Last week American and US Airways employees participated in a “Fly-In” to Washington to highlight the potential benefits of their merger, and to urge government and elected officials to pressure Justice Department officials to drop their lawsuit.
And while employees from both airlines are hoping to make the merger an issue in Washington, it’s already a big topic in Texas.
Merger Becomes Texas Campaign Issue
Both in Dallas and statewide the merger has become a campaign issue in the race for Governor. Texas Attorney General, and Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Greg Abbot has been roundly criticized by members of both parties for opposing the merger. Democrats are claiming he’s anti-jobs and growth; Republicans are accusing him of hypocrisy and being anti-free markets.
It’s been a pile on in North Texas. The Dallas Morning News, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, and the North Texas Regional Chamber of Commerce have slammed him for supporting the DOJ. Most shocking is that the Dallas Observer and the Dallas Morning News are on the same side of an issue. The Observer skewered Abbot with this shot:
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott should have learned by now that running for governor requires far more caution and cunning than suing the federal government. He’s already stumbled twice since mid-August, first when he took the mind-melting step of joining forces with the Obama administration in a lawsuit to block the American Airlines-U.S. Airways merger, then when he Twitter-thanked a guy for calling potential opponent Wendy Davis “Retard Barbie.”
Abbott’s has said that his opposition to the merger is because he’s concerned that service to smaller cities in Texas will be reduced by a merger, but even officials in the smaller cities disagree with him. Kevin Pearson, interim president and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, offered his thoughts to the Star-Telegram:
“But what are we going to do, let American Airlines go belly up?” Pearson asked. “They’re bleeding red ink. What do you expect? With the merger, American’s got to do what American’s got to do.”
“But I actually think the merger will make the combined airline stronger, keep more planes in small airports.”
Asking Customers to Join the Fight
American and US Airways are making it possible for customers to show their support for the merger by hosting a website that allows you to easily submit a letter to your elected officials.
The new American is about growth, improved service, a broader network and giving consumers another global choice. Tell government and elected officials to let American Airlines and US Airways compete together.
They provide a template letter that you can use as a base for your own letter to your government and elected officials, you can also personalize your message by making updates to template.