Travel News

Merging Continental and United Means Endless Decisions

United Airlines and Continental Airlines migrated to a single airline reservation system on March 3, 2012. Deciding which reservation system to migrate to was one of a thousand of decisions which had to be made for the two airlines to merge, integrate, and become one airline.

In addition to selecting the combined reservation system, following are some of the interesting decisions which had to be made, in order to create “the new United”:
•    Which coffee supplier to use (they brew 62 million cups per year)
•    Serving roasted nuts to the first class travelers (heated or not)
•    Boarding procedures (back-to-front or window-to-aisle)
•    Boarding passes (information and printing format)
•    Shape of the plastic drink cups (width and height)
•    Branding (including logo, slogan and uniforms)
•    On-board animal policies
By way of anecdote, on July 1 the “new United” coffee was introduced to fliers. However, due to the barrage of complaints the received following this introduction, they had to change their decision. To read more about this and other details of the United Continental merger, see this Bloomberg Businessweek article:
Making the World’s Largest Airline Fly

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