Airline Merger Could Ground Some Lobbyists

Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:56am

Clearance for the merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways will create the biggest airline but it may not be a big benefit for travelers, or airline employees and lobbyists of the two companies.

The new airline, under the name of American Airlines, could raise fares, reduce service to small cities, reduce the number of employees, and also look for other savings or “synergies.”  This may include reducing the number of lobbyists they hire in Washington, D.C.

American Airlines and U.S. Airways had a combined total of 55 lobbyists lobbying the executive and legislative branches during the third quarter of 2013, when they spent a combined total of $2,640,000 for lobbying for all their issues. During the last four quarters the two airlines spent $9,731,000 on federal lobbying.

American Airlines had four in-house lobbyists and hired 13 lobbying firms with 34 lobbyists. U.S. Airways had two in-house lobbyists and hired 5 lobbying firm with 15 lobbyists.

American Airlines paid Hannegan Landau Poersch Advocacy LLC $120,000 for three lobbyists; $120,000 to Venable LLP for six lobbyists; $10,000 to D-Squared Tax Strategies for one lobbyist; $70,000 to McBee Strategic Consulting for three lobbyists; $60,000 to Heather Podesta + Partners for 2 lobbyists; $60,000 to LHD & Associates for one lobbyist; $50,000 to Normandy Group LLC for two lobbyists; $50,000 to Ingram Group for three lobbyists; $40,000 to OB-C Group for seven lobbyists; $40,000 to Doerrer Group for one lobbyist; $40,000 to Empire Consulting for one lobbyist; $20,000 to Denny Miller Associates for three lobbyists; and $8,000 to William Griffin.

U.S. Airways paid $140,000 to Podesta Group for seven lobbyists; $50,000 to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld for one lobbyist; $50,000 to Gibson Group for one lobbyist; $40,000 to Cormac Group for two lobbyists; and $40,000 to SBL Strategies for two lobbyists. Mercury Strategies, Chesapeake Enterprises and Poligentsia, had been paid in earlier quarters but have not filed third quarter reports or termination reports.