well, i really don´t see much of a point of US joining Star if UA didn´t make it.
although PHL is a business center and a hub for US, that´s about the only valuable thing for the other Star airlines. they would only be a suitable feeder for the european Star airlines, and even then not a great one.
i believe if they were a member of Star, and hopefully they will become so in 2003/2004, the greatest benefit is for US itself, since the membership would make it much more attractive to its american customers.
US is certainly a fine airline, but in comparison to UA, their network, domestic and international, and their hub operations are no match. they complement UA´s network nicely, and they would certainly be very welcomed to Star, but as the only american carrier in Star... I have my doubts. especially since US is not the healthiest carrier as well. as much as i can tell from the media, they´re making a lot of progress and i am confident they will succesfully emerge from Chapter 11, but this might still be too risky for Star if there wasn´t UA anymore.
if UA goes out of business, Star has a major problem, no doubt about it. however, i am sure that with the exception of DL and probably NW, every US major (leaving AA and CO) will seriously consider Star.
although i think that Star is getting way too big and thus it may have its flaws, i´m pretty sure that from a business point-of-view, every airline would be licking its fingers if it was member of such a big alliance covering virtually all important business areas in the world, with a lack maybe in the Australasian region, of course.
and although AA has close ties with most of its oneworld members, i tend to agree with Udo. if there is no change to Bermuda II and if AA/BA are not allowed antitrust immunity, their cooperation will always be a shadow of the likes of LH/UA, KL/NW and AF/DL.
and the benefits that IB, AY and EI bring to AA may as easily be provided by SK, bmi, OS, and the tons of other minor and future partners.
so if it wasn´t for a rough transition time, Star is currently more attractive to AA than oneworld, at least on the transatlantic.
I think the only carriers AA would miss would be LA and possibly CX. well, i´m not as familiar with oneworld than I am with Star, so please correct me if i´m wrong. anyway, this is just a personal opinion.
i am not saying that AA would become a member of Star. if UA collapsed i would certainly hope so, but i am pretty sure that it would become at least a scenario which will considered seriously by AA as well as by Star.
again, i am aware that AA has close and valuable links within oneworld. if there will be major changes to the landscape of airline alliances remains on the outcome of the american industry, what happens to UA, US, and possibly even other airlines. and as long as UA keeps flying, all this will remain pure speculations.
everyone´s guesses is as good as mine.
if for instance tomorrow, AA and BA would be allow to codeshare on all transatlantic flights, then AA would be foolish to move away from oneworld... that´s for sure.
still, i would like to invite you to the following thread which is basically about the same issue. there were even faint industry rumors about AA replacing UA...
If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.