Airline merger leaves travelers wondering how they will be affected

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The combined United States route map for American Airlines and US Airways. Photo courtesy of US Airways
The combined United States route map for American Airlines and US Airways.

American Airlines and US Airways agreed on a merger last week that will create the world’s biggest airline and bring the number of major U.S. carriers down to four.

The new airline will still be called American Airlines but will be run by US Airways CEO Doug Parker. On the new airline’s website promoting “the new American is arriving,” the companies ensure their customers will enjoy all the connections they have come to depend on – plus many more as the two entities come together.

According to the website, the larger new American Airlines will have more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 locations in 56 countries worldwide. Also, the airline hopes to “offer flights to more destinations, improved schedule options and worldwide connectivity through the oneworld Alliance.”

The new American Airlines will have the greatest service in the central regions and across the East Coast of the United States, with an extended presence and solid network in the west.

With news of the merger, frequent flyers are left wondering how their future travels will be affected and how their frequent flyer miles and points will translate over.

“Some of the frequent flyers have voiced some dismay over some of the routes that will be changed and now can’t fly their usual routes or from their usual airport,” said Dave Ma, 22, student from Flushing who was recently part of a flyer talk forum.

Although some flyers are worried prices will soar due to less competition, others are confident this merger will bring the new airline’s rates down.

“This union will allow the larger airline to take all the routes and it’s probably better for the customers since there will be less competition. They can charge less than other airlines and I think in the end it will affect other airlines, not flyers of American Airlines or US Airways,” said Diana Beck, 21.

Both airlines acknowledged the full merger will take at least 18 months.

 

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