Earlier today American Airlines and US Airways announced their merger making them the world's biggest airline.Â They will keep the American Airlines name and will be run by US Airways CEO Doug Parker.Â American's CEO Tom Horton will be the Chairman of the newly combined board.Â This merger is valued by the companies at $11 Billion.
So what does this mean to us?Â Right now we won't see that much of a difference.Â The merger keeps all of American's and US Airways' hubs so you won't have to worry about not being able to fly out of the same places.Â They also won't combine frequent flier programs immediately nor will they integrate immediately.Â These mergers take time so expect to see both American and US Airways planes still in service.Â A complete integration might take years.
Another important point to mention is fares.Â We know from the airline trends of 2013 that fares are expected to increase and we have seen new fee structures for many different airlines including airlines that haven't used many fees before (Southwest).Â Will this merger affect fares even more?Â Well some experts say this will lead to a fare hike.Â With only four major airlines in the US there are less choices for customers so this can drive up the prices.Â However other experts maintain that the merger will lead to a price war that benefits the passengers.Â Rick Seaney, from FareCompare.com says regardless of the merger we are still going to see airlines raising, or attempting to raise, fares.
Hopefully American and US Airways won't see the same technical difficulties United and Continental airlines saw when they merged their computer systems.
Attend World Low Cost Airlines Americas April 9-10, 2013 at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables, Florida