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Destination I Do
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What the United and Continental Merger Means for Your Destination Wedding

Words by Jennifer Stein
Words by Brett Snyder
It’s not just people who get married. While they may call them mergers in the business world, these combinations are marriages of two cultures. Continental and United have announced that they’ll be walking down the aisle.

If you have plans to fly for your own wedding, don’t worry. Nothing will change in the near future. The merger isn’t expected to be completed until the end of this year, after details get ironed out and a lengthy review takes place by the Department of Justice. So until then, it will be business as usual. Once the merger is done, it will be a long slow process, as it has been for every other combination in the past.

Sure, it’s likely that routes will change and policies will too. As with any marriage, learning to live with each other is never easy. The problem here, of course, is that there are a lot more cooks in the kitchen and a lot more people who feel the pain when spats arise.

What should you do as a customer? Not much, actually. It’s just business as usual and they’ll let you know later on if anything is going to change for you. One thing you can bank on – if you have both United and Continental frequent flier accounts, they will eventually be merging. Right now you can use United miles on Continental flights and vice versa, but you can’t combine your United and Continental miles to use for one award. Once they come together, maybe you’ll have enough miles to get to some exotic Southeast Asian beach. Or hey, First Class to Venice? Sounds good to me.

So, bring your patience while these guys get used to sharing bank accounts and sleeping in the same bed. (Though to be fair, they’ve already been sleeping together for the last few months as part of Star Alliance.) To keep up to date you can follow them at their merger website, UnitedContinentalMerger.com.

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