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AirTran Haggled But Saw Few Options To WN Deal  
User currently onlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3092 posts, RR: 10
Posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8432 times:

In the absence of an existing thread on the subject I wanted to post an interesting bit of info regarding the Southwest-AirTran situation as of this time. I believe there was someone who authored a thread within the last week that was seeking an update on the subject but for the life of me I cannot locate it today.

Speaking for myself I was wondering if there were some last minute hangups or chuck holes, and in addition to that what was the motivation for AirTran to get involved in this thing. In the first link below a detailed timeline of events is presented as well as why AirTran got involved which means both of my questions got answered.

Rather than keep this info some of which A-Net members are aware of and some that are not I thought I would post it at this time.

Courtesy: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AirTran Haggled But Saw Few Options To Southwest Deal

http://www.ajc.com/business/airtran-...644.html?cxtype=rss_business_87628


AirTran Sets Shareholder Vote On Sale

http://www.ajc.com/business/airtran-...227.html?cxtype=rss_business_87628

[Edited 2011-02-03 21:41:29 by Administrator]

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAtlwest1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1046 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8371 times:

The article is very very true. The options ran out when Frontier got purchased by republic. Sun Country wouldn't offer much of anything to them. Also keep in mind, they could have very very well increased the size of the carrier but the will to do so wasn't there as much as it was in the past. This deal allows them to grow the airline 75 percent and for WN to grow 25 percent. Also I think one of the reasons they may not have had the will to do the organic growth was because they were trying to position the company for a sale and to grow it larger would have made it difficult to achieve a sale or merger.

Will WN destroy and cause Delta, Airtran's key enemy to be submissive? NO but this does give Airtran a way to put pressure on Delta that it would not have been able to with out some massive growth organically. WN and Delta will exist much the way FL and DL do now in Atlanta. Until there is additional gates built in Atlanta, Delta will still out scope WN/FL.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8342 times:

I know when the merger was announced several law firms announced investigations into this merger. The article mentions lawsuits brought by shareholders? What is this all about?

User currently onlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3092 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8270 times:

Quoting KarlB737 (Thread starter):
why AirTran got involved

This actually surprised me: "the risks and competitive position of standing alone “in a consolidating, competitive industry,”

With all of the success that AirTran has had "standing alone" I was surprised they were actually concerned about that.


User currently offlineAtlwest1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1046 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8115 times:

Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 3):
With all of the success that AirTran has had "standing alone" I was surprised they were actually concerned about that.

I guess it was more that as the competitors got larger they would be squeezed more. Though as competitors get larger inevitably there are opportunities and weaknesses that can be exploited. I think a change in leadership might have yielded more options for them. Though the current leadership in terms of profits and steering the company through hard times has done a bang up job.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7030 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7968 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 2):
I know when the merger was announced several law firms announced investigations into this merger. The article mentions lawsuits brought by shareholders? What is this all about?

That happened because the purchase price, while a nice premium, is below AirTran's past trading range and I think investors were betting that in a strong economy the stock would have returned to those levels. Thus, they think WN is under-paying. Hard to say...

Quoting KarlB737 (Thread starter):
Speaking for myself I was wondering if there were some last minute hangups or chuck holes,

I think the only way this deal is stopped is if the Congressman from some of the smaller AirTran markets band together and pressure DOT/DOJ because we are already seeing that FL is not returning to many of their non-daily stations. That is clearly at the explicit or implicit behest of WN. The next stations to see the ax will be those with less than 5 flights IMHO. I think this deal is much more threatening to competition in the USA than the CO-UA merger because neither of those carriers had any real growth prospects and really didn't "compete" on price or anything else except frequent flyer perks. AirTran will be sorely missed in terms of industry pricing and the potential for them to routinely enter new markets and throw a grenade at the industry establishment. To see them folded into WN is only going to accelerate WN's ascendancy to a carrier that cares more and more about people in suits and less less about lesiure travelers. With that comes higher fares, higher costs, and ultimately less competition as WN chases the same customer that the legacies do.  


