Reporting Jim Melwert
By Jim Melwert
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new report from the federal government says airline passengers can expect fewer flights, higher fees, and less competition.
The report points to bankruptcies and mergers over the past decade, saying in 2000, ten airlines shared 90% of the market. Now, that’s down to just five, and could even drop to four if U.S. Air and American Airlines merge.
Travelers say the past ten years have certainly changed the perception of flying.
“I anticipate all the bad things that are going to happen to happen,” says Barbara from Exton, Pennsylvania. “Like charging the extra $25 for your bag, I think that’s ridiculous.”
With those baggage fees, airlines in the United States collected over $1.7 billion in just the first half of 2012.
The report, from the Department of Transportation’s inspector general, says the changes have stabilized the airline industry.
But travel groups worry the lack of competition means airlines can ignore consumer interests.