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The American Airlines And US Airways Merger46:08
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Merging American Airlines and US Airways. What will it mean for you? For air travel?

U.S. Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport. The two airlines will merge forming the world's largest airlines. (LM Otero/AP)
U.S. Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport. The two airlines will merge forming the world's largest airlines. (LM Otero/AP)

Can you remember the last time you flew when the plane wasn’t full? The knee-room wasn’t squished? The baggage charges didn’t make you groan? Well, flying in America just took another turn.

American Airlines and US Airways announcing their giant merger to make the biggest air carrier in the world. The latest merger in a string that has snuffed out TWA, Northwest, Continental, Air Tran, ATA, ValuJet to leave just three majors plus Southwest flying at full scale. What does that mean for you?

This hour, On Point: Flying in the age of fewer, bigger airlines.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today aviation editor and editor of the "Today in the Sky" blog. (@TodayInTheSky)

Charlie Leocha, director of the Consumer Travel Alliance. (@Leocha)

Mary Schlangenstein, airline reporter for Bloomberg News.

From Tom's Reading List

Huffington Post "After months of courting, the companies on Thursday announced an $11 billion merger that will turn American into the world's biggest airline, with 6,700 daily flights and annual revenue of roughly $40 billion. It's a coup for Parker, who runs the much-smaller US Airways Group Inc. and believes that mergers help airlines achieve higher revenue and consistent profits."

Airchive "Several airline mergers have taken place during the last 12 years, but the American Airlines and US Airways merger is like no other. American and US Airways will become the world’s largest airline once the marriage certificate is signed, and their marriage signifies the final major U.S. airline merger for years to come. Did I mention that the merger is taking place on Valentine’s Day? The airline industry is a tough industry, and American Airlines and US Airways are combining histories filled with mergers, bankruptcy filings, and labor issues. There is one question on everybody’s mind. Will the American Airlines and US Airways be a marriage made in Heaven or Hell?"

USA Today "The boards of US Airways and American parent AMR have voted to merge. The deal still has some hurdles to clear, but the deal would bring big changes to many U.S. travelers if it closes."

This program aired on February 19, 2013.

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