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6575 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7955 times:

Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 3):
With all of the success that AirTran has had "standing alone" I was surprised they were actually concerned about that.

As I pointed out in other threads, FL has actually been struggling more and more as of late. Costs are going up as they sign new labor deals and oil prices rise. Meanwhile, yields are under pressure at all of FL's big operations (ATL, BWI, MKE and MCO) which makes it hard to raise prices to cover those rising costs. On top of that, long-term growth prospects weren't great. ATL had stagnated except for some Caribbean stuff, MKE is over-served and BWI has WN to fight with.

Given all this, the merger with WN makes a lot of sense for FL even though it is sad to see an independent upstart like FL disappear.


User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7030 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7900 times:

At an AirTran board meeting in Atlanta on Sept. 21, AirTran financial advisor Morgan Stanley presented background on the airline’s efforts to grow, “and discussed its views regarding the lack of any other potential merger partners or financial buyers for AirTran.”

Among the reasons AirTran agreed to the deal, according to the filing, were the risks and competitive position of standing alone “in a consolidating, competitive industry,” and management’s view that “there were no realistic other potential candidates for an alternative business combination transaction.”

I guess the question really is simply, why merge? They almost seemed desperate to be bought. That takes me back to the tie between executive compensation and these deals. A few people (the ones who make the decisions) cash out and leave the rest of the company to blow in the wind. F9 (in a much weaker position) turned down this exact deal (in terms of being whittled down and folded into WN) in favor of the Republic deal. It's almost comical that AirTran which was not under the pressure of Ch11 emergence accepted a similar deal potentially shafting pretty much all the stakeholders except top execs IMHO.


User currently offlineByrdluvs747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7748 times:

Quoting Atlwest1 (Reply 4):
Though as competitors get larger inevitably there are opportunities and weaknesses that can be exploited.

Yes, as airlines get larger they become more vulnerable to govt scrutiny. A shrewd airlin CEO could exploit this, when looking to grow organically.



The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
User currently offlineFL787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1537 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7613 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 7):
I guess the question really is simply, why merge?
Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 3):
With all of the success that AirTran has had "standing alone" I was surprised they were actually concerned about that.

1. Oil prices. Maybe many don't remember but FL lost a fair bit of money back in 2008 because of increased fuel prices. The common airline reaction to higher fuel prices is to raise fares but FL had almost no ability to raise fares because it would render much of their network unprofitable (Florida). In ATL, when ticket prices go up, who do you think sees a larger percentage of demand loss, FL or DL? The only other option besides raising fares is to shrink but that is just not a sustainable plan for FL.

2. Rising costs. This isn't really unique to FL but it was happening (labor contracts, fleet getting older, etc.). With rising costs you either need to grow (next point) or raise fares which goes back to my first point that FL wasn't overly optimistic about being able to raise fares.

3. Growth opportunities. Back in 2007, growth opportunities were looking good for FL. ATL was growing because they were competing against a bankrupt carrier with high costs, they saw an opportunity in MKE with YX's unsustainable business model, and IIRC we had not yet seen the terrifying fuel prices we would soon see. Things change quickly. Almost all of a sudden DL was the largest carrier in the world with a CASM that was competitive enough with FL that they started to match all fares and erode some of the passenger base FL had earned. In MKE, what looked like a sure monopolized hub turned into a fare-war with the only LCC with similar costs to FL. In BWI, a lot of the attempted advances against WN were/are not sticking. FL has a good thing going with the Caribbean and Florida expansions but how long do those last and where do you look for growth next?

I know I just painted a pretty dark picture of FL's possible future and the situation was/is not all bad. However these had to be the things that FL was looking at compared to a possible merger. An extended run-up in fuel prices could easily kill a carrier like FL who runs on low margins and doesn't have a ton of cash on hand. In the end I think that management realized that FL was beginning to be boxed in for the first time whereas a merger with WN meant new growth opportunities and a more secure future.



