Will the United-Continental Merger Mean Friendlier Skies?

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Two years ago, Continental Airlines backed away from merging with United. Last month, United began a flirtation with US Airways. Suddenly, Continental had a change of heart, and over the weekend completed what some airline experts are calling a shotgun wedding. United and Continental now plan to become the world's largest airline, if they get past anti-trust laws and union contracts. But it's a marriage of convenience, not love. United is known for canceled flights, lost baggage and surly employees. Continental is famous for customer satisfaction. Can those cultures merge? Is consolidation the only way airlines can stop losing money, when Southwest is gaining market share and showing a profit? Since de-regulation, most mergers have not gone smoothly. We hear the pros and cons of the next one.




Warren Olney