Now US Airways executives are unhappy with various representations that they have somehow been hurt or have "burned tail feathers" as a result of the scenario that unfolded.

"It is puzzling that anyone would describe a decision to walk away from a potential transaction as an emotional decision; indeed, it's anything but emotional," said Elise Eberwein, US Airways executive vice president for people and communications. "Rather this is a business decision made with the best intention for our airline. Being 'played' makes for good industry gossip and I guess that explains why reporters are picking up on this mysterious informed-but-not-close-to-nor-involved-in-the-transaction source.

"At the end of the day, this was a decision made without emotion, and our view remains the same: any consolidation in this industry is a positive for all," Eberwein said. "And that makes us happy, not hurt or angry."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. .

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