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The Southwest-AirTran Merger: What It Means to You (Maybe, Sorta, Not Really)

Southwest Air

Everyone's all worked up – one way or the other – about the news that low-fare Southwest Airlines is buying AirTran for $1.4 billion. Just in case you're not sure if this is good or bad news for travelers, I decided to round up some of the headlines and "expert" quotes that followed the announcement.

Yes, I was just as confused as you'll be.

"After Southwest buys AirTran, fares may rise" – Boston Herald

"I don't think fares are going to go up very much." – George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, to the Christian Science Monitor

"Southwest-AirTran merger could lead to higher fares" – Chicago Tribune

"Consumers will be the big beneficiaries" – MarketWatch

"Southwest AirTran Merger Is Good for Airlines, Bad for Consumers" – The Atlantic

"Southwest Purchase of AirTran Good for Passengers, Expert Says" – Global Atlanta

"Some [experts] are predicting as the airline industry consolidates, higher fares will be the result." – AOL Travel

"Southwest attendants: AirTran deal is 'good news'" – USA Today

Mark Orwoll

Smart Traveler Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure.

Southwest photo courtesy of Bryan Correira.

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