deregulationThe USA Today reports that while United Airlines and Continental appear to be clear for merger take-off, some politicians who oppose the merger have threatened they might try to re-regulate the industry.

Chairman of the Houst Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, James Oberstar (D-Minn.), and Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) are considering “legislation (that) would impose federal regulation of airline pricing and re-establish a government gatekeeper role similar to that played by the old Civil Aeronautics Board prior to deregulation in 1978.”

Deregulation has been credited with making airline travel affordable for the average American.  But Oberstar pointed to the $2.7 billion the airlines earned in baggage fees in 2009 as evidence that consumers are no longer benefiting from the system.  He said he believes there’s support in the House for re-regulation.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • San Francisco International Airport today said it would roll out free Wi-Fi.  Its terminals will switch from T-Mobile’s paid service to free access on September 1.
  • Credit cards for Delta and Continental Airlines now offer cardholders one free checked bag for up to nine people when reservations are charged to these cards.
  • By the end of the year, 18 more airports will deploy Advanced Imaging Technology as part of their airport security tool-set.  The machines – which are already in place in 32 other airports – use either electromagnetic waves or X-rays to render a nude image of the body.  Fear not weary traveler, the images are blurred to eliminate facial features.