You know the type. On his best behavior, he comes along and charms her. Not once, not twice, but several times. Each time she thinks, Oh, this time it’ll be different. It’ll work.
But of course it doesn’t.
As soon as someone better comes along, he’s gone in a flash.
Kind of like United Airlines dropping its courtship of No. 6-ranked US Airways for the likes of No. 4-ranked Continental Airlines.
In a decade of on-again, off-again wooing, United has intermittedly pursued a merger with US Air and Continental.
But Continental, apparently United’s true object of affection, has been coy. In 2008, Continental rebuffed United’s advances. Just weeks ago, United was again courting US Air when talks suddenly ended, and United was again in hot pursuit of Continental. Some analysts say United was just using US Air to get Continental jealous — I mean, back to the bargaining table.
If so, it worked.
I’m not the only one seeing a bit of the player in United’s quest for a merger. Industry consultant Mark Sixel also likened Continental and US Air to United’s two girlfriends.
Continental CEO Jeff Smisek himself described Continental as the prettier girlfriend when the United-Continental merger was announced Monday, creating the world’s biggest airline.
“I didn’t want him (United) to marry the ugly girl,” Smisek was quoted as saying. “I wanted him to marry the pretty one, and I’m much prettier.”
Said Sixel:” “The better match all along has been Continental. When it comes to marrying, you pick the one you like better.”