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December 07, 2013

Road warriors hope merger will improve American's service

New American 2Nate Asplund, who flies to Mexico regularly for his job at BNSF Railway, hopes the American Airlines-US Airways merger signals a return to the glory days of business travel for the Fort Worth-based carrier.

But others worry that creating the world’s biggest airline could result in fewer flight options and higher fares.

Starting Monday, road warriors will be watching closely to see how the big merger affects their traveling lives.

Asplund, an assistant vice president at Fort Worth-based BNSF, hopes American regains its status as the carrier of choice for business travelers, a reputation the airline enjoyed for years before 9-11, rising fuel prices and a horrific economy forced it to file for bankruptcy.

“It’s been since the mid-’90s when American used to have the leadership,” said Asplund, who flies almost weekly from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Mexico City. Asplund usually flies on American but occasionally takes Aeromexico.

Waiting for an American flight at DFW’s Terminal D on a recent morning, Asplund predicted that the merger will improve employee morale and in turn enhance the traveling experience for customers.

“I think it creates an ability for the companies to invest and have better equipment and have more engaged employees with a spirit that they’re going to have success,” he said. “They’ve been kind of beaten down. It’s kind of neat talking with them now about what they think. They’re energized and they think there’s a good future. It makes a big difference.”

Click here to read the full story that appeared in Sunday's Star-Telegram.


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