What’s really in the United-Continental merger for you – the traveler?
- A linked network for travelers domestically and international
- Schedules have already been mashed together, to a large extent
- Frequent flier programs have reciprocal rights
- Members of Continental’s airport club program can use United clubs domestically
- Credit-card programs to earn miles on one airline won’t have to switch to the other
- Business travelers may see higher prices
- Potential loss of luggage during the complex merger of operations
- Putting together different reservation systems has caused problems in past mergers
There will be marginal improvements in schedules, frequent flier mileage redemption and other airlines if the two carriers become one. Higher fares? Historically, airline mergers haven’t raised prices. Economist say there’s no data to support long-term price increases.
Down the road, greater stability for United and Continental will benefit customers of the airlines, and other airlines as well.