Will mergers mean higher fares and more fees?

Worried that airline mergers are going to send airfare prices skyrocketing? You might want to read this MSNBC.com article from George Hobica.

He makes the case that mergers might not cause sharp airfare increases, though he also admits mergers would significantly reduce the number of unadvertised hub-airport fare wars that currently benefit consumers.

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It's not all optimistic speculation, since he goes on to say that airline fees might increase in the event of mergers. For example, if United and Continental merge, each airline will bring their current fees to the equation.

So the new airline would probably ditch United's policy of allowing passengers to collect a refund if a fare price drops after purchase, choosing instead to adopt Continental's $100 ticket change fee. Pity they likely wouldn't do it the other way.

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