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United and Continental to Merge

United and Continental Airlines will announce a merger on Monday. Both have extensive flights to Europe. I wonder if we're going to see much consolidation which can only hurt the consumer?

Posted by
14150 posts

Here's the official announcement. You can also see what the planes will look like after the merger:

United Continental Merger

Posted by
3580 posts

I would like to see more non-stop flights to more European airports. United from SFO is very limited. A non-stop flight to Paris and one to Rome would be nice. I read the official notice about the merger and will wait till it is finalized before I jump onboard for Continental FF deals. I've gotten credit card offers from them, but I think merging FF miles between the two airlines might be a headache.

Posted by
2679 posts

I would not worry about tickets, FF miles etc....for QUIET a while. When Delta merged with NW it took a couple of years for it to become "one" airline. First you have to get the goverment to allow the merger and then AFTER the merger the FAA begins the process of merging the "operating certificate" so they can operate as only one carrier....

I figure two years minimum!

Posted by
14150 posts

Eastern and Continental never merged.

Frank Lorenzo owned Continental Airlines and bought a struggling Eastern Airlines in the late 1980's but ran them as two separate airlines. He combined the sales department, sold parts of Eastern to Continental and the shuttle service to Donald Trump. At the same time, most of the unionized employees called a strike. The airline then declared bankruptcy, attempted to operate with a non-union workforce, but called it quits in 1991. (I was a regular customer on the NY/Florida run and truly missed the airline.)

There are now rumors on Wall Street that American and USAir are talking. Nothing official.

Posted by
1357 posts

I'm wondering what will happen with relation to their partners. I know United is part of the Star Alliance with Lufthansa (and many others), is Continental part of any partnership?

Posted by
333 posts

Lately, mergers have not been a good thing for consumers. For us SF Bay Area people, we have been in a UAL dominated area for so long I doubt we will see any difference.

As a side note, I never knew that US Airways was also a Star Alliance member. I know they are not held with high regard but we just changed our return leg in June to CDG- CLT (Charlotte)- SFO to US Airways. We did have a routing on Lufthansa that went from CDG-FRA-SEA-SFO which was a bit of a nightmare.

Hopefully, this will open up the FF seats a bit more for the Star Alliance members but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by
9955 posts

I booked our tickets for our upcoming trip to Europe using Continental FF miles and we are actually flying United and Air Canada, all in the Star Alliance. I'm not so sure I like the fact that CO joined the Star Alliance. When flying CO I get certain perks for being an Elite member. I just flew to NYC on United (booked at and was not able to get early boarding, etc. I guess I'll have to get used to it now since they are merging.