?

Log in

It just rolls off the tongue. Kind of.

« previous entry | next entry »
Apr. 14th, 2008 | 09:27 pm
mood: hotclutching my miles

NORTHWELTA



Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines announced today that they will be merging. Delta's fairly new CEO, Richard Anderson, will lead the combined company. This has been in the works for at least two months, and the leaders of the airlines will try to get it through DOJ regulators before the next administration comes in; it's believed that the Boosh administration will be more receptive to a big giant merger than whoever comes next.

Personally, I don't think this is going to be all roses; I'm a little worried about route and staffing cuts. For example, Delta has been trying for a while to start service to SAF from LAX and SLC, but I wouldn't be surprised if that plan is axed now that they'll be focusing on cutting extra staff, routes, planes, etc. and getting the employee groups to fit together. Still, the airline industry is mucked up and they probably have a better chance of surviving this way (including a tie-up with Air France/KLM to get that EU action going) than as separate carriers. Other U.S. carriers, notably Continental and United, may also be playing the merger game very soon, especially given the high cost of jet fuel.

kishenehn, we're gonna be in the same frequent flyer program! Hope they keep sending nice planes your way.

Edited to add: The carriers also launched a new website that explains the perceived benefit of the merger to various groups of people that may be unconvinced, like James Oberstar, and everyone in the states of Michigan and Minnesota. Heh. I'll continue to write more as this develops, because I'm hopelessly obsessed with airilnes.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {9}

Southleft

(no subject)

from: southleft
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
Link

Better use up those miles quickly....

Reply | Thread

mark

(no subject)

from: kishenehn
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Link

This breaks my heart, actually. :(

Reply | Thread

jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Link

I have very mixed feelings myself. Are you referring to the loss of the brand, or the effect on employees, or more than one factor?

Reply | Parent | Thread

mark

(no subject)

from: kishenehn
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Link

Lots of reasons, actually ... many of which are admittedly selfish. But the sentimentalist in me will definitely miss the NW brand; Northwest was the first airline to serve my part of the world, over 60 years ago.

In terms of labor issues, I think this could end up being a major mess, combining NW's largely-unionized force with DL's non-union one, and their different outsourcing patterns. I remember when NW acquired Republic, the lingering labor issues caused a meltdown that lasted for years.

From the selfish perspective, I think there's no doubt that the merger will decrease competition and ultimately raise fares, and that the lessened competition will allow the merged DL to get away with providing an even-lower quality of service. And that's saying a LOT, since I think DL's service is already the worst in the industry. (I was an Elite-level Delta flyer for years, till they went downhill so badly that I jumped ship to NW.)

It's going to be especially bad up where I live, since DL and NW have long been the two dominant carriers here, and the low-fare airlines don't serve this part of the world. There's no doubt I'm going to be paying more when I travel, and getting worse service in return.

Reply | Parent | Thread

jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Link

Got it. There are indeed parts of the country that are going to be *very* heavily monopolized by DL/NW; I'm fortunate that this isn't one of them.

And yes, fares are going up. No question.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Mark

(no subject)

from: mahka42
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
Link

I'm actually really, really hoping that the pilots unions will break this apart.

Also, this seems to only push Delta's staff towards unionization. One of their biggest strengths was non-unionized FAs, mechanics, service staff, etc. The only unionized people were pilot's.

Eck. :-/

Reply | Thread

jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
Link

It's always possible; integration planning is going to take a long time and they are one of the few groups that have the leverage to undo this.

Reply | Parent | Thread

deco_lounge

(no subject)

from: deco_lounge
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
Link

I've always been with Northwest, as its proved to be the easiest method of getting in & out of Wisconsin. Oh, and the "choose your state" map on the new website is really, really funny to me for some reason.

Reply | Thread

jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Apr. 15th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
Link

I found it pretty bizarre. It looks like a fact sheet for 5th graders to learn about all the states. :P

Reply | Parent | Thread