Continental Divide

Excellent job with “Marriage at 30,000 Feet” (Features, Feb. 6-12 ). As a former Continental and now new United pilot, I appreciate your thoroughness and your grasp of the many tough issues we are facing in this merger, particularly how even small, seemingly mundane decisions are in fact anything but. I often read airline news in the press and think, “Well, they got in the ballpark … but missed this or that.” Your piece, to the contrary, really was a home run.

Sure, there are lots of challenges still facing our company—especially labor contracts. However, I believe we will come through this stronger than before. We have great people and great passion for this business. I can’t wait to see how high the new United will fly.

Thanks for your report.
Korry Franke
Bethlehem, Pa.

Offensive … displeasing … distasteful … indecent … abominable … obscene … objectionable … that’s what I have to say about your Feb. 6-12 cover. You should be ashamed.
Vivian Maroney
Kingston, Mich.

Your article was on point and thorough; however, it did not address the fact that this “merger” was, in fact, a takeover of legacy United Airlines by Continental Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smisek. This takeover was with the cooperation, of course, of former UAL CEO Glenn Tilton, who walked away with millions while employees and retirees took pay cuts and, in the latter case, relegation of their pensions to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. after bankruptcy.

Continental procedures are, or soon will be, in place, from its antiquated reservations system to reduced safety procedures for pilots and flight attendants. United had enhanced safety procedures for both groups. United retirees have seen their earned and promised travel benefits decimated to favor the younger workforce of Continental. UAL’s frequent-flier program has been altered to accommodate that of Continental.

The cover was so accurate. UAL employees and retirees are taking it in the posterior!
Cynthia Simmons
UAL retiree
Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Get It On, Love Built to Last, Friends with Benefits, Exchange Vows, Home Run: Your cover page is so subtle it should have a condom over the dominant top plane (should be United) and a diaphragm shield inside the tail of the submissive bottom one (should be Continental). You will lose several subscriptions over portraying the sacred marriage of two companies as just a long mile-high f – – k. Who was the genius who sent this around legal without thinking? For April 1, maybe, but not right after the holy days!
Wayne and Nancy Lowe
via e-mail

I think you have a sharp magazine with good writing, making what is (for me) a boring subject—business—actually interesting and understandable. But I object to your Feb. 6-12 cover, the one with a Continental plane “getting it on” with a United plane. Couldn’t you have made a point about an airline merger without descending into base sexual imagery?
Rev. Dean Coonradt
Carlsbad, N.M.

Your Feb. 6-12 cover page was in extremely poor taste. You made it even worse with the headline “Let’s Get It On.” Surely you could have described the business events going on between Continental and United in a better fashion, and not by showing two planes having sex with each other on the cover of an important business magazine.
Joseph T. Cirillo
Vice president, reporting and planning
Greenwich, Conn.

Got to love last week’s cover: A Continental plane mounting a United plane with the caption, “Let’s Get It On”!

On the same page, you talk about Facebook having “friends with benefits.”

It shows that business has great humor. LMAO! Framing this cover. Thanks.
Allan Vargas
via e-mail

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