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Delta: Airline Consolidation Is Good For Passengers

Delta is rebutting a recent AP report about mega-mergers in the U.S., claiming airline consolidation is good for passengers.

Despite less competition in the air, Delta Air Lines claims that airline consolidation has been good for the consumer. The legacy carrier presented its case in an editorial piece published through its official news hub, outlining the idea that airline consolidation has allowed for investment in both newer aircraft and an improved passenger experience.

Delta’s argument, published Wednesday, was is written in response to a report released by the Associated Press just one day prior. In its analysis, the AP stated that mega-mergers have reduced nine large U.S. airlines to four over the past decade and this consolidation has hurt competition, resulting in increased airfare prices. The analysis suggested that airfare rose faster than inflation due to a lack of competition and regional control by each of the four major airlines –Delta, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

“Airlines aren’t going at each other like they used to,” aviation consultant Mike Boyd told the AP. “They have their turf, and they very rarely go to the mattresses with one another.”

Delta claims that the passenger experience has improved significantly due to the mergers experienced by the airline industry. In particular, the airline says that mergers in the post 9/11 era have allowed the airline industry to emerge from bankruptcy and create better long-term service for passengers.

To prove its point, Delta cites a report from Airlines for America, which suggests that airline consolidation has actually led to better pricing for consumers overall. The airline went on to insist that mergers between 2008 and 2012 allowed airlines to focus on the overall customer experience.

Delta cites a US News and World Report article praising the era of consolidation as part of their overall argument. “Consolidation is finally helping a money-losing industry become profitable,” Rick Newman wrote for US News and World Report in 2013 in regards to the US Airways merger with American. “[And] as much as travelers like to gripe about flying, the experience is actually getting better.”

The rebuttal comes as all four airlines face class-action lawsuits from flyers accusing them of price collusion. The Department of Justice is currently investigating the Big Four to determine if they conspired to artificially inflate ticket prices.

[Photo: Delta Air Lines]

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10 Comments
9
98103 July 20, 2015

A report by Airlines 4 America? Really? The lobbying mouthpiece for the industry. About as objective and credible as a KKK newsletter. Of course consolidation is going to make airlines more profitable. Less competition, which is they way they want it. That is the real reason the big three have their panties all in a twist with the Big 3 Gulf Carriers. They can't participate. They'll tell you its all about subsidies, but that's a hypocritical crock of horse excrement.

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Sabai July 19, 2015

Is this the same Delta that wants its customers to believe that competition from the ME3 is bad for the flying public? What BS.

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Indelaware July 17, 2015

Delta is not alone in claiming that consolidation is good for customers. Other airlines have falsely claimed so too. Who doesn't miss yesterday's airlines?

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Jane42 July 17, 2015

I have always bought the cheapest ticket I could find - since I started flying 35 years ago - and the service is worse than it was when I started flying - so that is not the reason. The only time I have flown FC was due to an IB - and it was wonderful, but there is no way I would pay for it. Flying has certainly gone downhill - snacks and soda/water/juice instead of a meal, pay to have your luggage go on vacation/business with you. I never look forward to flying, it is just a means to get me where I need to go.

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usafwso July 17, 2015

Why not just have the airline industry "consolidate" into one mega airline and call it "Ameriflot"? I am so glad that I rarely have to fly anymore via commercial airlines....... Two or three times a year is quite enough for me.