717,72S,732/3/4/5/G/8/9,744,752/3,763/4,772/3,D9S/5,M8/90,D10,319/20/21,332/3,388,CR2/7/9,EM2,ER4,E70/75/90,SF3,AR8
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7566 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 5):
Quoting apodino (Reply 2):
I know when the merger was announced several law firms announced investigations into this merger. The article mentions lawsuits brought by shareholders? What is this all about?

That happened because the purchase price, while a nice premium, is below AirTran's past trading range and I think investors were betting that in a strong economy the stock would have returned to those levels. Thus, they think WN is under-paying. Hard to say...

If thats true, then why don't the shareholders just reject the deal and see what happens? Lawsuits for this shouldn't hold water.


User currently offlineAtlwest1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1046 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7492 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 10):
If thats true, then why don't the shareholders just reject the deal and see what happens? Lawsuits for this shouldn't hold water.

Because there is a 37 million dollar termination penalty should they outright terminate it which would effectively take 2010's profit with it.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
User currently offlinemacsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 525 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7451 times:
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Quoting apodino (Reply 10):
Lawsuits for this shouldn't hold water.

No, they should not. But, that being said, there are more than a few law firms out there who make a very desirable living out of suing over commercial transactions on the part of their "clients", settling with the parties for a relatively small amount for each impacted shareholder, yet pocketing a good-sized fee. Recently a few of these firms have been exposed and the lawyers involved have gone to jail, but for those that remain, it is still a lucrative business.

It is far easier to settle and pay than wait the years required for an issue like this to be heard by the Courts.



Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6707 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7400 times:

In case anyone wants the full source document, the filing with the SEC may be found here: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/da.../92380/000119312511020067/ds4a.htm

Quoting enilria (Reply 7):
I guess the question really is simply, why merge? They almost seemed desperate to be bought.

I don't think, from reading the filing, that they were desperate at all. Clearly they were approached by Southwest and not the other way around. They negotiated the per-share price up by about 15%, and that price was well above where AAI shares had been trading for two years. The general upside for AirTran was limited as well; a strengthening economy might have lifted AAI shares, but by the same token, that rising tide would also affect LUV shares. The set of logical potential merger partners was also very small; American and US Airways wouldn't be able to make money with AirTran's network given the disparity between their respective cost structures, while a hypothetical combination with JetBlue or Republic would have even greater potential downside. It does not hurt that Southwest is the only airline with an investment-grade credit rating, nor that many employees would see pay increases to WN rates.

I can't blame them for taking a 50% payout in six months versus maybe getting more than that ten years down the road. Continental shareholders got practically nothing as a merger premium.

And let's face it, AirTran's future prospects were cloudy. ATL had stagnated against a resurgent Delta. MKE has been a bloodbath and has limited growth prospects. The strategy at BWI of flying routes that Southwest didn't offer had reached its end, and they were gaining little traction against WN in most head-to-head markets outside of Florida. As an example, FL ran a 63% load factor on BWI-SAT in August; by comparison, Southwest had a 92% load factor for BWI-SAT in the same month. Within the space of a year, Southwest was matching AirTran's passenger numbers in FL's biggest single market from BWI -- BOS. What would they do if/when WN entered ROC & PWM?

Quoting enilria (Reply 7):
F9 (in a much weaker position) turned down this exact deal (in terms of being whittled down and folded into WN) in favor of the Republic deal.

The deal for Frontier would have probably gone to WN if the pilots had been able to come to an agreement, but there was understandably a lot of bad blood from WN's entry into and growth at DEN. The WN-doomsday/everything-will-be-happy-under-Republic scenarios were sold as gospel to the employee stakeholders at Frontier, so the creditors took the Republic bid that didn't come with strings attached.

I will say, however, that Southwest management has been dropping hints about AirTran for several years.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5414 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7270 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 7):
. F9 (in a much weaker position) turned down this exact deal (in terms of being whittled down and folded into WN) in favor of the Republic deal. It's almost comical that AirTran which was not under the pressure of Ch11 emergence accepted a similar deal potentially shafting pretty much all the stakeholders except top execs IMHO.

