Slicing Up The Sky

As TWA dies, American and United bulk up--and so will prices. But there could be benefits too

What's in it for us?

Frequent flyers pondered that question in the wake of an audacious, $5 billion five-carrier buyout proposal launched last week by American Airlines. Consumers were clearly skeptical of any scheme that would enable American and archrival United to control fully half of U.S. air travel. If the deal goes through, "the world is going to be divided up among just a few airline companies," says Bruce Edwards, a California doctor who was forced to return home via Miami last week after United canceled his flight from Ecuador to San Francisco, citing weather conditions. "It's not going...

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