Cointrin330
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Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:08 am

DL/NW or AA/US?

While the DL/NW merger, announced in 2008 and immediately panned proved to be the combination that positioned the "new" Delta as the best managed of the US3, did the AA/US integration actually proceed more smoothly from an integration standpoint with fewer IT and Service hiccups?

I did not include the UA/CO merger, which from an integration standpoint, was a mess.
 
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Veigar
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:16 am

HP/US.
 
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N717TW
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:21 am

Veigar wrote:
HP/US.


HP/US was a mess. There was the complete computer meltdown in '07 and then the years of labor issues between the two pilot groups.
If you're going to go back in time, TW/AA was pretty smooth.

Its fair to say operationally AA/US has been pretty smooth. The issue there is that AA now looks and feels a lot like US, in that its not a particularly great airline to fly.
 
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Veigar
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:24 am

N717TW wrote:
Veigar wrote:
HP/US.


HP/US was a mess. There was the complete computer meltdown in '07 and then the years of labor issues between the two pilot groups.
If you're going to go back in time, TW/AA was pretty smooth.

Its fair to say operationally AA/US has been pretty smooth. The issue there is that AA now looks and feels a lot like US, in that its not a particularly great airline to fly.


I thought HP/US was only a struggle due to HP grabbing US execs by the balls and forcefully reverse merging. Huh. The more you know.
 
N174UA
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:41 am

Looks like this thread should be moved to the Travel Polls/Preferences...
 
N649DL
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:46 am

N717TW wrote:
Veigar wrote:
HP/US.


HP/US was a mess. There was the complete computer meltdown in '07 and then the years of labor issues between the two pilot groups.
If you're going to go back in time, TW/AA was pretty smooth.

Its fair to say operationally AA/US has been pretty smooth. The issue there is that AA now looks and feels a lot like US, in that its not a particularly great airline to fly.


AA/TW was smooth in the respect that they quickly erased the TWA brand entirely and very quickly. The hybrid TWA scheme which was basically AA colors and TWA on the tail and front part of the plane was swiftly executed as well.

Then came lots of TWA furloughs, the constant shrinking of the STL hub, abandoning Terminal 5 at JFK, and all of it's Middle East routes like CAI, RUH, TLV etc.

The best was DL/NW, IMHO and AA/US wasn't bad. UA/CO was a nightmare and is still somewhat is haunted by some of it's merger decisions. Of the three, UA/CO had the best potential and was plague by cost cutting and corruption.

I do wonder if 9/11 didn't happen when it did if AA would've taken more from the TWA brand? I recall seeing that merger video on Youtube a while ago, they seem pretty optimistic about merging the two brands.
Last edited by N649DL on Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Chemist
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:08 am

Seems like AirTran and WN was pretty good?
 
Max Q
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:16 am

N649DL wrote:
N717TW wrote:
Veigar wrote:
HP/US.


HP/US was a mess. There was the complete computer meltdown in '07 and then the years of labor issues between the two pilot groups.
If you're going to go back in time, TW/AA was pretty smooth.

Its fair to say operationally AA/US has been pretty smooth. The issue there is that AA now looks and feels a lot like US, in that its not a particularly great airline to fly.


AA/TW was smooth in the respect that they quickly erased the TWA brand entirely and very quickly. The hybrid TWA scheme which was basically AA colors and TWA on the tail and front part of the plane was swiftly executed as well.

Then came lots of TWA furloughs, the constant shrinking of the STL hub, abandoning Terminal 5 at JFK, and all of it's Middle East routes like CAI, RUH, TLV etc.

The best was DL/NW, IMHO and AA/US wasn't bad. UA/CO was a nightmare and is still somewhat is haunted by some of it's merger decisions. Of the three, UA/CO had the best potential and was plague by cost cutting and corruption.

I do wonder if 9/11 didn't happen when it did if AA would've taken more from the TWA brand? I recall seeing that merger video on Youtube a while ago, they seem pretty optimistic about merging the two brands.



I never understood why AA absorbed TWA


What, exactly did they get out of it ? They
parked most of their aircraft, abandoned nearly all of their hubs except STL which they ended up gutting


They ended up with a few old MD80’s, a couple of route authorities and billions in extra debt


Seemed like the most ill advised ‘merger’ ever
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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skystar767
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:24 am

The only merger that went without any problems was DL/NW. USAIR/American a nightmare it’s still going on with the flight attendants. HP/USAIR was never a real merger because you has USAIR east and USAIR west. Flight attendants was paid differently. AA/TWA was not a merger it was a acquisition.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:02 am

The best was probably DL/NW followed by FL/WN followed by AA/US.

