FAA proposal for Newark Liberty could lower air fares
The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing new rules at Newark Liberty Airport that could eventually bring smiles to travelers' faces.
The FAA wants United Airlines, which dominates Newark Liberty International Airport with 73 percent of all traffic, to either use all of their allotted takeoff and landing slots, or expect to have them offered to other carriers interested in providing service.
If it happens, that scenario would presumably increase competition and could drive fares down.
"I think it would have a positive effect, at least on some routes, the issue is the airlines that might want to use these slots need to have the airplanes and crew to take advantage of them," said George Hobica, the President of airfarewatchdog.com.
He said while some fares could drop, the decrease probably wouldn't be dramatic because United already competes with other airlines operating at JFK and La Guardia airports.
He also said if fares do go lower at Newark Liberty "it probably would affect Trenton-Mercer, it might even affect La Guardia and JFK."
Douglas Kidd, the executive director of the National Association of Airline Passengers, agreed many questions remain unanswered, but stressed if more airlines are "competing for the consumers interest, then we can see good things happening."
"If they don't have to compete, well they're not going to give us anything more than they absolutely have to," Kidd said. "There's nothing like a little bit of competition to make people work a little bit harder and provide a little bit better service."
If new rules are adopted and more carriers are offered slots at Newark Liberty, it wouldn't happen until next year at the earliest.