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Air travelers faced with more fees and less choices: US report

WASHINGTON -- Airline passengers can expect fewer carriers to choose from, fewer flights to smaller cities and more baggage and other fees as the industry continues to grapple with high fuel prices and a weak economy, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The U.S. airline industry is still in transition after a tumultuous decade in which bankruptcies and mergers cut the number of airlines accounting for the bulk of domestic flights in half, to just five: American, Delta, Southwest, United and US Airways, the report by the Department of Transportation's inspector general said. If US Airways and American — which are in merger discussions — were to combine, that would drop to four.

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