The U.S. Department of Justice and several states are suing to stop US Airways and American Airlines from merging.
The Justice Department says the airlines compete on more than a thousand routes. One example is nonstop service between Charlotte and Dallas. If the airlines merge, the Justice Department says travelers would probably pay at least $3 million more each year on that route alone.
"I think it'd be a whole lot better for us travelers if they didn't merge," said traveler Steve Hudgins.
"This transaction would result in consumers paying the price -- in higher airfares, higher fees and fewer choices,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
His head of antitrust, Bill Baer, added, "Even a small increase in the price of airline tickets, checked bags or flight change fees would result in hundreds of millions of dollars of harm to American consumers.
The Carolinas are not among the six states suing. WSOC is told they have time to join if they choose. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is considering it, according to his spokesperson, who emailed WSOC, "Attorney General Cooper is continuing to monitor the U.S. Department of Justice action and is concerned about the potential for harm to consumers, but is also considering the outcome for the city of Charlotte and surrounding communities."
"We will fight them. We are confident that by combining American and US Airways we are enhancing competition, providing better service to our customers and improving the industry as a whole," US Airways CEO Doug Parker said in a letter to employees.
He still hopes to pull off the merger by the end of the year. They are supposed to merge during the third quarter of this year.
"It's not going to kill the hub. It's not going to be a huge impact, but a 10 percent reduction in flights wouldn't be a surprise. Fares going up a little bit wouldn't be a surprise," said Michael Lowrey, aviation expert for the John Locke Foundation.