At first glance a merger of Qantas and British Airways might fill their frequent fliers with dread.

BA is infamously good at loosing luggage and QF can’t keep its jets fully maintained, or clean, or punctual.

Perfect. A marriage made in hell. The most vivid images of the BA experience in recent years have been of rubbish bins full of top tier loyalty cards dumped by enraged frequent fliers in terminals where its staff, who seem primarily drawn from work experience children, look blankly on amid the chaos of lost baggage and canceled flights which has occurred every summer this century and reached it worst levels of discontent when the airline comprehensively botched the opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow.

The winning images of the Qantas experience of recent times has been the ruptured side of the flight that made an emergency landing in Manila, and passengers sleeping on benches in the Perth, Sydney and Melbourne terminals and assorted broken aircraft with jammed slats, or leaking vital fluids over tarmacs.

Of course, it might turn out better or worse than this, if it happens, and the immediate focus of the shareholders and financiers of each carrier and among the funds that comprise the most important investors will not be about what lies in wait for the customers of each carrier.

Will the proposal make their stock prices break free from the global gloom? How enriched would it make management? Could it come anywhere close to the extravagant rewards of the Airline Partners Australia private equity bid for Qantas, the stench of which ought still be in the nostrils of all concerned.

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