Study: Mergers keep airline fares low

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Mergers that have reduced the number of major U.S. airlines in recent years are lowering fares for passengers, according to a new study reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The study, conducted by the accounting firm PwC, shows airline fares only increased 2 percent between 2004 and 2013, despite the spate of airline mergers during that period.

The study did not take into account increases in fees for things like checking baggage and changing flights, which have become common place in more consolidated airline industry, according to the report.

American Antitrust Institute President Diana Moss told the paper that she thought the study was flawed because airline fares in some markets were service has been cut back after mergers has increased by as much as 19 percent.

"I do think we will see fare increases and further capacity cutbacks," Moss said, according to the report. "It's going to take awhile to percolate through.”

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0127-travel-briefcase-20140127,0,5...