What does the Delta and Northwest merger mean for me, the one with the frequent flier miles?

As Grant reported, today the Justice Department has cleared the way for the merger between Northwest Airlines and Delta. Here’s a brief blurb from the Wall Street Journal that my friend at WalletPop, Tom Barlow E-mailed me.

Back in April, Grant wrote a post about why to be happy about the merger. Hmmm. I’m not sure about that given my future plans. Grant wasn’t too sure either.

I’m wondering if this merger will affect my trip to Denmark in a month. I have a Northwest flight to Copenhagen through Memphis and Amsterdam on December 2nd. My ticket (actually two of them) is thanks to 100,000 frequent flier miles (50,000 each). If my trip is messed up–the one I am taking with my daughter, I’m going to be sad. I actually have a stronger word in mind, but I’m being polite. From what I’ve read, we may not be affected. We’ll see.

As for the other Northwest frequent flier miles I have, I’ve a strong urge to book tickets now just in case. On the other hand, there are places that Delta flies that Northwest doesn’t, so perhaps I’ll hedge my bets. Frequent flier programs seem more and more like gambling ventures–or the stock market.

The time that it has taken for the Justice Department to decide if the merger is kosher or not has probably cut down the number of decisions the airlines might have to make. For example, perhaps with fewer amenities, Delta and Northwest won’t have to figure out which snacks to merge –or which type of pillows to use.