So much for more competition because of the AA/US merger

I said it during the Senate Aviation Subcommittee hearings on Capitol Hill and now the “new” America Airlines (AA) is proving me correct. The AA/US merger what’s-down-is-up and what’s-up is-down claim that cutting the number of network airlines from four to three would improve competition is now clearly seen as cynical bald-face misdirection. AA’s new line-up service from LaGuardia makes that clear as a bell.

Should airline slots be traded like baseball cards?

I watched the recent swapping of airline slots between Delta and USAirways and between AirTran and Continental. Once upon a time the airlines were howling when the FAA wanted to limit landing and take-off slots at La Guardia, Newark and JFK as a solution to overcrowding of the airspace. They claimed that Congress never explicitly gave the FAA the right to auction slots. Has Congress given the airlines explicit rights to sway federal assets? And what about the consumers?