Wednesday, February 13, 2013

USAir and American Airlines to Merge

San Diego public radio KPBS just announced that the AP is running a story that USAirways and American Airlines will merge to form a single airline, one of the largest in the world.

For my friends who fly American Airlines, you have my sympathies.  At least American won't go out of business, but you're merging with USAir, AKA, US-Scare.  As a former Phoenix resident, I was forced to fly USAir more than I liked for business and for personal travel, and I cannot say I had a pleasant flight on USAir, even once.  I know people who were platinum level frequent fliers, or "President's Club" preferred travelers on USAir, and (of course) they always received excellent service... but I was not one of them.  "Sit down and shut up", "be happy I didn't run out of peanuts", "the next step will be coin-operated plane bath rooms" seemed to be the genre of air travel on USAir.

I've never taken a USAir transatlantic flight, but my (2) American airlines transatlantic flights, and my (2) US transcontinental flights were four of the most unpleasant business class flights in my 15 years of business travel.  I know a sample size of n=4 is not statistically significant, unless you work at a private cancer test research development firm near Phoenix (then the sample size is probably twice as big as normally would be), but I did not enjoy my few AA flights.  My NorthWest, KLM, Delta, Lufthansa, British Air, Dragon Air, Singapore Air, Air China, China Southeastern, Thai Air, EVA, Continental, New Zealand Air, Emirates, Alitalia, Swiss Air, Austrian Air, and Air France flights have been significantly better than American and USAir.  United has not been much better, but at least United is partnered with Lufthansa, and with German airlines, there's a disciplined process.

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