Could Delta/Pinnacle Deal Lead to Lower Airfares?

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(MEMPHIS)  Daniel Dewitt's been checking fares all day for weeks. He’s trying to get to a friend’s wedding and can't afford the $600 to get to Savannah, Georgia.

“You`ve got to factor in hotel, car rental baggage, it’s too much”

It's a story we know all too well, often played out online Facebook group “Delta Does Memphis”. 

Delta blames the economy, too few passengers and gas guzzling planes for Memphis having some of the highest airfare in the nation.  

Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines flies 140 of the CRJ-200 aircraft. It’s a 50-seat plane Delta has labeled a gas guzzler. Pinnacle already filed for bankruptcy after operating the plane.  Now, Delta has agreed to help Pinnacle out financially but they have to trade in those CRJ-200 planes for a newer model, the CRJ-900, which carries 76 people, and makes the airline more money.

Critic Susan Adler Thorpe says it makes sense. Thorpe says this deal saves cash but she doesn't believe passengers will see it. Even though it's one of the reasons Delta has cited in the past for Memphis'  airfare.

“You have to realize Delta business decisions are going to be most profitable for Delta Airlines, if  Memphis happens to benefit from those decisions we`re all lucky” said Thorpe.