How does this actually "shaft" all of AirTran's shareholders?

Also with the Frontier deal, as it was F9 was pretty much guaranteed to disappear and be dismantled as WN had a strong presence in the places that F9 had a strong presence. With the AirTran deal, WN gets access into a large market that is current a "fortress hub", adding a big region to their market base. And in addition with the 717's, lot of what FL is/was will remain and continue.

And the question of how and what Frontier will be, whether it will remain the "different animal" that it strove to be, is still to be determined as it owner decides what is best to do with them. Still lots of hope for them but also potential large scale changes.

Quoting FL787 (Reply 9):
2. Rising costs. This isn't really unique to FL but it was happening (labor contracts, fleet getting older, etc.). With rising costs you either need to grow (next point) or raise fares which goes back to my first point that FL wasn't overly optimistic about being able to raise fares.

That is one thing that many seem to forget, that the pilot and other contracts were being/going to be renegotiated and would be increasing significantly. So their cost structure was about to undergo a significant change and increase.

Quoting KarlB737 (Thread starter):
I believe there was someone who authored a thread within the last week that was seeking an update on the subject but for the life of me I cannot locate it today.

Are you thinking of this one:
Gotta LUV It! Southwest/AirTran Merger (by SurfandSnow Feb 1 2011 in Civil Aviation)

Tugg

[Edited 2011-02-03 13:54:33]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7509 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7099 times:

Quoting ScottB (Reply 13):
I will say, however, that Southwest management has been dropping hints about AirTran for several years.

   More like a cat-and-mouse game. FL expands in a market and WN reacts and FL contracts.

Some examples:

PHL: While US was struggling (and going through 2 Chapter 11 periods between 2002 through 2005) FL started expanding in PHL in 2002-2003. WN announces, 2 months to the day following a local newspaper article stating that FL experieinced the highest percentage growth at PHL, that it was coming to PHL. WN expands and even picks up several FL routes (BOS, PIT, MDW, and several Florida cities) and FL ultimately contracts to just offering nonstops to ATL and MCO.

MDW: When TZ filed for Chapter 11; FL was interested in bidding for some of their (TZ's) assets. HP proposes an all-out merger w/TZ but withdraws (it had other merger plans w/US some time later) leaving FL's bid unchallenged; or so it seemed. WN comes out of nowhere, and undercuts FL's bid and a code-share w/TZ is established (which instantly kills off C8). This code-share (which would be short-lived following TZ's shutdown) temporarily gives WN indirect access to DFW and some Hawaiian markets (out of MDW). There might've been some other non-WN markets as well but those two were the ones I remember off the top of my head. Nonetheless, FL does pick up some former TZ routes out MDW but nearly all of them are dropped over time.

Dallas: With DL dropping its DFW hub and WN still severely restricted by the Wright Ammendment at the time (including the much-hated through-ticketing restriction), FL sees an opportunity to grow DFW by adding routes besides its ATL hub. WN breaks its long silence and legally challenges the Wright Ammendment via its Wright Is Wrong campaign. Not only did WN ultimately win its battle (the through-ticketing restriction was instantly abolished and the perimeter restriction will expire in 2014); but the deal was construed in such a way to prevent other carriers at DFW (like FL, for instance) from relocating to DAL (to get out of AA's huge shadow in terms of operations) due to the elimation of empty/unused gates (part of the agreement). As a result, most of FL routes from DFW (aside from ATL and maybe MCO) were either reduced or eliminated.

MKE: With YX going through Chapter 11 and downsizing; FL saw another opportunity to expand and even establish a reliever hub. It initially tried to purchase YX but YX fought off the effort; they (YX) would ultimately wind up being bought by Republic Holdings which also bought F9 as well. Nonetheless, FL decides to grow MKE on its own. Shortly after that happened; WN announces that it's also coming to MKE as well.

