On Thursday media outlets reported that the merger discussions between United Airlines, based in Chicago, Illinois and US Airways, based in Tempe, Arizona, have ground to a halt. Apparently labor issues were a problem as well as who would run the airline...according to various news reports the merged airline would have been called United and headquartered in Chicago. US Airways CEO Doug Parker would not have been at the helm of the merged carrier (yeah!).
This is good news from the Hat Trick's perspective. I've never been a fan of the "customer service" (or lack of) that I've experienced from the new US Airways (really America West Airlines in US Airways colors...see this post for a further explanation) so I'm glad to see United not get caught up with these jokers.
We'll see where this leaves both companies. It looks like United is refocusing on its first choice in merger partners (and fellow Star Alliance partner), Continental Airlines (see this post). For US Airways it looks like they will be left out for now. Aviation/airline blogger Marshall Jackson over at Boarding Area (a great site for airline and aviation geeks like the Hat Trick!) makes a compelling argument for an American/US Airways combination. The Hat Trick is less sure of this combination given fleet commonality issues (American is entirely Boeing and former McDonnell Douglas aircraft, US Airways almost entirely Airbus) plus some very different views on customer service. Still, crazier things have happened in this industry so it's possible...the Hat Trick never really thought Delta-Northwest would ever happen!
Regardless, the US Airways invasion of United appears to be off for now. Yeah!