The proposed merger between U.S. Airways (www.usairways.com) and American Airlines (www.aa.com) may be blocked by a lawsuit that has been filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Department claims that the merger would "substantially lessen the competition" for air travel.
As we know, less competition tends to mean higher prices, so mergers can be bad news for consumers. Two other large airline mergers have already taken place in the U.S., between United and Continental and Northwest and Delta, so even now there is a lot less competition than there used to be. And I saw recently that Southwest Airlines (www.southwest.com,) which made its reputation as a budget carrier, is now chasing the more lucrative business class market.
The airline business is a difficult one, but from the point of view of travellers, the more airlines, the better usually.
Passengers who survived the crash of an Asiana Airlines (www.flyasiana.com) plane in San Francisco recently have been offered compensation of $10,000. According to reports, accepting this money does not affect the ability of the 288 surviving passengers to file lawsuits in the hope of recovering more compensation. Many passengers suffered serious injuries in the crash of the South Korean based plane and several died.