Update: The merger has closed, so contractually Continental can bolt from the Skyteam alliance as early as 07/29/09.
The DOJ has just approved the Delta-Northwest merger, which will create the world’s largest airline, leapfrogging United and AA.
What’s this mean for you?
-Northwest miles will be merged into Delta Skymiles accounts.
-Superfluous hubs such as Delta’s Cincinnati and Northwest’s Memphis will in all likelihood lose their hub status.
-Continental is now guaranteed the right to leave Skyteam. Their entrance to Star Alliance will happen in late 2009.
-Elites on Delta and Northwest will now have reciprocal upgrade rights.
-If you want to use Continental miles for Skyteam travel or Skyteam miles for Continental travel, the time to do so is now.
-The Continental/Northwest reciprocal upgrade system will come to end very soon, perhaps by the end of 2008.
-Airfares will have less competitive pressure to come down.
-Skyteam mileage tickets, already the most difficult of all alliances, will get even harder with the loss of 2 airlines.
-Open battles between Delta and Northwest employees fighting for seniority.
-Glitches merging both of their subpar websites.