Chicago, we've got a problem
Continental merger: Is our hometown airline taking off for the Second City?
If Chicago feels like America's perpetual underdog as the Second City, imagine how Houston feels to be living in Chicago's shadow.
We have Philip Johnson buildings, they have Frank Lloyd Wright. We had the Astrodome, they have Wrigley Field. Chicago had the first Ferris wheel. Houston invented breast implants and ecstasy.
Don't get us wrong, we love our supersized small town, but "We're number four!" doesn't always have the special ring you want.
So it really chaps our hide to read in the Chicago Tribune (of all places) that if the proposed merger between Houston-based Continental Airlines and Chicago's United Airline goes through, both companies have already agreed to make Chicago the new headquarters.
"Both sides agree that it makes sense to base the new carrier in a major financial center like Chicago," a person familiar with discussions told the Tribune. "However, Continental's home city of Houston would continue to serve as a major operational base for the new company."
Major financial center? With no disrespect to Chi-town, Houston is the headquarters for the second-most Fortune 500 companies, besides New York. And many of those specialize in a product the potential new mega-airline will need quite a bit of: Oil. So let's not act like we're just a giant cow pasture, OK?
Of course, it might not be worth getting too worked up about the Continental-United talks just yet. After all, Continental has left United at the alter before.