Extending his full-court press to convince all and sundry that a US Airways-American merger is the best-case outcome for bankrupt American, US Airways CEO Doug Parker used his time at Wednesday's National Press Club meeting in Washington to further reassure the converted and convert the naysayers. (The full text of his speech is here.)
Predictably, Parker would have us believe that the merger would be best for all concerned and that all stakeholder groups are in the same boat, paddling in the same direction:
[T]here are real advantages to combining airlines for employees, customers and communities. Employees will benefit from greater job security and more long-term opportunities if they're working for a successful airline. Customers will gain more flight options at better times to more places. And whenever two airlines combine, they open the communities that they serve to many more new travelers.
Parker did allow for one exception to his claim of universal support. In his post-speech remarks, he was quoted by The Street as follows: "I find it noteworthy that the only opposition that seems to exist to this merger is (from) the senior management of American Airlines."
While it's probably true that American top management opposes the merger for reasons of financial self-interest, as Parker implies, his other claims are debatable at best. But most debatable of all, if not downright preposterous, is his insinuation that the traveling public is pro tie-up.
I have yet to hear from a single traveler who favors a US Airways-American merger. I haven't conducted a scientifically rigorous poll on the matter, and don't have the resources to do so. But I would be very surprised if even one in 10 flyers felt their interests would be furthered by this marriage.
But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I've been hearing from a select group that's not representative of the majority.
US Airways + American - Yay or Nay?
It'll still be more anecdotal than statistically unassailable, but please reality-check Mr. Parker's claim (and my sense to the contrary) that travelers support US Airways' bid to merge with American.
Do you? Why or why not?
Please use the reader comments box below to weigh in with your thoughts.
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.