Airline merger could be bad news for TIA fliers

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Airline merger could be bad news for TIA fliers

CREATED Feb 7, 2013

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Higher airfares and less selection---That's what could be in store for Tucson travelers if the possible merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways goes through.

When it comes to flying, most travelers want low fares, and a good selection of good connections, so when travelers hear big players like American, and US Airways are talking about merging they start thinking, fasten your seatbelts, this could be a rough flight.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked air traveler Lisa McFerrin, "As a traveller what concerns might you have?

McFerrin said, "That we have more monopolies with the airlines and  the prices of tickets will continue to rise. Less competition is going to increase our costs.

Diane Nekola is another air traveler who says, "Then they can gouge you for your luggage too.  There's not enough competition in airfares then so. It might be very expensive."

Just in the past few years mergers have wiped a lot of names off the gates at Tucson International, names like Northwest, America West and Continental."
Lynn Evenchik of Travel To travel agency says when big airlines merge, travelers are right to expect higher prices and tougher connections.

"With the airlines merging, and they're large airlines, you're not talking small airlines, that's getting rid of the competition, that encourages the lower fares so they always compare against each other to make fares plus it also gave us more options of how we flew to get to a destination."
She says if you're worried about what could happen if the merger does fly, maybe you could contact the Federal authorities who'd have to approve the merger. They are the Transportation Department and the Justice Department.

United and Continental were the last big airline merger.  The government let that deal go through after the airlines made concessions, like giving up some gates at certain busy airports.  That was an attempt to relieve worries that the merged airline would control too big a share of certain markets.