Wednesday, May 28, 2008

United/USAirways Dead?

Is the deal really dead? I love how they term it "permanent hold." Frankly, this deal makes too much sense to go through. I mean you've got two airlines who have such stellar records. USAirways is still digesting (regurgitating over?) AmericaWest. United's pilots have an oustanding record for cooperative negotiation. I'm not sure, therefore, what the difference between "permanent hold" and "we're moving as fast as we can" might be. Not much from where I sit.

I remember, back when I flew United, a conversation I had on the Dulles people mover with a United pilot, who was trying to convince me that their work slowdown was being done for us. I said "if you want to know what we want you to do, fly the damned airplane." He started to argue but several other passengers reiterated my message, forcefully, and he was smart enough to realize that advancing an unpopular position in a closed vehicle was probably not a good idea.

USAir can't do an integration. United's work force will screw things up. The biggest thing arguing for this deal is that by combining two losing ventures into one, at least there will be just a single bankruptcy filing to manage, and no doubt it will be accelerated by the merger efforts.

UPDATE: Of course it's not over.

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