Target: Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States
Goal: Prevent proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways and keep the airline business competitive
American Airlines and US Airways are proposing a merger that would result in the world’s largest airline. If successful, this deal would diminish competition and would certainly lead to increased fares and fewer flights for consumers. Support the lawsuit the Justice Department has already filed in efforts to block the airline merger.
If the merger succeeds, the Justice Department predicts that customers will have to pay hundreds of millions more in fees and fares. The airlines argue that this deal would enable them to compete on the same level as other big airlines like Delta and United, which have dominated the industry through mergers with other airlines. However, it is because of these past mergers between Delta and Northwest, and United with Continental, Southwest, and AirTran, that the status of competition in air travel is weak enough already. If US Airways and American Airlines were to merge, the effect would only amplify the problems consumers currently face with the airline industry by narrowing their choices down from five to four.
Fares have been shown to increase in the wake of mergers between major airlines because of their unchallenged dominance at airports. This consolidation will result in consumers paying for more fees and higher fares, while airlines collect the profits. Please support the Justice Department in its effort to block this deal.
Dear United States Attorney General Eric Holder,
I support the recent lawsuit that has been filed by the Justice Department to bar the merger between airline giants US Airways and American Airlines. If this deal were approved, consumers will likely be subject to increased rates, and because more competition has been eliminated, people will have no choice but to pay. This merger is only in the best interest of the airlines’ executives, not their customers.
The airlines assert that this consolidation is necessary if they are to compete with United and Delta. But the answer to fair competition is not dwindling down the number of airlines customers can choose from. More airlines should be created, and not absorbed like this proposed deal. Attorneys General of Florida, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Tennessee have even joined the lawsuit, in order to protect competition and consumers.
If US Airways and American Airlines were to combine they would have control over 69 percent of all landing and takeoff slots at Ronald Reagan National Airport near Washington. This is just an indicator of the increased power that the combined airline will use to increase fees and fares. Before such mergers in 2007, airlines accrued $464 million from baggage fees, compared to the $3.5 billion in 2012 after major consolidations. Please continue with the proceedings of the lawsuit to maintain as much competition as possible in the air travel industry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Patrick Cardinal via Wikimedia Commons