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UA/CO To Face Aviation Subcommittee  
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10398 posts, RR: 14
Posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7622 times:

Thought this paragraph from an article in yesterday's WSJ was interesting only in that the new DOJ anti trust chief's name is Christine Varney. IIRC wasn't Varney Stage Lines one of CO's predecessors?



"President Obama's Justice Department has sent several strong, pro-consumer messages to the airlines and other industries. Christine Varney, the department's new antitrust chief, promised early in her term to pursue 'vigorous antitrust enforcement in this challenging era.' "


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
96 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinechepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6216 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7605 times:

I know I'm in the minority around here but I'm personally hoping for this merger to be turned down. Yes DL and NWA merged and that's all good and dandy but I hope this merger does not get the green light.

Regards,

Chepos



Fly the Flag!!!!
User currently offlinerj777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1814 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7563 times:

Is there a way we can get a link to the full article?

User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10398 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7491 times:

Quoting rj777 (Reply 2):
Is there a way we can get a link to the full article?

I tried to post it and it wouldn't accept it.


Here's where I first saw it, from my ATA Smartbrief of yesterday.


"United, Continental defending merger on multiple fronts
The proposed merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines will get its first public test on June 16 when the House aviation subcommittee holds a hearing on consumer impact from the deal. A Senate committee is expected to follow soon after, and various states have announced their own plans to look into competition issues. But the most important review -- the only one with the ability to block the deal -- will be conducted by the Justice Department and its antitrust chief, Christine Varney, who has vowed to pursue "vigorous antitrust enforcement in this challenging era." Still, many analysts and the airlines themselves point out there is little overlap in routes and that competition from discount airlines will leave consumers with plenty of competition and low fares. The Wall Street Journal (5/18) , Chicago Tribune (5/17) , The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (5/17)"



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22938 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7452 times:

Quoting chepos (Reply 1):
Yes DL and NWA merged and that's all good and dandy but I hope this merger does not get the green light.

What's the difference?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineDelimit From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1508 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7274 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
What's the difference?

There isn't one, but then he might not have supported that merger as well.

As for the government, I really think they have their work cut out for them if they decide to deny the merger. It will be very hard to justify in light of NW/DL.


User currently onlinejerseyguy From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1982 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7191 times:
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I agree with Cheapos, less airlines means fewer flights and higher fares and fees due to less of a choice.


Frontier Early Returns Ascent Status| Webmaster of an unoffical TTN page see profile for details
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7130 times:

Quoting jerseyguy (Reply 6):
I agree with Cheapos, less airlines means fewer flights and higher fares and fees due to less of a choice.

Which kind of doesn't pass the "smell test":

"NEW YORK (AP) -- Average airfares in the U.S. fell 7.4 percent in the last three months of 2009, the biggest year-over-year decline since 2001, the Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Wednesday."

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Govern...fares-apf-1265237909.html?x=0&.v=1



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineCM767 From Panama, joined Dec 2004, 654 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7094 times:

Quoting chepos (Reply 1):
I know I'm in the minority around here but I'm personally hoping for this merger to be turned down. Yes DL and NWA merged and that's all good and dandy but I hope this merger does not get the green light.




I have to admit that I am a fan of an independent CO, but I can see that there is some benefits of the merger, I believe that the landscape has changed with the mergers on the past years and there are benefits from the larger company from negotiating purchases to new opportunities for added destinations on both networks.

Furthermore we have seen AA, DL and US become bigger players with mergers, why now UA/CO would not be allow a chance to do the same and compete with larger carriers?, We could not forget that not only on the US the new UA is facing increased competition, but abroad the landscape has changed just on Europe we have AF/KL and IB/BA. Like it or not, I believe that abroad we will see more partnerships or mergers on the not distant future.



But The Best Thing God Has Created Is A New Day
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6606 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7053 times:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 7):
Which kind of doesn't pass the "smell test":

But those fare declines were driven by the economy. Not to mention that the decline doesn't include all the fees that airlines are now zapping customers with. In many cases, fares fell, but the addition of fees meant people were actually paying more.

Mergers like UA/CO and NW/DL aren't being done so that they can lower ticket prices for the consumer.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22938 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7037 times:

Quoting jerseyguy (Reply 6):
less airlines means fewer flights and higher fares and fees due to less of a choice.

But even if that's true - an argument I won't enter here - it still doesn't answer the question of how the government can approve DL/NW and not CO/UA. Change of administration is the answer in reality, but that's not a very intellectually satisfying one.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7010 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 9):
Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 7):
Which kind of doesn't pass the "smell test":

But those fare declines were driven by the economy. Not to mention that the decline doesn't include all the fees that airlines are now zapping customers with. In many cases, fares fell, but the addition of fees meant people were actually paying more.

Mergers like UA/CO and NW/DL aren't being done so that they can lower ticket prices for the consumer.