In way, way, way last place is UA/CO. Worst merger ever.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
N649DL
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:08 am

Max Q wrote:
N649DL wrote:
N717TW wrote:

HP/US was a mess. There was the complete computer meltdown in '07 and then the years of labor issues between the two pilot groups.
If you're going to go back in time, TW/AA was pretty smooth.

Its fair to say operationally AA/US has been pretty smooth. The issue there is that AA now looks and feels a lot like US, in that its not a particularly great airline to fly.


AA/TW was smooth in the respect that they quickly erased the TWA brand entirely and very quickly. The hybrid TWA scheme which was basically AA colors and TWA on the tail and front part of the plane was swiftly executed as well.

Then came lots of TWA furloughs, the constant shrinking of the STL hub, abandoning Terminal 5 at JFK, and all of it's Middle East routes like CAI, RUH, TLV etc.

The best was DL/NW, IMHO and AA/US wasn't bad. UA/CO was a nightmare and is still somewhat is haunted by some of it's merger decisions. Of the three, UA/CO had the best potential and was plague by cost cutting and corruption.

I do wonder if 9/11 didn't happen when it did if AA would've taken more from the TWA brand? I recall seeing that merger video on Youtube a while ago, they seem pretty optimistic about merging the two brands.



I never understood why AA absorbed TWA


What, exactly did they get out of it ? They
parked most of their aircraft, abandoned nearly all of their hubs except STL which they ended up gutting


They ended up with a few old MD80’s, a couple of route authorities and billions in extra debt


Seemed like the most ill advised ‘merger’ ever


Good question. It might've been in response to the UA/US merger and once that didn't get approved, AA was probably like "Oh S***".

**Honestly, I think it was because TWA was secretly on it's death bed and they were running out of cash. They were taking on a ton of new airplanes with debt, high lease rates, and a flawed reputation after flight 800. It's why AA immediately dumped the 717s and likely replaced aged 763s with brand new ones in 2003. The TW 757s were sadly sold off mostly to Delta in 2007 for commonality issues.

By 2000, TWA was essentially a regional airline for STL with a few token International routes. This video is excellent and recent to sum it all up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBI8rZn3fqM&t=167s

STL was fine as a reliever hub (which they needed as AA at ORD was out of gate space) but got gutted with SJU during the recession. It still was a small hub until almost 2009.

If AA stayed consistent with it, they could've been a true player at JFK with TWA's TATL offerings, rare Middle East destinations and the new terminal. The really odd thing about TWA is it's downfall was rapid and it actually came back once or twice briefly in the 1990s. They had a great reputation in the 1980s at least flying Internationally even compared to Pan Am at that point (don't judge me as I'm only 31.)
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:04 am

N649DL wrote:
Max Q wrote:
N649DL wrote:

AA/TW was smooth in the respect that they quickly erased the TWA brand entirely and very quickly. The hybrid TWA scheme which was basically AA colors and TWA on the tail and front part of the plane was swiftly executed as well.

Then came lots of TWA furloughs, the constant shrinking of the STL hub, abandoning Terminal 5 at JFK, and all of it's Middle East routes like CAI, RUH, TLV etc.

The best was DL/NW, IMHO and AA/US wasn't bad. UA/CO was a nightmare and is still somewhat is haunted by some of it's merger decisions. Of the three, UA/CO had the best potential and was plague by cost cutting and corruption.

I do wonder if 9/11 didn't happen when it did if AA would've taken more from the TWA brand? I recall seeing that merger video on Youtube a while ago, they seem pretty optimistic about merging the two brands.



I never understood why AA absorbed TWA


What, exactly did they get out of it ? They
parked most of their aircraft, abandoned nearly all of their hubs except STL which they ended up gutting


They ended up with a few old MD80’s, a couple of route authorities and billions in extra debt


Seemed like the most ill advised ‘merger’ ever


Good question. It might've been in response to the UA/US merger and once that didn't get approved, AA was probably like "Oh S***".

**Honestly, I think it was because TWA was secretly on it's death bed and they were running out of cash. They were taking on a ton of new airplanes with debt, high lease rates, and a flawed reputation after flight 800. It's why AA immediately dumped the 717s and likely replaced aged 763s with brand new ones in 2003. The TW 757s were sadly sold off mostly to Delta in 2007 for commonality issues.

