Students across campus are preparing themselves to make West Chester University a distant memory with the anticipation of spring break approaching. However, for those of us trying to travel and vacation outside of Pennsylvania or the US in general, there has been some airline news that’s been trending recently and could affect your plans.
It’s being reported that Frontier and Spirit Airlines will be merging to make one of the biggest airlines in America. CNBC reports that, “The deal, valued at $6.6 billion, is structured with Frontier Airlines controlling the merged airline and Spirit holding the remaining 48.5%.” If you ask almost anyone in America, Frontier and Spirit are two of the most notorious airlines in the country. Between the low prices, complaints, overall experience and cancellations, these two airlines have made a name for themselves.
CNN reports that “Spirit had by far the highest number of passenger complaints, with 13.25 complaints per 100,000 passengers, according to stats from January through September 2021 kept by the US Department of Transportation. JetBlue had the second most complaints on that basis with 6.85, while Frontier had the third-most in the industry with 5.76. Frontier had by far the worst rate of complaints in the same period of 2020 when it recorded 60.24 complaints per 100,000 customers. Frontier and Spirit also had the industry’s worst customer satisfaction ratings, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.”
This could turn out good or worse for these airlines because both have a lot to work on in terms of public reputation. Especially with college students across the country gearing up for spring break and the summer, both of which are peak times for airlines. Additionally, both airlines over the past two years have seen millions of dollars worth of revenue loss.
Now, this deal won’t be set in stone until later in the year with all the legal logistics that have to be done. But the merger will see some challenges from the President as well. CNN reports that “Whether or not the merger will be approved by federal antitrust regulators remains uncertain. The Biden administration has taken a much more aggressive approach on antitrust issues. It recently blocked an alliance between American and JetBlue that fell short of a full merger. Increasing competition in the airline industry is one of the issues that the Biden administration has cited as a priority.”
Savanthi Syth, airline analyst, gave a statement about the obstacles in the merger’s way: “In a normal environment we would not expect any regulatory hurdles given the relatively small market share of each airline. But given the Biden Administration’s ‘big is bad’ approach we would expect some objection.” We will see in the coming months if this deal stands the test of time. In the meantime, we have one more week until spring break, so make sure you stay focused and get your plans ready to let off some steam and have some well-deserved relaxation.
Isaiah Ireland is a first-year Media & Culture major. II978280@wcupa.edu