True, but its important for mergers to happen..too many carriers/competition. Fares are cheap enough as it is....

Though I don't fly NK, I like what they've done..let the pax choose how much to spend in extra fees.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 10):
But even if that's true - an argument I won't enter here - it still doesn't answer the question of how the government can approve DL/NW and not CO/UA. Change of administration is the answer in reality, but that's not a very intellectually satisfying one.

  



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6606 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6955 times:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 11):
True, but its important for mergers to happen..too many carriers/competition. Fares are cheap enough as it is....

I agree, but just don't fall for the airlines schtick that the merger will benefit consumers with lower fares.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 10):
But even if that's true - an argument I won't enter here - it still doesn't answer the question of how the government can approve DL/NW and not CO/UA.

I think the government will approve of the merger, but with a few strings attached....mainly divesting a few slots at EWR.


User currently onlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1559 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6956 times:

Quoting Delimit (Reply 5):
Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
What's the difference?

There isn't one, but then he might not have supported that merger as well.

As for the government, I really think they have their work cut out for them if they decide to deny the merger. It will be very hard to justify in light of NW/DL.

I'll be interested to see what their objections are, in the sense that network-wise I believe there is any market where they would have to give up any more than a handful of slots or flights. Unless the feds want to make the argument that UA/CO would have too large a nationwide market share, I don't see any big hurdles.


User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6899 times:

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 13):
I'll be interested to see what their objections are, in the sense that network-wise I believe there is any market where they would have to give up any more than a handful of slots or flights. Unless the feds want to make the argument that UA/CO would have too large a nationwide market share, I don't see any big hurdles.

Nationwide Capacity I guess, the cutting of CLE. See the problem here is, that there is absoultely no hub overlap, and very little overall, so maybe the DOJ is grasping at straws to prevent the merger and subsequent rise in fares


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22938 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6869 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 12):
I think the government will approve of the merger, but with a few strings attached....mainly divesting a few slots at EWR.

I think that's right - but that should not be a problem, especially if the government lets them divest slots from any of the three NYC airports.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineairzim From Zimbabwe, joined Jun 2001, 1205 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6870 times:

This is Kabuki theater to please the fear mongers of consumer protection. The fact that the HQ will remain in Chicago should give you a clue how important certain factors/pay back favors were involved. The WH and the DOJ have already blessed this union.

This deal is going to happen.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6737 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 12):
Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 11):
True, but its important for mergers to happen..too many carriers/competition. Fares are cheap enough as it is....

I agree, but just don't fall for the airlines schtick that the merger will benefit consumers with lower fares.

I think that's just nothing more than p.r.



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5078 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6498 times:

Quoting airzim (Reply 16):


This is Kabuki theater to please the fear mongers of consumer protection.

Exactly, if this administration rubberstamped it, that would be too GOPish. Gotta put on a show....



Next Up: STL-LGA-RIC-ATL-STL
User currently offlinechepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6216 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6432 times:

No, I was not a big supporter over the DL/NWA merger, have I learned to accept it - yes. Mergers in my very own opinion are only good for the big guns on the top floors of the corporate headquarters. Look how well the AA mergers of the past have gone, and we are still trying to sort out the US/AWA merger, and that was 5 years ago. Look at small to medium size airports and there just seems to be alot of empty counter space, less competition means higher fares. I don't know but in this country airline mergers don't seem to have the best track record. Maybe the CO/UAL union will be the best airline merger this country has ever seen or maybe it will be a really big basket case. Only time will tell. Best of luck to the employees of both. And if any of you believe all hubs of the comined airline will remain with the same level of service they currently have- please let me have some of that kool aid you are drinking.

Regards,

Chepos



Fly the Flag!!!!
User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3813 posts, RR: 34
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6379 times:

Quoting rj777 (Reply 2):
Is there a way we can get a link to the full article?

Most Wall Street Journal articles are subscription only, but if you know the headline, you can do a search at google.news.com and it will let you read it for free.

Try this link and then click on "Airline deal faces tough review."

LoneStarMike


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10398 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6198 times:

Quoting chepos (Reply 19):

I thought the DL/WA merger went very well and the DL/NW merger seems to, also.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6184 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
What's the difference?

There is no difference at all but, like the poster, I strongly disagree with any type of anti-trust 'protection'. What's the point/validity of anti-trust laws if they can be waived to suit a particular agenda?


User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1460 posts, RR: 17
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6087 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 9):
Mergers like UA/CO and NW/DL aren't being done so that they can lower ticket prices for the consumer.

