Barbara S. Peterson is senior correspondent for aviation at Condé Nast Traveler and the author of Blue Streak: Inside JetBlue, the Upstart that Rocked an Industry, published by Penguin’s Portfolio imprint (hardcover, 2004; paperback, 2006). She is the winner of the Lowell Thomas Award for Investigative Reporting and the Gene DuBois Award for Excellence in Travel and Aviation Reporting.

It was supposed to be smooth, but there was unexpected turbulence. Barbara S. Peterson explains why it’s so hard for the airlines to merge without ruining everyone’s weekend.