Letters Extra: Fare impact from airline mergers

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It's laughable to hear US Airways chief Doug Parker say that Philadelphia will benefit from the merger with American Airlines ("In Phila., extolling airlines' merger," March 27). I've been flying twice a year for business to Portland, Maine for over 20 years. Tickets for a 52-minute nonstop flight once cost in the $300 range at a time when there was competition on that route. But now it's in the $800 to $1,000 range.

The reason? Southwest Airlines in the last year or so decided they were only flying in a southwest direction from Philadelphia. Once, I could fly Southwest to Manchester, N.H. and then drive the rest of the way to Portland for $200 or so. But Southwest doesn't fly northeast out of Philadelphia, so US Airways has pounced on that financial windfall. Well, I'm not paying $1,000 for such a short flight, especially when overseas flights are in the $1,500 range.

I now have to take the train, and drive from Boston to Portland at a cost of $400 - with one leg a first-class train seat. So whatever the US Airways chief executive is selling, I'm not buying.

James Glatthorn, Drexel Hill

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