Final day of Continental Airlines' name is near

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Final day of Continental Airlines' name is near

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Feb 22, 2012 ... h/631242/1

Final day of Continental Airlines' name is near
Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
21 February, 2012

The days are numbered for the Continental Airlines name, the Houston Chronicle reports.

In just about two weeks, parent company United Continental Holdings will begin using only United for nearly all of its interactions with customers.

And, with that, the Chronicle writes the Continental name "will begin fading in the distance as two carriers that have merged into the world's largest become United."

Continental and United, of course, closed on their deal in 2010. The airlines have since been operating as subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings.

In the eyes of the Federal Aviation Administration, United and Continental have been viewed as a single carrier (United) since November.

However, the combination has been less seamless for customers.

That's because United Continental has maintained separate websites for each brand, including log-ins for both United's MileagePlus frequent-flier program as well as for Continental's OnePass program. Continental's flights – though now part of United's route network – do bear United flight numbers, but remain listed as "operated by Continental."

Not for much longer.

That all will end during the first week of March, though United Continental is not revealing exactly which day the changeover will occur.

"We're going to have one frequent flier program, we're going to have one website, we'll actually be one airline from our customers' perspective, which is really valuable to the customers and will give them much better customer service," Jeff Smisek, CEO of United Continental Holdings, the parent company of the merged airline, says in last week's interview with the Chronicle.

"Many of the things customers have issues with today will disappear once we have a single passenger service system," Smisek adds.

Billed as "a merger of equals," much of Continental's trademark branding – such as its colors and globe logo – will live on as United Continental completes the merger.

Continental's venerable name, however, will give way to "United Airlines."

For now, the Chronicle writes Continental fans can take heart that "some (United Continental) planes still will bear the Continental name, until the company completes the task of repainting 700 aircraft that began when Houston-based Continental and Chicago-based United Airlines merged in October 2010."

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