Should the U.S. government approve the American Airlines – US Airways merger?

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By Christopher Elliott

What if you could make the call on the proposed merger between American and US Airways?

It’s not a hypothetical question — at least not entirely.

Before you answer, let’s take a look at where we are. This proposed airline merger, which has been called “inevitable” by most observers, will form America’s largest airline. Supporters say it’s a win-win, creating a stronger company with a superior route system that will better serve its customers.

But a recent Consumer Travel Alliance study shows that 761 connecting routes will lose competition if this merger goes through and concludes there are no new benefits for consumers, in terms of airline destinations. The Government Accountability Office has completed an airport-by-airport competitive analysis that will be released within the next few weeks, which is said to come to a similar conclusion.

The US Department of Justice — the agency with a final say-so in the merger — is wrestling with what to do about airline slots in Washington and New York, where the merger will alter the balance of competition. Soon, they’ll also have to give the corporate union their blessing. (Here’s our guide to booking an airline ticket.)

Now it’s your turn.

What do you think of the merger? Should the government allow it or not? But beyond that, what are your specific reasons for either letting these two large airlines merge or blocking this corporate marriage? (Related: Is the American-US Airways merger delivering on its promises?)

Your comments matter more than you think. I’ll forward them to the DOJ, which is looking for real feedback from actual air travelers. In other words, what you say here could affect what the government does regarding this merger.

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Or, more importantly, doesn’t do.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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