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Delta Northwest Merger: How Will It Affect Your Vacation?

Are giant airlines better for your budget?

Last night's announcement that Delta and Northwest are officially merged is no surprise for travelers. The deal has been in the works for ages, making a mega airline with 800 planes going to 67 countries.

The good news is that there's virtually nowhere you can't go on Delta now. There are over 390 airports you can fly in to, since the two Delta/Northwest MergeDelta/Northwest Mergeairlines' route networks mesh together nicely. Delta's strengths are international flights to Latin America and Europe, and domestically it's strongest in the eastern States. According to AP News, "Northwest would complement that with its near-lock in the Midwest along with flights to its Tokyo hub and other points in Asia."

Which means that if you live near a hub (and haven't used up your vacation time for the year), world travel without transfers is yours for the taking.

The bad news is that giant airlines don't offer giant savings. Well they do...but not like budget start-ups. Remember when (now bust) Skybus started to offer $10 fares? The big guys went nuts and started offering deals to compete with them. But at the moment there isn't a comparable carrier, so Delta/Northwest won't be beating their deals.

However, with their combined power, the new airline can offer regular schedules and consistent pricing not seen on small carriers. Unfortunately, with fewer big players the chance of a monopoly and price-fixing goes way up. Here's hoping for a cost-conscious carrier that helps keep our getaways under budget.

Got any travel plans coming up that will let you take advantage of the merger?

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