Passengers have mixed reaction to the merger

Passengers at MSP
Passengers arrive at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Tuesday morning, hours after Delta and Northwest announced their deal.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

The CEO of Northwest Airlines says the carrier's acquisition by Delta Airlines will be good for investors, customers and employees. The deal announced Monday night will create the largest airline in the world.

Passengers at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport say the deal was bound to happen sooner or later, after weeks of speculation.

Some hoped the combined airline might offer better perks or better connections overseas. Others worried about friends and family that worked for the airline, or even their own jobs with Minnesota-based Northwest.

Mary Tomai was returning on a Northwest flight from a trip to California with her son's Woodbury school choir. She likes the convenience of having an airline hub in her home town, because there are lots of non-stop flights.

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"However, sometimes, when it is a hub, the flights are more expensive, which really isn't a big perk for me as a passenger," Tomai added.

Vernon Rowan lives in Minneapolis and was heading to St. Louis this morning.

He worries about the deal's impact on Minnesota. "Fewer direct flights, I guess, is what I'm concerned about and I guess I'm concerned about losing Minneapolis as a hub or the headquarters of the airline," he said. "I think we've benefited from that."

Other passengers said they thought this was the right move financially. They said it's better for one airline to acquire the other, rather than waiting for one to go out of business.

Airline officials said they expected to keep the hub in Minnesota. But many flyers, some of them on a long-delayed arriving flight from Seattle, said they wouldn't count on what the airline said.