Do you ever think how things will improve or worsen if the airlines merger happens too often? Are there going to be more problems for us to travel ?
Well, after months of rumors and speculation, American Airlines and US Airways officially declared that the two carriers plan to merge into the country’s largest airline.
It is the latest of several merger announcements over the past few years in an airline industry that continues to shrink, at least in terms of number of airlines. After American Airlines and US Airways become a single carrier, to be named American, the U.S. will have only three major legacy carriers.
So what happens when a merger takes place? Besides the usual commercial and name related games, the airline mergers typically lead to less competition. When there is less or no competition, there is going to be monopoly and hence the higher fares.
Not only this, there are plenty of other glitches as the carriers try to integrate two different operating systems. While buying international air tickets, frequent and elite fliers would want to keep a close tab on their miles to be sure they’re credited correctly when the two programs are integrated.
Some airlines start winding down their business from a few cities and the larger airports wear a deserted look with thousands of ground jobs vanished. For example, the Pittsburgh International Airport has been abandoned since US Airways began winding down its hub there in 2001. An airport that once served more than 20 million passengers a year had just 8 million last year.
After many mergers with and acquisitions of other airlines, Alaska airlines renamed itself as Alaska Airlines. Earlier it was known as McGee Airways. It now carries more passengers between Alaska and the contiguous United States than any other airline.
On the other hand, Alaska Airlines is ending its mileage partnership with the Icelandic carrier on June 1. For travelers with Alaska frequent-flier miles, it means they won’t be able to use those miles on Icelandair’s routes to more than two dozen European cities.
The irony is, it is said that after the merger, together these airlines will fly more passengers around the globe!
What’s your take on this?
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