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February 07, 2013

FareCompare tells consumers what they need to know if an American-US Airways merger occurs

With a merger between American Airlines and US Airways possibly announced as early as next week, travelers are beginning to wonder what the merger means for them.

FareCompare.com founder Rick Seaney (and local North Texan) has the answers!

In a lengthy column posted on his website on Thursday, Seaney lays out what he thinks will happen to frequent flier miles, award travel and air fares if the two carriers merge. And he reassures passengers that their tickets are still good.

But unlike other airline industry analysts who are predicting that a merger between the two carriers does not have much route overlap and therefore will keep airfare prices stable, Seaney disagrees.

"A merger guarantees the two airlines will never compete in the future and competition is the main driver of cheaper airline ticket prices (along with oil, seat supply and consumer demand). The only good news is, if airlines get too frisky with higher prices, consumers let them know by cutting back on air travel, and when that happens – ticket prices drop. In this era of less competition (and if this merger goes through, eight airlines will have morphed into four in the past three years alone), this is a passenger’s last line of defense," Seaney writes.

To read Seaney's full column, click here.

-Andrea Ahles

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