Published: Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
Greater regulation is a trap that entices with the illusion of safety and in
this case control. We've already pummeled the industry with
regulations until the only airlines left are those who can still get financing
to comply with or circumvent them.In any other industry, new entrants
would be lining up to fill the vacuum created by ten years of consistent
reduction in capacity despite consistent growth in demand over the same
period.Whatever parties were behind the founding of the Deltas,
Uniteds, and Americans are long gone with their values and ideas. Any company
should be put down after a 3rd round of bankruptcy. It is a failed venture, a
nightmare for those who's income depend on it and a massive tax burden!Imagine the wave of good will and enthusiasm that would carry new
entrants into the industry when it no longer takes $200,000,000. up front to do
so profitably.Aviation is in our blood. We need to come
to terms with our illusions of safety and control by regulation. I don't
think that we will until the weight of regulation finally collapses the
remaining pillars of the industry.
There is a suggestion that passengers stand. Wow! We are entering a new low.
I do remember when flying was actually exciting. Now it is a pain you know
where. If I have to fly, I will choose the airline that will actually do some
of things suggested as well as simplifying its fees. I am hopeful that the free
market will do this and that the four airlines won't collude to not do
these things because if push comes to shove regulation will come if they
don't choose to do better.
Flying is becoming a very much more unpleasant experience. Seats get shorter and
narrower as people do the opposite. There are so many various extras, fees,
surcharges, levies, riders, taxes, assessments, and other charges that a
congressional committee couldn't estimate the actual cost of a ticket.
Security is draconian, and only marginally effective. Service is getting worse.
Passengers are getting crankier. I still love to travel, but flying is now down
to just tolerating it.
It is very easy to simply blast the airlines the problems in the air travel
industry. Wider seats mean less seats, which means less revenue and therefore
higher ticket prices for everyone else It isn't the airline industries
fault that people are getting larger. Why should they have to suffer financially
as a result? Also, leisure and infrequent air travelers are extremely price
sensitive. They aren't loyal to a specific airline, but will choose the
lower fare most of the time regardless of the carrier. The fact is,
airfare prices, adjusted for inflation, are equal today to what they were
shortly after deregulation in 1978. It is a cutthroat industry because most
flying customers have sent the message that they value low price over anything
else. Those who value the experience are willing and able to pay to sit in
first, business and premium economy seats.At the end of the day, you
buy a ticket to get from point A to point B as cheap as possible, not to get a
warm towel and a mediocre meal.
Or else? What options do passengers have? Driving to Tokyo is difficult.
I now prefer the relative comfort and dignity of Greyhound bus travel to flying.
Maybe Amtrak will finally get more customers...
I think there is an 'or else' moment that will come. Someone is going
to figure out that an airline can prosper by offering more. Better service. More
room. A civil experience. I think it's possible.
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