The Daily Parker

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I hope US American Airways does it better...

The Economist's Gulliver blog has had enough of UnitedContinental's computer problems:

Late last month, for example, America's Department of Transportation fined United $350,000 for taking too long to process its customers' refund requests. ... Here's the remarkable thing about this latest fine, which was connected to delays of some 9,000 refund requests: United blamed it on the merger. According to the Los Angeles Times, United told the regulators that when the two legacy airlines' reservation systems were merged it resulted (in the words of a DOT report) "in some unforeseeable anomalies that caused a temporary inability to process refunds in a timely manner."

That's unacceptable. Again, it's been nearly three years since the merger. "Unforeseeable anomalies" should have been corrected by now. And on what sort of scale is it appropriate to describe a three-year-old problem as "temporary?"

It seems like both United and Continental have some bureaucratic issues that have exacerbated their technology trouble. Gulliver goes on to say that UAL crews are still contractually bound to UAL planes, so two companies still haven't merged their front-line labor forces.

Assuming American and US Airways get past the DOJ's roadblock (which I expect they will), will they have as much difficulty merging their computer systems? I hope not.

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