Travel Industry Criticism Grows for American – US Airways Merger

american airlinesHot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of board approval for the American Airlines – US Airways merger, industry groups are beginning to voice concerns about the deal’s potential impact on consumers.

The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) has released a statement questioning whether or not the merger is in the public interest, citing negative consumer impact from previous mergers.

"To be clear, there is benefit in a financially viable air transportation system,” said BTC Chairman Kevin Mitchell. “However, previous mergers have already enabled seat capacity cuts, higher fares and billions of dollars in fees for ancillary services resulting in a financially strengthening industry. As such, consumer harms from this merger are indeed exacerbated, as there are no substantial countervailing consumer benefits."

The BTC’s more detailed analysis of the merger is available at http://bit.ly/VfUnMK.

The Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) has joined in with a six-point breakdown pushing back against proposed consumer benefits from the merger.

"Consumers are getting no new net benefits and are losing competition between airlines, which will result in more expensive airfares and extra fees,” the CTA says. “Every network airline will find itself in a better bargaining position vis-a-vis corporate travelers and leisure passengers. Consumers will be the long-run losers."

How will the merger affect your business? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/travelagentmagazine, and keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest updates on this developing story.

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