The airlines have lost millions/billions of dollars. Are they not allowed to price their product to generate a profit? The traveling public is a difficult nut to crack. They want $49 tickets for F-class in sleeper seats from DEN to CYS. Do you complain about paying $17 bucks a day to park your car at the airport? 20 years ago that was probably $5 a day. If airfares rose over the years with the hotels and airport parking all the airlines would be sound financially.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6374 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6013 times:

Quoting mayor (Thread starter):
IIRC wasn't Varney Stage Lines one of CO's predecessors?

Varney Speed Lines, of El Paso, TX   Robert Six bought 'em out in 1937 and renamed the operation Continental Airlines  



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
25 jerseyguy : Southwest seems to be doing well and there fares are not always the cheapest but competitive and they don't charge bag fees (1st 2 bags) or change fe
26 mayor : Thank you. I knew it was something like that. Actually, I started this thread to point out the irony of it all. Carry on.
27 ckfred : Here's something to consider. I read in the Chicago Tribune that while Congress and the administration appear to have some real problems with the pote
28 Post contains images mayor : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Oh, and remember during this election season.......vote early and vote often!!
29 Max Q : I wish it would be turned down. Realistically though, forget it, the big (not necessarily good) deal rules. The needless trashing and destruction of t
30 Delimit : Sadly the US government has never been particularly concerned with consistency in oversight. It should at least be entertaining, in a sad sort of way
31 ca2ohHP : I don't understand why the U.S. government is so inconsistent with it's position on looking out for consumers. Telecommunications giants can easily me
32 MadameConcorde : I am an old client of UA, from the time they first started flying from LHR and then Paris CDG and one of their Mileage Plus Million Milers. I so much
33 catiii : Not really. If I recall it was the Bush DOJ that did the review on DL-NW. They were different Administrations, with different philosophies...
34 Post contains links jgarrido : As revenue from fees went up dramatically "NEW YORK – The government on Monday confirmed what many travelers already suspected: U.S. airlines made
35 Post contains images Rising : Seeing that aviation anti-trust reviews are not based on competition within the whole industry, rather on origin and destination city pairs, United an
36 Cubsrule : That may be true in other arenas, but it's really not true in airline competition law. The only transactions/mergers that have aroused scrutiny are t
37 MasseyBrown : If the Govt. is successful at preventing the UA/CO merger, I assume they would then attempt to breakup DL on the same grounds, restoring the status q
38 mayor : I don't believe it has been stated, anywhere, that DL is in opposition to the UA/CO merger. I also believe the Govt. would have a hell of a court fig
39 Cubsrule : ...which is why their hands are sort of tied with UA/CO.
40 Jacobin777 : Part of it is up to the individual pax....
41 mayor : Which brings this up......shouldn't each decision be made, independent of the other? I don't think they should just make a blanket ok on one just bec
42 Delimit : Why? They will be under no obligation to. There's nothing requiring them to reopen DL/NW, which, after all, they approved. Also, preventing something
43 FlyPNS1 : Agreed and based on its own merits, the UA/CO merger really isn't a problem except for maybe EWR. There's very little overlap between the two and the
44 jerseyguy : I would say most of the increase was due to adding first bag fees or increasing them so while technically optional, I say its not practical to travel
45 EMB170 : Satisfying or not, if UA and CO get turned down, that will be a good reason why. There was a good reason why DL and NW pushed their merger through wh
46 Delimit : UA's operations in EWR are tiny. CO in EWR is barely any different than CO + UA in EWR. Who wants to serve EWR that can't? Of the three NYC airports
47 mayor : Don't you suppose that each individual carrier was already the dominant carrier in those areas, and the merger didn't really change anything about th
48 jerseyguy : Only carrier I would think might want to start serving EWR is WN but probably not with the limited number of slots that UA has.
49 Delimit : I think WN would far, far rather increase their presence at LGA than serve a second area airport.
50 FlyPNS1 : That's because in return CO actually helped increase competition at LGA/DCA. The merger with UA currently has no counterbalance like that. True in so
51 Delimit : Right, which means the gov is looking at NYC holistically. UA + CO changes the NYC competitive landscape very little.
52 ewrkid : Right.......and who are you to say that again? It may not be JFK, but it is an important hub and valued asset for CO when they entered Star Alliance.
53 Delimit : A New Yorker? Reread the first part of what I wrote, in context. Someone called EWR limited entry. I asked who was trying to get in and couldn't.
54 Cubsrule : ...and the merits are no different. Only the administration has changed. It's tough to defend arguments that were born in the past 4 years... that's
55 FlyPNS1 : The US/DL slot swap doesn't holistically change the NYC or DC competitive landscape, yet the government still required a divestiture.
56 Cubsrule : What do you mean by that? It changed the market concentration quite a bit.
57 FlyPNS1 : Based on the entire NYC market (JFK, LGA, EWR), it really doesn't. The overall NYC market would still be quite fragmented with no player dominating.
