant unions, lawyers and airline management executives all fighting for what they want, it's sure to be an interesting ride.
And here's the other thing pilots are afraid of: Remember the US Airways-America West merger in 2005? Yeah, seven years later the new airline still hasn't successfully integrated its pilots. Seniority will be a major issue with these three airlines as they try to integrate their pilots together. The entire merger could take four years, executives say.
I'm wishing luck to both American Airlines and US Airways employees if the deal is approved!
Are you an employee of American or US Airways? What are your thoughts on the merger?