January isn’t even over yet, but Delta Airlines has come up with what will undoubtedly remain the year’s worst idea. Wall Street is full of rumors that Delta will make an offer to acquire American Airlines as soon as American gets its debts and balance sheet in order.
As usual, the money manipulators—lawyers, consultants, and company big shots with golden parachutes—would make out big time in such a deal, but consumers—not so much. Neither line offers a notably good economy class product, neither offers a real premium economy option, and Delta—which would presumably run the resulting show—has the industry’s worst frequent flyer reputation for award availability.
You’d think that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would be all over this on antitrust grounds, but the DOJ has allowed some weird combinations in the past. At this point, there’s probably no way for ordinary consumers to be heard, but if you get the chance, speak up.