By 2000, TWA was essentially a regional airline for STL with a few token International routes. This video is excellent and recent to sum it all up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBI8rZn3fqM&t=167s

STL was fine as a reliever hub (which they needed as AA at ORD was out of gate space) but got gutted with SJU during the recession. It still was a small hub until almost 2009.

If AA stayed consistent with it, they could've been a true player at JFK with TWA's TATL offerings, rare Middle East destinations and the new terminal. The really odd thing about TWA is it's downfall was rapid and it actually came back once or twice briefly in the 1990s. They had a great reputation in the 1980s at least flying Internationally even compared to Pan Am at that point (don't judge me as I'm only 31.)

If anything, they shouldve reverse took over TW and kept their name just for the livery.
When wasn't America great?


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PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:16 am

Remember, also, that there is no TWA merger with AA; this was a purchase of the assets of a dead airline.

This distinction is important historically, because the devil himself, Carl Icahn, took AA to court to enforce the continuation of the Karabu agreement. The courts ruled, however, this was not a merger, it was the selection of assets. And Carl Icahn lost. This is why there was no "integration" of employee lists; only a stapling of TWA names to the bottom of the AA list.

My personal opinion is that the DL/NW merger was one for the record books in terms of integration. Done with as much thought on a seamless experience for the customer as possible. The records seem to indicate this caused the least disruption, whereas the CO/UA was a debacle from start to finish.
 
durangomac
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:45 am

While the AS/VX merger is still working thru parts of it, the integration is for the most part complete to passengers except for a few planes left to be painted and the interiors swapped out, what do others think about it?
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:44 am

I think it is safe to say UA/CO was a debacle and while UA has come a very long way, there are still residual issues to still be worked out to maximize the benefits of the merger and round out service issues, but today's UA is in much better shape than at any other time post-merger. DL/NW was not seamless at all. Delta had numerous service issues around 2009 though it quickly recovered from those and very (VERY) rapidly did away with any vestiges of the NW brand. AA/US integrated well from an operational standpoint. Few real hiccups. The IT system cutovers did not cause major issues or meltdowns.

I would not say HP/US was a well executed merger at all, back in 2005. US was weeks if not days away from liquidation. HP took them over, it was not really a merger. The reservation system integration was a complete mess.

AA did not merge with TWA. They bought it to take out a weak competitor at the worst possible time, just months before 9/11. AA saw STL as a reliever for ORD but we all know what happened there.
 
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ricport
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:10 pm

skystar767 wrote:
The only merger that went without any problems was DL/NW. USAIR/American a nightmare it’s still going on with the flight attendants. HP/USAIR was never a real merger because you has USAIR east and USAIR west. Flight attendants was paid differently. AA/TWA was not a merger it was a acquisition.


Exactly. I'm primarily a UA flyer for domestic, but last year, I was stuck in MIA waiting for a flight attendant coming in from an inbound PHX flight to man our flight... Flight was delayed exactly 1:55 (so AA could weasel out of any kind of compensation to pax), and when I asked why, at one of AA's largest hubs, they couldn't find another FA faster, they said that the US - AA merger still had to be fully executed in terms of integration of FAs.

Rarely fly DL, but it seems like from a distance they did it best. And I actually like UA, but their merger definitely was a lot of promise poorly executed.
 
acjbbj
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:10 pm

DL / NW Hands down.
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longhauler
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:51 pm

acjbbj wrote:
DL / NW Hands down.

To that I would add, DL / WA.

The common factor appears to be Delta Air Lines. They appear to remember that it is not just a merger of finances, equipment and routes ..... but a merger of people. Treat people well, and the rest falls into place.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
1836Sam
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:54 pm

All this hatred of the UA/CO merger I just don't get! Smooth as silk! Didn't notice a thing! And everyone got along right from the start! :lol:
 
PI4EVER
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:24 am

The 1989 merge of US, PI and PS was surprisingly uneventful and without system shutdowns or outages. It took a long time to prepare and digest PI but the system cutover to US system Pacer went smoothly.
There was a system outage/issue after the August 1989 cutover due to system upgrades but overall an easy merge of systems and procedures with a lot of effort to train staff for the new systems.
The cultures of the 3 airlines did not mesh well, with PI and PS people very close, but US people more the "others" and it took time and working together to mesh these diverse groups. PI and PS staff were fiercely proud of their airlines and could be difficult to "toe the line" of US.
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
Max Q
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Re: Which US Airline Merger Was Better Executed?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:25 am

If you go back a bit further the Delta / Western merger went very smoothly


The Western employees were, for the most part quite happy to have a future with a solid, profitable carrier that also raised their pay as their own airline was headed to oblivion
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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