In overlapping markets, FL didn't exactly make things easier on themselves when they started charging baggage fees for the first and second checked baggage. WN even exploited that newly-established difference in a television ad where a bunch of WN rampers run up to a disguised FL 717 and flash a BAGS FLY FREE message (each letter painted on an individual ramper's chest) in front of the passengers' windows.

While FL responded with an internet ad (that wasn't really marketed as an 'official' ad so to speak) lampooning WN's cattle call boarding (the WN's logo signs are blurred) featuring passengers dressed up as cows running down a jetway; it was clearly obvious that the WN ad struck a nerve w/FL.

I've always have said that had WN already been at ATL; FL wouldn't have dared imposed a fee for its first checked bag (it only do so about a week after DL announced that it was doing it). With this merger taking place (I honestly see no reason why it wouldn't be approved especially since the much larger DL/NW and CO/UA mergers were approved); domestic travelers at ATL (or those flying to ATL) with checked luggage will once again have the option of flying with a carrier that offers that service for FREE (for the first 2 bags).

Once this merger's approved, let the countdown begin.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineTVNWZ From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2352 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6674 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 7):
A few people (the ones who make the decisions) cash out and leave the rest of the company to blow in the wind.

What?? Are you saying the lot of the worker won't improve with WN? I didn't know FL workers had such better deals than WN workers. When did that happen?


User currently offlinemccarranmgr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6620 times:

Quoting KarlB737 (Thread starter):
AirTran Haggled But Saw Few Options To Southwest Deal

As many others have said in other threads. This is a purchase not a merger. AirTran had 0 options but to sit there and take it.


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6555 times:

Quoting mccarranmgr (Reply 17):
As many others have said in other threads. This is a purchase not a merger. AirTran had 0 options but to sit there and take it.

That's not how it works. The shareholders could have rejected. This was not a hostile take-over bid. Look at DL and US. That was a hostile take-over bid on the carrier and it still failed thanks to the board.

In this day and age, there is no need for a "poison pill".



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinemccarranmgr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6528 times:

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 18):
The shareholders could have rejected.

Of course they could have. But the money was too good to pass up so they didn’t. They are being bought and soon will disappear from SWA. As will the 717’s and most of the “original” AirTran employees . I know it sounds harsh but it’s the truth.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3390 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6417 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 7):
F9 (in a much weaker position) turned down this exact deal (in terms of being whittled down and folded into WN) in favor of the Republic deal.

No, in that case the Judge presiding over it refused to give WN time to get an agreement with its unions about this deal. Which left WN with no reason to continue to bid for it. The people holding F9's debt still got a nice bost over the inital bid thanks to WN's efforts. I just wish we could have had the time to see just how high WN would have gone for F9. F9 itself had no direct say in the matter as it was an asset sale, not a volentary procedure.


Its why this deal had alot of back room haggling before being announced as they had to ensure they had time to get all the little important details worked out before money (and airlines) changed hands.


User currently offline93Sierra From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6382 times:

Do you think WN is happy with the FL deal or sad that F9 slipped from their grasp?

User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 24996 posts, RR: 85
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6372 times:
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Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 20):
No, in that case the Judge presiding over it refused to give WN time to get an agreement with its unions about this deal.

There's also the fact that Southwest didn't address the $150 million Frontier owed to Republic, which Southwest thought was just another unsecured claim. But it wasn't.

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2009/08/17/daily59.html

"Asked in the WSJ interview about Southwest's failed Frontier bid, Kelly admitted that his company was "probably a little late getting into the game. Unbeknown to us, Republic had already formulated its own plan."

I don't know how it could be "unbeknown." I knew and had known about it - from public sources - for about five months before the auction.

This is why Republic didn't raise their bid.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5487 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6274 times:

Quoting mccarranmgr (Reply 19):
They are being bought and soon will disappear from SWA. As will the 717’s and most of the “original” AirTran employees .

From where do you get this bit of silliness?



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6195 times:

Quoting mccarranmgr (Reply 19):
Of course they could have. But the money was too good to pass up so they didn’t. They are being bought and soon will disappear from SWA. As will the 717’s and most of the “original” AirTran employees . I know it sounds harsh but it’s the truth.

