SIOUX FALLS, SD -
American Airlines and US Airways are merging into the world's biggest airline.
This Valentine's Day, the two airlines are marrying their operations and becoming one and local travel experts say it could actually be a gift to local passengers.
The merger between American Airlines and US Airways could open up new routes from Sioux Fall in the coming year. Right now, just four American Eagle planes take off for Dallas and Chicago daily.
"There is a potential for service to some of those other cities that we don't have," Airport Authority Executive Director Dan Letellier said.
Letellier says the merger could also mean non-stop flights to Phoenix, Philadelphia or Washington DC.
"They don't have a big overlap of routes, so it is going to actually open things up for people around here as far as different option," AAA Travel Agent Kay Parrott said.
Federal Regulators still have to approve the merger. So right now, travelers can expect business as usual.
But in the past, major mergers have meant less competition and higher prices on some routes.
"There is that concern," Letellier said. "With fewer carriers, competition is a concern certainly. But you have three very strong competitors or will have and that alone will keep prices down a little bit."
And while prices could rise in other parts of the country, travel experts don't expect it to happen here because neither airline plays a significant role in Sioux Falls.
"This area, I don't necessarily see fares being impacted as much because it's not a prime market for US Air," Parrott said.
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