Dept. of Justice Challenges Merger - KLFY News 10

Dept. of Justice Challenges Merger

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It's the costs of flying that's sparked the Department of Justice and six states to file a lawsuit to prevent the merger between American Airlines and US Airways. They fear the merger will level competition, putting airfare prices in the hands of the companies.

Frequent fliers are no strangers to rising airfare costs or even the extra fees that seem to get tacked on more and more. 

Laura Peterson says she rarely flies, but every time she does, it seems different.

"Obviously the meal service, they don't even do that anymore. We did get pretzels, so that was good," said Peterson. "The services, the seats are much smaller it's almost impossible to get into the seat."

So would a lack of competition really hurt the customer? Aviation expert Greg Roberts says it depends where you are and the size of the airport.

"For Lafayette, Louisiana, I think it would be a plus if the merger did occur," said Roberts. "It gives us access to routes flown by US Airways. We don't have a US Airways connection."

Even with a merger, Roberts says he thinks it's all a matter of supply and demand. He says the extra fees, like baggage, seat change, and snacks are a result of competition between the big airliners and the smaller ones.  Only time will tell.

"Clearly it's another way of making money and they've made billions doing it. But, at the end of the day, transportation is here to stay," said Roberts.

The lawsuit has thrown off American's plans to recover from chapter 11 bankruptcy, since the company's future is in the air pending the merger.

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