Merger Will Create World's Largest Airline

6:27 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Frequent flyer Deen Kemsley isn't sure what to expect when US Airways merges with American Airlines.

"It hurts competition.  On the other hand, it also gives us more route choices on a particular airline, so if you're a frequent flyer, like I am, on American," he says.

It will be the largest carrier in the world, with more than 300 destinations in 56 countries.

Frequent fliers from both airlines should be able to keep their miles.  But some analysts believe this may not be a sweetheart deal for passengers in the long run.

"Consumers end up paying more for airline tickets.  In general, they have less convenience during mergers.  There's less flights and schedules," says FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney.

The new company will take the American name and a brand new log.

The CEOs of both airlines will stay on board.  US Airways chief, Doug Parker, will take the top spot.

Parker says, "We're going to work together between now and then to make sure we have a nice transition."

The merger will also bring major logistical challenges.   The recent union of United and Continental led to a spike in customer complaints.   This is the fourth major airline merger since 2008.

"I think it's just something that we have to accept, and hopefully, it will not lead to higher fares," Karen Daroff says.

If the deal does go through, just four airlines will control 70 percent of the market. 

Passengers who have already booked tickets don't need to worry because the merger still has to clear several hurdles.

US Airways' shareholders have to vote and federal regulators have to sign off on it.

The deal is expected to be approved.

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