With each merger, the number of airlines dwindles.
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Like many trysts, this has been a long and complicated affair. For years, nobody wanted to take the struggling United to the dance, but after ending talks with US Airways, the airline began flirting with Continental last month. And the engagement was announced at the beginning of this month.

United's parent company, UAL Corp., and Continental Airlines Inc. agreed to merge in a stock swap that is valued at $3.2 billion. The deal still has regulatory hurdles to clear, labor integration issues with the unions to resolve and many other factors to overcome.

If it goes through, the number three airline will be merged with the number five airline, creating the largest airline in the world. Together, they would service 370 destinations, 59 countries and 10 hubs.

If that sounds great to you, you may want to think again.