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Chairman warns DOJ on SWA-AirTran merger

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US House of Representatives Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) cautioned last week in a letter to the US Dept. of Justice that the Southwest Airlines-AirTran Airways merger could severely damage the famous "Southwest effect" that keeps fares low at airports in which SWA operates through the LCC's exertion of "competitive discipline on network carriers." (atwonline.com) More...

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pfp217
pfp217 0
I beleive that is why we're seeing all of the mergers in the first place. The airlines can't make it with higher fuel costs and other expenses.
It was the "Southwest Effect" that destroyed the original conception of airline travel. People whine and complain about the lack of meals etc etc, that is the result of LCC's and low fare airlines.
sheininger
As a frequent flyer I would submit that the "Southwest effect" is a myth. I rarely travel on SWA. Not that I don't like them, but when I look at fares they are NEVER the cheapest. I don't fly them because I can avoid the cattle car routine for much less money. My fear is that SWA is looking to absorb Airtran to remove a lower priced competitor. On the routes that I fly Airtran is always cheaper than SWA, always! Many times I can a better price on Delta also. I think this merger is just going to let fares in general increase.
PMEERS
PAUL MEERS 0
SOUTHWEST IS NO LONGER A LOW FARE AIRLINE. WE FLEW SWA A NUMBER OF YEARS HOWEVER OUR LAST THREE TRIPS DELTA WAS LESS AND SERVICE MUCH BETTER. I HAD A SEAT ASSIGNED ON DELTA, AND ON DELTA DID NOT HAVE TO STAND A LONG WHILE TO GET LOADED LIKE SOMEONE LOADING SHEEP TO SEND TO THE MARKET. I AM NOT FOR THE SWA AND AIRTRAN MERGER! NOTHING BUT HIGHER FARES WILL COME FROM IT.
AccessAir
AccessAir 0
If Southwest Airlines seems to have higher fares in some markets, could it just be due to the fact that more people are booking Southwest flights and therefore the cheaper fares are selling out? Makes sense to me!!!
Yes, Southwest doesnt have seat assignments but they carry bags for free, they dont charge rebooking fees like UA/AA and DL which is normally $150 plus the difference in fare. They also dont charge thousands of dollars for full fare/un-restricted fares like the other guys do.
I dont blame Southwest for their fares, I blame the other carriers for playing bait and switch. They get you in with lower fares and then you have to pay for bags/preferred seating/food....By the time you pay for all of that, you are just as expensive if not more expensive as the perceived higher fares Southwest seems to be charging.
As for the merger, I am against it as I was for the HP/US, DL/NW and now the UA/CO mergers. Mergers are never good because they reduce the amount of choices and pricing....
PMEERS
PAUL MEERS 0
GOOD POINTS, THE CLASS WE FLY IN DELTA THEY ALLOW TWO BAGS PER PERSON NO CHG. I STILL LOVE SWA. WATCH FOR AROUND THE FIRST OF THE YEAR, VISION AIRLINES IS GOING TO COVER MOST MOST OF THE SOUTHEAST WITH EXCELLENT RATES, MORE DIRECT FLIGHTS TO FL, ETC RATHER THAN CHANGING PLANES ON THE WAY. VISION IS A GREAT AIRLINE USING 737'S AND 767'S. HAVE A GREAT DAY. I AM A PILOT FLOWN MANY YEARS, BUT I LET SOMEONE ELSE DO THE WORK NOW.
RobSJC
.. Do WE .. really believe, that SWA will also maintain the AirTran "international routes"? .... Not I.
SWEATINTHSWAMP
SWEATINTHSWAMP 0
Wow. I've never ever found cheaper fares than Southwest and on Delta of all airlines give me a break. Maybe if you live in Atlanta but certainly not in Houston/New Orleans markets. And for those who refer to SWA as 'cattle car' I would gladly invite you to see what travel in a 'cattle car' really looks like. There is an orderly boarding process for those with half a brain.
Glascock
Gene Glascock 0
I have no problems flying Southwest. it is a great airline. If you must have an assigned seat, do you also want them to hold your hand while boarding. Think of our Soldiers boarding flights every day going into harms way, they don't an assigned seat.
PMEERS
PAUL MEERS 0
I AM NOT ANTI SWA, SOME OF MY PILOT FRIENDS FLY FOR SWA; I AM TELLING YOU THAT THE LAST THREE FLIGHTS DELTA BEAT SWA, ONE EXAMPLE LOUISVILLE KY TO SEATTLE WA, EVEN BETTER, AT ATL FIRST CLASS WAS NOT FULL WE WERE UPGRADED TO 1ST CLASS AT NO EXTRA CHARGE.
Glascock
Gene Glascock 0
I agree that some of the other major airlines are cheaper, the point is, the airlines have been placed in this situation by the current adminstration, and the only way out is to fold under, or merge.

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