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Odds of an American-US Airways Merger Are on the Rise

Odds of an American-US Airways Merger Are on the Rise

Worried about the much-rumored tie-up between American and US Airways?

Today, those fears would appear to be more reality-based than ever.

A letter to employees from American chief Tom Horton, reprinted in the Dallas Morning News, included the following: "… it now makes sense to carefully evaluate a range of strategic options, including potential mergers, which could make the new American even stronger."

While Horton mentioned US Airways — which has very publicly expressed its interest in merging with American and has made overtures to American’s creditors and unions — only in passing, it’s considered by far the most likely merger partner.

Due diligence requires that American consider all options. But there is clearly a compelling business case to be made for an American-US Airways marriage. It is, however, a prospect that many American partisans find deeply unsettling.

US Airways can boast of solid growth and profitability. But such metrics have gained the company little in the way of support from either its customers or its own employees.

American, on the other hand, enjoys substantial loyalty from its customers, in spite of its diminished circumstances.

Responses from readers to a recent blog post epitomize the feelings of many travelers:

I still think AA has the best FF program all-around when compared to other domestic airlines. Here’s hoping they come out on the other side of bankruptcy as a stand-alone airline!

I am very worried about the future of the AAdvantage Program if the merger with US Air goes through. I had the misfortune to be forced to fly US Air on business when they were the only option available. The experience was a disaster on all fronts.

I am committed to American and AAdvantage for now but will bail if US Scareways takes over.

Reader Reality Check

Are you in favor of a merger between American and US Airways? Why?

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  • MORT

    A/ADVANTAGE – AWARD TICKETS OFFERED IN REASONABLE AMOUNTS.

    USAIRWAYS – AWARD TICKETS – NON ELITE MEMBERS – [HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO GET AN AWARD TICKET IN MORE THAN FIVE YEARS] HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN ABLE TO USE A FREE TRIP OFFERED IN LIEU OF A PROBLEM. DATES UNAVAILABLE.

    MERGER: A/A & USAIR? GOODBYE TO A/ADVANTAGE. I WILL MISS YOU.

  • A.A.

    American and Alaska Air should merge. Both are good companies and take care of their customers. If American is taken over by USAir, I’ll stop flying with them. USAir is a horrible airline and I avoid flying with them, even it it means taking a longer flight with more stops on another airline.

  • nancy polk

    2 airlines that specialize in terrible customer servce? Why, why can’t foreign carriers compete on American soil? So much better for the US consumer.