Letters Extra: Fare impact from airline mergers

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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