WSJ: Continental-United Merger Coming Monday.

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WSJ Article Linky

Monday will be a sad day for Continental fans.  The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Continental and United will announce that they are planning to merge on Monday.

The United name will survive, as will their headquarters in Chicago.  The merger will create the largest airline in the world if it passes regulatory muster.

A merger will mean means higher fares and one less option to rely on for award ticket availability.

Frankly, there’s little I like about United.

Granted, I haven’t flown them since I swore off them 2 years ago, but still…

-They have an incredibly incompetent offshore call center that makes dealing with their phone agents a nightmare.

-United.com is one of the worst and least functional websites in the industry, far behind the functionality on Continental.com.

-Their clubs aren’t nearly as good as Continental’s.  Alcohol cost money in United clubs, Wi-Fi is run by T-Mobile instead of an open network, and pests are common occurrences in many United clubs.

-Their planes are dirty and poorly maintained (Via airliners.net, taken on 03/18/10):

-Their employees seem to be truly unhappy to be working there, many are downright surly.

-They have evil Starnet blocking in place that doesn’t allow you full access to Star Alliance partner award flights, even if they are made available for reward redemption.  No other airline does this.

-United doesn’t let you make any changes to Star Alliance tickets after departure and charges for routing changes on award tickets.  Continental allows you to always make changes and does not charge for routing changes.

Yes, there are some good things, economy plus, no expedite fees on rewards, but for me the bad far outweighs the good.

My only hope is in the fact that Continental’s CEO, Jeff Smisek, will become the new CEO of the merged airline while United’s CEO, Glenn Tilton, will become Chairman for 2 years before also giving that role to Smisek.

If Continental’s management team will be calling the shots maybe this thing will have a chance to be bearable.

Finally, I see little hope for Cleveland to remain a hub.  Continental and United currently have hubs in:

-Chicago (ORD)

-Cleveland

-Denver

-Houston

-Los Angeles

-Newark

-S. Francisco

-Washington (IAD)

There is a compelling argument to keep pretty much all of those hubs in place except Cleveland.  United already abandoned their hub in Cleveland hub back in 80’s.  I’ll bet that United ditches Cleveland once again if this merger is completed.

Bad news all around in my opinion…

Goodbye Continental, it was nice flying an airline that cared…

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28 Comments On "WSJ: Continental-United Merger Coming Monday."

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moe

one big question is, if onepass program would stay without the starnet block, or will it turn into mileage plus with its block!

E

will miles be combined that might not be so bad

ChayaM

so if i have alot of united miles, I should start to rack up continental too?

Mordy

What do you think this means for miles? Will they merge?

DanR

Does this mean you will be able to combine United miles with Continental, the same way Delta was combined with NorthWest.

levi

dan do you know if united will be making double elite millage sometime soon

shmuel

I agree with you united is the worst airline,to many bad stories to repeat.

yaacov

what will happen to those people who hae the chase continental credit cards? will future miles earned be transferred to united?

Emily

Will they fly to every place that Continental does? Israel?

Dan/Ctownbochur

@moe:
Nobody knows!

@E:
Yes, miles will be combined when they merge.

@levi:
I doubt it, unless AA starts one.

@Emily:
There will be routes that are cut, but Israel will remain.

dovy

So Dan, i will not lose my chase continental points i have just started racking, correct? (they havent even posted, as i have recently opened my chase preferred accts..)
and they can eventually be used towards this new merged united-continental airline?

Dan/Ctownbochur

@dovy:
The answer hasn’t changed since 7:28pm 😉
The miles will be merged if the airlines merge.

Israel

vouchers that i have for united will still work?

Eli W

When is the actual merge expected to take place? Probably not for another year until they get all the systems in place.

Dan/Ctownbochur

@Israel:
Yup

@Eli W:
We should find out Monday.

aww

aw dan
this is the worst news. But maybe this merger will mean that United will just become continental and not vice versa?
I just hope things dont change for the worse

steve2

then some of us are extremely Happy and find UA to be alot better then CO.Granted Im not CLE based

I only hope that CO brings their Kosher vendor (Regal) over to UA. UA uses KoshAir and it Stinks

otherwise if everuything is teh same Id rather be on a UA flight over a CO flight everytime

Dan/Ctownbochur

@steve2:
I was wondering where you were Steve, I had paging steve2 at the end of the original draft of this post 🙂

jas

Dan, I wondering if you still recommend transferring our 25,000 Amex Gold points to Continental? I have to also close my old gold card and was going to transfer my earned points to continental….is that now the wrong move? Thanks

Dan/Ctownbochur

@jas:
You may want to transfer to ANA, but I think you’ll be fine transferring to Continental. I just hope the Continental management at United will eliminate Starnet blocking.

steve2

sorry it took so long had a medical procedure today that knocked me out, B”H everything is 100% AOK

to be honest I too felt like you and till last yaer didnt fly UA, simply cause I wasnt into flying to IAD to get anywhere. However once I did a NY-SYD trip I was SOLD hook-line – & sinker

I really think this merge will be great and hopefully will bring the best of both Carriers into 1. heck I might even beable to fly a 747 again to TLV (I know LY has them)

as for if Star Blocking will still be the rule, well it almost doesnt amtter as they wont be blocking what was COs routes. So it should be alot easier to get to TLV from the US with UA after the merge, as UA will be flying into TLV itself. Then 1 UA SWU will be good enough to get to TLV now youd need to burn 2 each way, 1 to FRA and 1 FRA-TLV on LH which only clears the day of at the gate

of cause there will be some loss of things but overall I really believe it will be a good deal. As for hogher fares you cant get a fare higher then what CO has been charging till now, if anything UA fares might go up.But Im sure the LCCS will start to find their way into more Cities and thatw ill keep fares to a reasonable level

My suggestion to anyone out there who doesnt have both a CO and UA CC apply Now as its free miles and the COs will probably become UA

treo
batzelda1

you can fly a 747 on delta this summer to tel aviv, though I still find it really weird seeing a 747 with the delta logo on it

Hyshai

Will continental vouchers be honored?

Yaakov

according to the wsj, this deal will create more premium options without eliminating routes, which are protected by the pilots union contract.

Allison TM

Continental has worked so hard to get back on top and is very well respected internationally. United employees act like they don’t care and have no “class.” Continental should definately retain the brand “Continental” not adapt the United brand as Continental has respect in the industry and among the general public here and abroad.
The last time it was necessary to fly United the plane was so dirty I had to take a shower before my meeting. The odor on my clothing was quite unpleasant after the flight. The seats were dirty as was the floor of the plane and the plane felt and sounded like it was about to fall apart.

shimmy

@dan:

So that makes the chase united 50k offer much more valuable. Does anyone know if it is still available?

Marks

@shimmy: Yes, just got it on Friday.
One of the terms and conditions they read me were ‘You may not be approved if it is determined that you have signed up in the past just for the promotion’!

I thought that was cute!

For all the info see http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/6638

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