It's Wait and See

Reaction to the giant merger was mixed from Continental Airline passengers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Pat Hernandez reports that the majority of the comments were "wait and see."

The merger between Continental and United, creating the world's largest carrier, won't  be very evident to passengers at first. At the Continental Airlines terminal at Bush Airport, passengers had their impressions on how the marriage will affect prices, customer service and of course, the end of a Houston based carrier

Female: "A merger I think, is always a good thing. I think you're gong to find maybe customer service. You're blending services together, and possibly getting a better service and possibly better rates and as long as the plane's on time, I'm good with that."

Male: "I don't notice any difference in it so far. We'll find out when we get the flight and land and try to find our bags."

Female: "I know a few people who work for Continental, so I wonder how it's gonna affect them and you know, the economy here I guess, with all the jobs leaving, but I don't know."

Male: "You know I fly out of Denver so, Continental and United is all I fly. From my point of view, it's sort of sad that Continental is going away because it's such an iconic brand."

Officials of the new airline say significant changes will come in the spring when it kicks off "Customer Day One", and airport kiosks, airline websites and reservation systems will be combined.  Some passengers l talked to were
concerned about the future of longtime Continental employees.

Female: "My mom works for Continental so I'm very concerned about the merger."

Male: "I think it's a shame. It is a Houston company, and so a lot of these jobs are being shipped to Chicago. So I hope it doesn't affect prices. Maybe it gives some more options, but I would be concerned about prices going up."

Still, other passengers seemed to accept the reality of the changing airline industry.

Female: "They're two big airlines and they're both great, so that's fine with me."

Male: "I think it'll be good for both companies. Continental could stand to improve a little bit. United's got some good practices."

Female: "Well, I'm flying United today. My flight's on time. I'm good to go, so I'm happy."

The new airline will carry an estimated 144-million passengers a year to 370 destinations in 59 countries. The companies expect it will be at least a year before federal regulators approve their request to fly as one.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...