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Last-Minute Deal Threatens Chicago Air Travel

Last-Minute Deal Inserted in New O’Hare Lease – Bad for Consumers, Bad for Competition, Bad for Chicago

The City of Chicago cut a last-minute deal with United Airlines and inserted a provision into the lease awarding the airline 5 additional gates out of a “common use” pool meant for all airlines. This gives United a leg up on the competition making it significantly harder for American Airlines to successfully operate a hub at O’Hare. How? At O’Hare, one regional gate can be used nine times a day. Five extra gates translates into 45 additional flights a day or up to two million passengers a year.

If signed, this deal will:

Limit Consumer Choice

The proposed lease ignores the desire and need for consumer choice. Chicagoans and travelers passing through O’Hare will literally pay the price for a last-minute deal that favors United Airlines at the expense of market-based competition.

Stifle Competition

By tilting the playing field toward one airline, Chicago is guaranteed less competition. As a result, consumers will likely have fewer choices and face higher fares. O’Hare’s unique position as a dual-hub airport spurs competition, giving passengers more options for destinations, more options on schedule and better fares.

Raise Fares

The United gate deal fails consumers by favoring a single airline. By reducing competition, Chicagoans will be left out in the cold with fewer options as fares inevitably rise.

It’s time for the City of Chicago to keep competition at O’Hare!

It’s time for the City of Chicago to keep competition at O’Hare!
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