Thursday, June 30, 2016
Most mergers fail, studies have shown. This one started with high hopes, in-depth planning and crashed against the reality of combining two airline companies. It is symptomatic of a merger gone bad that flight attendants have spent nearly six years working under two contracts -- one from United and the other from Continental. The chaos of the reservation systems being combined cost the company tens of millions and customers. Did it have to be this way? Where was communications? Did United over-communicate to employees to make sure they heard the company's messages? One wonders. It was not for lack of advanced planning that the merger went off track. I recall reading an article before the process began in which United boasted of its work to make the combination smooth and without troubles for employees and passengers. It never happened. Now management is getting around to unifying the workforce six years late. Maybe this time, the process will flow smoothly.