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American Airlines And US Airways Merger
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Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Originally Published on: 3/20/2013

You don't have many airlines to choose from when you fly anymore, and soon you may have one less.

Before 9-11, there were seven major U-S carriers.

But mergers over the last decade have left just four.

And now American and U.S. Airways want to combine forces.

Rene Marsh has more on what this will mean for passengers.

Higher fares, delayed and fewer flights to smaller and medium-sized cities, devalued frequent flyer miles.

Consumer advocates say it all could happen if the Justice Department okays the $11-billion merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways.

Airline CEO's under oath and on the record, lawmakers on Capitol Hill pressing them on how you'll be affected when you fly.

"We have to get answers for the people of this country whether it's the American family looking for an affordable trip to Disneyland or looking to visit their grandma in Pittsburgh," said Sen. Amy Klobucher of Minnestoa.

Both American and U.S. Airways insist the merger will be good for consumers.

"It creates another global airline on par with Delta and United. So it creates a competitive counterweight to those two big airlines," said Thomas Horton o American Airlines.

"By putting these two networks together we're able to provide better service, more efficient service, to consumers. Also note that in the $1 billion in our analysis, in our synergies, there's not one assumed fare increase in there," said Douglas Parker of U.S. Airways.

Consumer advocates say 20 years ago, there were 11 major airlines. This would bring it to three.

"We're concerned that as the major airlines become bigger and fewer they increasingly will be regarded as too big to fail," said William McGee of the Consumers Union.

While the merger could impact air travel nationwide, lawmakers made sure any negative impact won't be felt at home.

"Tell me about the impact of the proposed merger on services to my state of Iowa," said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

"Will you commit to maintaining service at the locations across New York state which are currently served by your two airlines?" asked Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

"Yes, sir," said Parker.

"Great!" said Schumer.

   
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