What the US Airways and American Airlines merger means for travelers

New American Airlines

By Gabrielle Meyer / VOXXI 

December 11th, 2013 (VOXXI) Even though the merging of operations will take months, the merger for American Airlines and U.S. Airways means airports such as Miami will continue offering it’s extensive schedule of flights for passengers traveling to the Caribbean and Latin America. Most of your plans for Christmas travel should also remain unaffected as a direct result of the merger.

The merger, which became official this week, has sparked a great deal of concern over the future of air travel, as many people are concerned about the fact that now only four airlines control over 80% of the U.S. air travel market. People are worried that this type of monopoly will cause the prices of flights to skyrocket.

Doug Parker, the new chief executive of American, has stated that the airlines don’t anticipate raising prices, but will do what’s necessary to remain competitive in the market.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Parker said,  “As the largest airline in the world, we should be the most profitable. And we intend to be.”

So what does this massive merger mean for travelers?

For the moment, travelers shouldn’t expect to see too many changes. Starting January 7, the airlines will recognize each other’s elite flyers and are hoping to start selling each other’s flights. According to Forbes, this process will likely take until March to complete.

As for flight routes, there will be some changes that will affect the airports. American and U.S. Airways agreed to sell 134 take off and landing spots at Washington D.C’s Reagan National Airport, which gave Spirit Airlines and Southwest a stronger foothold in Washington. The merged airline also gave up two gates at each of the following airports: Los Angeles International, Miami International, Love Field in Dallas, Chicago’s O’Hare, and Boston’s Logan Airport.

Although the new airline agreed to make some changes, this doesn’t mean that travelers will have any difficulty finding flights in these airports. Miami, for instance, was a major American hub for flights to Latin America and the Caribbean. After the merger, it is now the Latin American and Caribbean hub for the world’s largest airline, so Latin American travelers will have no problem finding flights between Miami and Latin America.

Now that the two airlines are one, U.S. Airways has access to American’s popular international destinations, particularly those in Latin America and London. Combined, the new airline will offer 6,700 daily flights to over 330 destinations in over 50 countries.

According to Forbes, it will take anywhere from 18-24 months to complete the merger, so don’t expect the changes to occur overnight. For now, passengers will continue to fly on U.S. Airways or American, as they will not receive a single operating certificate until 2015.

Originally published by VOXXI as “What the US Airways and American Airlines merger means for travelers”
and is republished here with permission.

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    • P mattingly

      Mergers like this are always about money…nothing else. Less competition always leads to higher prices. Why? Because they can. The face that the airlines shows to the public is that ‘nothing will change.’ When the truth is that they do the merger of two broken airlines (which doesn’t make a good one) to make more money. They will make more money by eliminating unnecessary work force and raising prices since before there may have been two airlines flying the route that had to compete for customers and not the route has only one airline.
      Mergers like this are NEVER good for the public.

    • Ken Morris

      So we have two bankrupt airlines merging into one bigger bankrupt airline. Even though I’m from there, I’ll never understand why the US pretends that transportation can be managed by the market. It never is and almost never was any time in world history. Every major airline is flying under bankruptcy protection, the auto companies get periodically bailed out and subsidized out the yin yang, and the trains are a government project, yet Americans keep falling all over themselves trying to let the CEOs work it out. Whatever. My solution is not to go anywhere I can’t walk to.