American-US Airways merger bad news for passengers -report

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Dec 03, 2013 09:58 PM EST

The merger of American Airlines and US Airways will leave the United States with just three mega-airlines - Delta, United, and American. Big airlines boast of having more flights to more cities in a day, but passengers will not be happy at the increasing oligopoly, wrote South China Morning Post (SCMP).

The reporter noted that the U.S. needs more competition and airline passengers need more choices. The Chinese paper also added that consumer associations should start pushing governments to impose conditions on carriage contracts that airlines force clients to agree.

In August, the US aviation and competition authorities were poised to block the American-US Airways merger. The Justice Department sought to block it on grounds that it will reduce competition in the US airline industry. Yet after some lobbying campaign, the deal was approved by Attorney General Eric Holder with concessions including divestiture to low-cost airlines of slots at busy airports, the report detailed. SCMP feared this will involve a possibility of cheap US Airways fares disappearing.

The latest survey by Skytrax found that all American carriers scored three stars, which signifies an average performance. Cathay Pacific Airways, Asiana, ANA, Malaysia Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways were the only carriers that got five stars, the report stated.

"Passengers have to hope that the good habits of the Asian carriers will spread to American and not the bad ones fly to Asia. But it is time for passengers and consumer groups to do more to ensure that they get a better deal from airlines and governments," noted the writer.

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