58 jerseyguy : Only problem with that is that they can't serve LAS,PHX, or even DEN other than on Saturdays. Sure they don't want to enter EWR and increase their ex
59 Cubsrule : To rehash from the original thread on the topic, here's what the government would say in the merger context:
60 Delimit : If you think about that in the context of anti-trust, that's not the case. Any argument in favor of blocking UA/CO would be current state. The metric
61 Cubsrule : ...which is pretty much identical to what the current state was for DL/NW. The administration can ignore DL/NW, but if it challenges UA/CO, UA will c
62 Delimit : How would that work? The DOJ would say no, present evidence of what they considered excessive dominance and rule against the merger. I would think UA
63 Post contains links CALPSAFltSkeds : The title of the topic is UA/CO To Face Aviation Subcommittee. This means in the House that the House Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar
64 kiwiandrew : I think that you may have hit the nail on the head . Can they present evidence of excessive dominance ? Is there any evidence to present ? If they ca
65 Cubsrule : Responding to the evidence means looking at what has happened with similar evidence in the past. DL/NW seems like as good a place as any to look. How
66 Post contains images Delimit : I don't think the merger should be blocked. We'll see what happens. I think there's no way anyone aware of the current realities of the airline indus
67 OA412 : Isn't this standard procedure? Didn't DL/NW also have to face an aviation subcommittee?
68 United1 : They did indeed in fact some of that hearing was aired live.
69 Alias1024 : Not that they can do anything about it. That's all on the DOJ. The congressmen just grandstand in front of the cameras to pronounce their deep concer
70 Post contains links and images commavia : http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/205024-1 C-SpanVideo.org: what an incredible resource! This is not exactly the same committee that these UA-CO hear
71 JBAirwaysFan : No. No they're not. Fares are getting very expensive now. This merger is probably a bad idea. I can't see a smart DOT/DOJ allowing this now that DL/N
72 Cubsrule : Even assuming that is a smart idea, how is it a fair idea?
73 United1 : Generally that is exactly the way that it works. UA, DL, AA and US are more then enough to keep each other in check...and thats not even adding the L
74 Post contains images jerseyguy : Until AA says we can't compete with the new UA and the new DL we need to merge with US
75 Post contains images KELPkid : Dunno. From what I have read about Varney, the man was a drunkard and died peniless a few years after he sold out to Robert Six...
76 OA412 : That's what I thought. Thanks guys!
77 Jacobin777 : Could have fooled me.......I really haven't seen too much of an increase in fares....IMHO....
78 VC10er : Customers are second to shareholders. If this is right for both the institutional and private shareholders then making money trumps all. Also if the U
79 jerseyguy : I wouldn't say they are expensive but they definately aren't too cheap, with the possible exception of the NY/PHL Florida Market
80 Post contains images mayor : This is amazing. Talk about taking something off topic. I've seen 3, maybe 4 replies on here that actually concern the actual subject of my original p
81 Post contains images kiwiandrew : If you wanted the topic to be about Christine Varney and Varney Speed Lines perhaps you should have given the thread a topic title which reflected th
82 Post contains images mayor : So, I guess no one except 3 or 4 actually read what I said in the original post?
83 Delimit : Mayor, come on. You followed it up with a quote about the pro-consumer attitudes of the new DOJ chief. If you wanted an answer and no off-topic discus
84 copter808 : Interesting indeed. I haven't noticed it posted here, but Walter T.Varney founded BOTH CO and UA!!
85 mayor : Did you actually happen to read WHY I posted that particular paragraph?............................... Emphasis mine.
86 Delimit : The quote makes absolutely no sense in relation to the topic you wanted to introduce. If you put: in the opening post of a topic, especially one with
87 mayor : What part of "Thought this paragraph from an article in yesterday's WSJ was interesting only in that the new DOJ anti trust chief's name is Christine
88 Delimit : Most people consider the title of the thread to be the topic. When you have that title and that quote together, it makes perfect sense why the convers
89 Jacobin777 : ORD-LGA and other flights are quite cheap..in fact, I've seen SJC-ORD (with one stop) to be basically the same price...even with summer travel.
90 mayor : I provided the quote, so those of us that are apparently ignorant, could see her name. I'll stand my ground.....I may have made a mistake with the ti
91 Post contains images Delimit : Dude. Who here doesn't know who Christine Varney is? She's been brought up in countless threads since the announcement of her appointment. I'm going t
92 mayor : Well, me for one.
93 jerseyguy : The average lowest fare I've seen on sidestep's best fares feature for LGA-ORD is about $200. There were a few days that were $134 but usually not un
94 AADC10 : Walter Varney earlier founded Varney Air Service which he sold to Bill Boeing's United. There is no evidence that Christine Varney is any relation to
95 mayor : The whole reason I put it on here was that I thought it was an unusual coincidence, nothing more.
96 letsgetwet : Why ? There is hardly any competition between the two carriers @ EWR.
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