The turmoil in the US economy, rising fuel prices, and merger-for-survivals will cause airfare hikes and additional charges for now free services. As I predicted at the beginning of the year, mergers between the major airlines are happening to keep them in business.

According to the International Herald Tribune expect higher fares as a result of fewer airlines.

“It’s a very bad idea,” said Oberstar, whose state is home to Northwest’s headquarters. He said he expected “a cascade of carriers finding partners” if the Delta-Northwest combination was allowed to go forward, with fewer choices and higher prices for consumers.

Low-fare airlines will begin to creep their prices up and the fares of the large, newly merged companies increase. They won’t be “low fare” anymore, but lower fare. Expect to pay for things you now take for granted as well.

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[photo by: Fuseman]