Following a highly successful launch party, Apex Airways announces that it has run out of gas.
“It was a difficult decision, but after being driven out of our Minot hub, we realized we needed to find strategic partners to keep Apex Airways viable,” commented David Alter, Apex’s Chief Operations Officer. “We looked high and wide for another carrier that shared our same level of commitment to customers. At the end of the selection process, the choice was clear: United Airlines is that carrier.”
Apex and United have long shared similar views. For example, Apex announced its new no-aisle seating configuration; United recently began exploring the viability of stacking them in like cordwood. Apex offers a no-guarantees, “get you there if we can make it” travel policy; United’s reliability matches ours at the bottom of the pile. Apex’s fleet is a rattletrap medley of historical craft; United once flew a plane full of garbage.
“We’re looking forward to the financial stability provided by a profitable carrier like United. Then again, anybody who can’t make a profit with oil at twenty-seven bucks a barrel would have to be seriously idiotic,” commented Apex’s Chief Legal Officer Bill Cash. “Like us.”
The best of both worlds
United, which has a perfect track record in executing on airline mergers, will take the lead on integration issues. The airlines have already identified some best practices from each carrier.
- The flexible PexPoints program will be the surviving mileage currency.
- All Apex Cloud Clubs will convert to United Clubs.
- The Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card will be phased out. The new United PexPoints Rewards Explorer Ulticard by VISA will be issued to holders of both airlines’ cards.
- The Apex mobile app will be discontinued and redirected to www.southwest.com.
- The Apex Ambassadors Club, open only to New Jersey governors and mayors, will be merged into United’s existing Jersey graft program.
- The combined carrier will accept reservations, print tickets, and use the United States dollar.
- United will continue to use the 844-400-APEX number as its main customer service line.
- Reflecting the now-complete merger with CO, the new company will be called United Continental Apex Holdings, Inc.
Cash also commented on labor relations—a big part of running a successful airline anywhere. “We’ve seen what works and what a disaster it can be, as in the case of American/US Airways, when you have two labor groups at war with each other. So we’re going to one-up AA and have three labor groups.” Pilots, FAs, dispatchers, and crisis management personnel will retain their membership in various unions assigned to United, Continental, and Apex. This industry-breaking tripartite labor structure should best the carrier for generations to come.
A better hub for the better
This merger offers something for everyone. United was particularly keen to get its hands on Apex’s Branson hub. With Chicago O’Hare at full capacity, CTA trains derailing up the escalators, and—worst of all—the automated toilet seat covers constantly breaking down, United wanted to get away from ORD. Branson’s 7,000-feet Runway 14/32 should be sufficient to handle all the flights the combined airline will ever fly after adopting the best parts of both airlines.
United also agreed to maintain the surviving Apex milk run: a triangular route between the Wisconsin Dells, Pigeon Forge/Dollywood Int’l, and Branson. “Low-rent passengers from all these here parts can still stay close to their kin, thanks to the new United Continental Apex Holdings, Inc.,” beamed an easily-entertained and faintly tipsy David Alter.
This is expected to be the last official Apex Airways press release. The good and bad people of Apex Airways thank you for your business over the years.
United Continental Apex Holdings, Inc. plans to welcome Apex into the family with the traditional exchanging of airline vows at 35,000 feet just as soon as its current CEO can be identified.