American Airlines, US Airways merger: Should consumers worry?

Now that US Airways and American Airlines have finally announced their merger, consumers are worried about rising costs, especially here in Phoenix.

But, blogger and travel expert Brian Kelly with thepointsguy.com , has one piece of advice: "The biggest thing is, don't panic," he said.

Not yet, at least. Nothing is going to happen for at least four or five months, until the government says that this can go through," according to Kelly.

Lots of things will be up in the air during those months while we all wait to find out which way the airlines will go, but here's what we do know.

First, frequent flier miles: The airlines announced that they'll each maintain their current loyalty programs , for now.

"And that actually may give you the opportunity to take some of those American Airlines miles , bring them into your US Airways account, and then redeem them for a trip," Kelly said, "because you'll be able to combine [them.]"

Next, which frequent-flier travel alliance will the new, merged airline use? According to Kelly, the new airline will use American's current program, oneworld . And that means a much smaller network of partner airlines to share miles with internationally.

US Airways current program, Star Alliance , has 27 partner airlines. oneworld has just 12.

And what about your airline credit card? The two will eventually choose one card to go with, Kelly said, but, for now, here's his advice: "For American Airlines flyers, now might be a good time to get that US Airways credit card because you'll be able to combine those points down the road."

Finally, what about the cost of your tickets? The airline executives claimed the merger will be good for competition, but the fact is, there will be one less airline competing for your money.

But, in the end, we probably won't see any huge price increases for a while, Kelly said.

What are your concerns? Email me or go to my ABC15 Facebook page and tell me about it. 

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