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What an American-US Airways merger means for you

NEW YORK — American Airlines and US Airways have cleared the last major hurdle to merging, but it will be several months — if not years — before passengers see any significant impact.

Passengers with existing tickets on American or US Airways — and members of both frequent flier programs — shouldn't fret. No changes will come immediately.

Since announcing the deal in February, the two airlines have been working behind the scenes to try and make the merger as seamless as possible. Following Tuesday's agreement with the Justice Department, the two airlines said they expect the deal to close in December. But that doesn't mean everything will happen overnight. When the deal does close, here's what passengers can expect:

— AIRFARE

During the past five years, the airline industry has seen the combinations of Delta with Northwest, United with Continental and Southwest Airlines Co. with AirTran. The price of a domestic round-trip flight has climbed more than 15 percent since 2009, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.


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