With fuel prices skyrocketing, airlines are looking to mergers as a way of riding out the storm, but escalating costs make the ventures even riskier, analysts say. "It's not clear anything works at $125 (a barrel) oil," said one person close to the United Airlines-US Airways talks. "There is also a fear that if oil falls to $75, did we really need to do this?" In fact, a US Airways merger is reportedly just one of many options under consideration by United, including an alliance with Continental Airlines and remaining independent.

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