That's actually not true. According to the article linked at the top of this thread, the shareholders will vote on this in March. If the shareholders really feel they are being shafted and the stock price will go up alone, they should reject the merger. To file lawsuits instead of this is silly to me, and frivilous.


25 ScottB : I didn't mention this before, but I believe this is a sign that the Southwest and AirTran management teams are confident that the DoJ will clear the
26 Atlwest1 : And you would be 100 percent incorrect. Remember to take on the sheer size of the Airtran operation and the way they fly, THEY DONT HAVE THE MANPOWER
27 777fan : It will be interesting to see how WN handles its BWI ops once the merger is (presumably) finalized at some point. FL operates out of the other side o
28 deltal1011man : here is the thing about that though, All the people that Delta really care about, I mean really worry about, get at least 1 "FREE" bag or have so muc
29 Mainland : Correct. These kinds of lawsuits are pretty common these days when a public company gets bought out. They pretty much all claim that the board of dir
30 Post contains images EMB170 : If you are a Medallion flyer, your 1st checked bag is indeed free. Moreover, even if you're not a Medallion but have the DL AMEX card then they also
31 enilria : Those are great reasons not to be in the airline business and now they aren't any more (or soon won't be), but that same logic applies to just about
32 mccarranmgr : Of course they are going to take everybody. I did not say they would be gone on DAY 1. However those that dont fall in line with the SWA culture will
33 Post contains images Atlwest1 : Your actually incorrect. If anything attrition has slowed. The promises have not been vague either they have been rather clear to the employee group.
34 txagkuwait : I hope the moderators let me get away with the use of the word "crock." I think what you find will happen is that the vast majority of FL employees f
35 PHLBOS : IIRC, in order for SkyMiles members (I happen to be one only because my NW WorldPerks rolled into it as a result of the merger) to get that free chec
36 Post contains links ScottB : Southwest has plenty of room in A/B at BWI; I think the two concourses have roughly 25 gates together, and they're currently using about 20. Bloomber
37 FlyASAGuy2005 : They haven't even voted on the whole deal yet.. As far as the employees: Where are you getting this info from? Better yet, let me use my southern acc
38 PHLBOS : That may be technically true, but up to a point. I don't believe for one minute that the fares will increase to NON-competitive levels. By non-compet
39 FlyASAGuy2005 : Oh no, of course not. This isn't 1987 where they were running mainline to stations that has been all DCI for the better part of 15 years. But still,
40 AmericanAirFan : People keep referring to this as a merger. I thought this was a flat out buy out. Similar to when American bought out Reno Air, or Aircal. Is this not
41 FL787 : I realize all those things apply to all airlines but I was explaining why FL is at a relative disadvantage in dealing with them. Really should have j
42 Post contains images enilria : I don't know what that means. There is no expectation you won't get stapled to the bottom of the seniority list. Have you seen anything that says oth
43 Atlwest1 : Because since all of those mergers there are rules that protect employees from being stapled. Particularly the unionized employees will have added pr
44 FL787 : I've learned by now that you are the eternal pessimist and I won't change your opinion but I recommend you read up on the McCaskill-Bond Amendment. I
45 Post contains links mariner : Swing either way, perhaps? Since at least 2008, Airtran was putting in lipstick and a sexy dress to make itself beautiful to Southwest: http://www.us
46 PlanesNTrains : Well, you can't fire people because you don't like them, and if you are getting a nice pay raise I doubt you'd be as willing to walk just because you
47 ScottB : Undoubtedly that's why Fornaro agreed to meet with Kelly -- AirTran was interested in a marketing alliance. But publicly, they have stated that South
48 FlyASAGuy2005 : You're not very hip on the current labor laws. This cannot and will not happen due to what AA did to TW employees.
49 USAirways787 : We don't in fact a lot of us are embracing the fact that we may finally be recognized and be treated with the respect we have ever asked for. We have
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