United Airlines and Continental Airlines were officially merged into one company last October 1. The merged company is now known as United. Since the merger was complete, the merged companies have been working on how to combine all their offered services and products as well as their business policies.
As much as the two companies have worked on fully merging into one, they are still quite separate. United and Continental still have their own kiosks in airports for ticketing and gates. Employees of each company still wear their separate uniforms.
According to a recent article in the Houston Chronicle, the merger is so far more successful than the 2005 merger between US Airways and America West. In that merger, the two companies’ labor groups still have not merged. While the merger is slow to be complete, many say that the merger is more like the Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines merger in 2008, which is widely thought to be a successful combination of two businesses.
The Houston Chronicle also interviewed the CEO of the merged companies who said that he felt that the merger has been a success and he is pleased with the progress. The CEO says that there are still many decisions to be made and changes to implement. The merged frequent-flier program is completed to be started next year and is called MileagePlus. Smaller decisions, such as how to put the new company logo on napkins used on flights have not yet been decided, which just shows how much work goes into a successful merger.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “CEO aims for smooth landing in United-Continental merger,” Jenalia Moreno, Sept. 25, 2011