I’ve read where some in the industry are speculating that Continental’s fees might “jump” as a result of its merger with United. However, my analysis using the TruPrice database suggests otherwise.
In most categories that affect the average traveler, Continental and United have identical fees. In fact, the only fee I could see where there was a noticeable difference was in overweight bags where CO charges $50 for 50-70 lbs. with no bags over 70 accepted and United charges $100 for bags ranging from 51 to 100 lbs.
Of course if those in-flight snacks and meals are your reason for flying, then CO/UA passengers may be in for a rude awakening as CO still gives away its food while UA charges anywhere up to $9 for a snack or meal. Whether the merger has any impact on CO’s decision to go to a food-for-sale model earlier than its planned phase in this fall remains to be seen.
Whose fee model survives will depend on several factors; but, the scenario of any fees jumping, leaping, or doing anything else that conveys significant upward movement just because of the merger does not hold water as both models are nearly mirror images.