United is merging with Continental to form the largest airline in the world (see news). United will carry the name, and probably its poor customer service, to the newly merged airline. I’m not sure how combining two non-profitable airlines will make the company profitable; the merger will create more United 1K and Global Service members. The merger will further dilute and devalue airline miles and making redemption of airline miles harder. This is why hotel points are much more valuable than airline miles.
Furthermore, I wouldn’t be shocked if United will follow Spirit Airlines’ lead and begin charging for carry on baggage for non-Premier members. You heard the prediction here first! Vacationers and casual flyers are going to get squeezed either way, whether they pay for carry on or get the Premier Baggage membership for $250.00.
The good news here is it will take these two inefficient airlines another 18 months to 2 years to merge their internal systems. It is definitely time to burn your airline miles and consider switching to the SkyTeam or OneWorld alliances, or JetBlue or Southwest if they’re available in your market.