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www.wmfd.com - A merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways has created the world's largest airline, and now that the Department of Justice has given them the greenlight, the deal is cleared for take-off, as Rene Marsh has the details. }}" />

   
 
 
Consumer Impact On Airlines Merger

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  Original Published: 11/16/2013 A merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways has created the world's largest airline. And now that the Department of Justice has given them the greenlight, the deal is cleared for take-off. Rene Marsh has the details. Less than a decade ago, nine major airlines criss-crossed the skies. But the industry has gone throhgh merger, after merger, after merger. And with this new deal, only four major airlines would remain. "Let's be very honest,"says Seth Kaplan of Airline Weekly. "Airlines, or companies in any industry, don't merge for consumer benefit. They merge to help themselves, but that doesn't mean it has to be bad for consumers." Kaplan says prices could go up on routes like Dallas to Charlotee where American and U.S. Airways went head-to-head, since that competition would disappear. But he says fares could drop at seven major airports wheee, under the Justice Department agreement, the two airlines will have to sell their take-off and landing slots to low-cost carriers. Consumer advocate Charlie Leocha, who opposed the merger, says he can live with this deal. "I think it's a win for the low-cost carriers," says Leocha. "All of a sudden they now have access to all of the major markets that they couldn't get before." Leocha says transition is always bumpy. "For example, you make reservation on a U.S. Air flight on the U.S. Air system and you're flying on an American Airline and your connecting sometimes the computers don't talk to each other very well," he says. Both experts say your frequent flier miles are safe, but with one less major airline, loyalty programs could require more miles for a flight. "These mergers are very much a trade-off," says Kaplan. "Consumers are paying more to fly, but on the other hand, they get an industry that is not only safer than ever, but also more reliable, flights that are on time and not cancelled as much." Completion of the merger is still subject to the approval of the settlements by the U.S. bankruptcy court, and certain other conditions. The companies now expect to complete the merger in December.
   
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