Airline merger hurts some credit card users

Some credit card users will be negatively impacted by the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The newly combined company has announced that it will no longer allow American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders to access its terminal lounges, limiting the privilege to Citibank's Citi Executive AAdvantage "world elite" MasterCard users, according to the report.

Observers said there was little airline passengers could do about the changes to lounge access rules.

"The reality is, there are two very simple ways to solve this problem: You can buy lounge access, or you can get a different card that would provide you with access," CrankyFlier.com author Brett Snyder told the paper.

"If travelers think that every single change that happens will be pro-consumer, then they are mistaken. That has never happened in the history of mergers,” Snyder continued. “It's always a trade-off, and the hope is that the end result makes people happier on the whole than the previous situation."

US Air and American finalized their merger in December, after almost an entire year of wrangling with federal regulators about its impact on airline competition. The companies said their combination would create a company worth $18 billion.

The airlines announced this week that they would begin sharing codes on flights, meaning passengers could book travel through one company and take their trips on the other.