American Airlines and US Airways merger sparks concern

8:00 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - American Airlines is about to get a lot bigger as it prepares to merge with U.S Airways.

"The good news is eventually, I believe, they're going to have more non-stops coming out of St. Louis, and that will help especially going towards the east coast," says Damar Travel president Marsha Schuman.

She believes higher airfare will come out of this deal.

"It's going to eliminate a lot of the competition...I think there's going to be a progressing thing. That you just see $20 this week, $30 the next week, another $50 after that."

For people who work for the airlines, a concern is joining the two workforces.

"There's always concern with any employee groups as far as how integration goes because seniority does drive your lifestyle, your advancement, everything else as far as mergers go within this industry," says airline pilot Kevin.

He didn't want to include his full name or which airline he works for in this story, but he says he went through a merger like this before when TWA merged with American. He says American Airline employees in St. Louis have already been hit hard recently and this adds another layer of uncertainty. But he predicts this merger could be a win-win for flyers.

"...that's out of my scope of being an airline pilot. But I think you'll find there's going to be better connectivity as far as option during this merger. You'll see won't see fare wars like you did in the past."

Both admit nobody knows for sure how fares will change. But Schuman says if you're thinking about flying somewhere, do yourself a favor: "I still think in the long run you're best to go ahead and book as far out as you possibly can to prevent paying the higher air fares. You know what you're getting. Once you have it locked in, it's locked in."

If the merger is approved, Marsha Schuman predicts it may be about a year to a year and a half before we start to see a significant jump in the price to fly.













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