The Minutiae of an Airline Merger

Old May 18, 11, 1:56 pm
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The Minutiae of an Airline Merger

Article in the NY Times about the DL/NW merger:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/business/19air.html


Some minutiae in there which only FTers or beancounters could care about:

"before the merger, Delta used to cut its limes in 10 slices while Northwest cut them 16 ways. The lime debate was even mentioned at a meeting attended by Mr. Anderson, the chief executive, who was told it saved Northwest about $500,000 a year. In the end, Delta stuck with its 10 slices. But the airline also realized that it had been loading more limes on its flights than it needed. So it is now carrying fewer limes. "
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Old May 18, 11, 2:28 pm
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NYT: The Minutiae of an Airline Merger

Interesting article about the DL/NW merger in the New York Times...

ATLANTA — How many chimes should pilots ring to signal the plane is about to land — two or four? Should flight attendants first pour drinks into a cup or just hand over the can?

Airline mergers are complex and tough to pull off — witness the troubled marriage of People Express and Continental Airlines in the 1980s or the continuing problems in integrating America West and US Airways six years after their merger. So when Delta Air Lines acquired Northwest three years ago, executives knew they would have to resolve major labor, technology and financial issues.

What they had not fully anticipated were the thousands of tiny details that go mostly unnoticed by passengers but can make the difference between a successful merger and a failed one.

All airlines have their own way of doing things, developed over time and through labor negotiations. All have specific working rules, flying procedures, maintenance schedules and computer programs. And all have their own cultures. Delta always thought of itself as the gracious host. Hence its flight attendants poured the requested drinks. Northwest was the practical carrier; its attendants just handed over the can.

Go to linky for the rest... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/bu...l?ref=business
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Old May 18, 11, 2:59 pm
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A very interesting read! Especially liked seeing the "sticky note wall" (image below)--a very interesting, low-tech approach to a mountain of a problem. If only we could actually look close enough to see if some of those stickies were mentioning the award calendar!



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Old May 18, 11, 3:13 pm
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I agree - great read!

And for those who say the merger was all bad, PMNW flyers will be happy to know that they can now enjoy larger lime wedges!

Anyone else find it odd that there is a Delta pilot picketing in the picture?
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Old May 18, 11, 3:36 pm
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Now we finally understand the programming behind Delta.com

Originally Posted by DL757ATL View Post


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I'm pretty sure this is a picture of the code!
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Old May 18, 11, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by yamaka View Post
I'm pretty sure this is a picture of the code!
LOL!
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Old May 18, 11, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by TTT View Post
And for those who say the merger was all bad, PMNW flyers will be happy to know that they can now enjoy larger lime wedges!
If only we could convince catering at the DTW Sky Clubs to cut their lime wedges larger than one thirty-secondth!
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Old May 18, 11, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by TTT View Post
Anyone else find it odd that there is a Delta pilot picketing in the picture?
solidarity for his union brothers.
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Old May 18, 11, 4:25 pm
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Found this part interesting:

The challenge, she said, was to switch the systems progressively so that passengers would not notice. Ms. Wise, who has a doctorate in applied mathematics, devised a low-tech solution: she set up a timeline of the steps that had to be performed by pinning colored Post-it notes on the wall of a conference room.

A major switch happened when the new airline canceled all Northwest’s bookings and transferred them to newly created Delta flights in January 2010. It required computer engineers to perform 8,856 separate steps stretched out over several days.
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Old May 18, 11, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by TTT View Post
I agree - great read!

And for those who say the merger was all bad, PMNW flyers will be happy to know that they can now enjoy larger lime wedges!
My issue with PMDL was that they never had enough lime wedges.
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Old May 18, 11, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney View Post
My issue with PMDL was that they never had enough lime wedges.
But now they even stock less!
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Old May 18, 11, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by yamaka View Post
I'm pretty sure this is a picture of the code!
If you zoom in, the last light blue ones says: Milejacking of WorldPerks into SkyPesos complete

A good read, thanks for posting OP
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Old May 18, 11, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by yamaka View Post
I'm pretty sure this is a picture of the code!
No wonder the website is such a mess... a small storm shuts down the website, the phones, everything...
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Old May 18, 11, 5:07 pm
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Which Post-It Note states "Fix Award Calendar"? Perhaps it fell off.
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Old May 18, 11, 5:09 pm
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"Delta’s chief information officer, Theresa Wise, said the airline had to merge 1,199 computer systems down to about 600, including one — a component within the airline’s reservation system — dating from 1966."

This must be the one running the award calender....
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