With both parties disappointing consumers and approving airline mergers that changed the fairly competitive field of six major US airlines to an oligopoly of three, competition has decreased in domestic travel. For foreign travel, however, the Open Skies agreements, international agreements signed between nations, have kept the field competitive and held fares down. Now the three US major airlines are angling to take the US out of open skies agreements, and the new committee chairman in the House, Congressman DeFazio, is in the hip pocket of their lobbyists.


Consumers, especially international air travellers need to keep a close eye on DeFazio and the airlines.

All the mergers disgusted me, as the most pro-consumer management fell to those who were not customer oriented. Northwest fell to Delta. American fell to US Air. Those were the two worst, but Continental falling to United was also the less customer oriented management team taking control. Among other things, we saw the ruin of frequent flyer programs. For years, I kept elite status at mid-tier, but since the post-merger ruin of the ff programs, I no longer bother. I now fly price, convenience, and service. In foreign travel, that usually means a European airline.

Personally, I would love to see RyanAir's plan to offer TATL service take massive competition to the three oligopoly US carriers, but that is probably still years away.