Davis is a political scientist, not an economist. He apparently believes, like
so many other political idealists, that economic principles come into existence
by edict. What he seems to long for are the glory days of air travel when it was
accessible only to a wealthier passenger class. Those days are long gone because
of price deregulation. Air travel is more affordable than it was in those days,
but the decreased level of comfort is the necessary trade-off. You can't
have it both ways.
What we are seeing in airlines are the results of The Great American Entitlement
Mentality that is infecting too many of us.I'm entitled to a
comfortable seat, a good road to drive on, sewers that work, fire departments
that fight fires, and on and on. But don't ask me to pay for them -- and
certainly don't ask me to pay even more!Airlines, like so many
other aspects of American government and business, needs to develop enough
courage to stand up and say, "Okay, you want more comforts as you fly? Here
they are. And here is the price of your ticket."The American
public -- conservatives especially -- will throw a huge national tantrum, but it
will quiet down after awhile if we ignore them as we would ignore a three-year
old who doesn't want to take a nap.
Airplanes used to have bigger seats and more space between the seats and aisles
of sufficient size. Airlines argued if they were able to add seats, prices would
go down - they never did, in fact prices have done nothing but go up. The author of this letter is telling us prices will increase again if we go
back to what airplanes used to be - apparently we are danged if we do and danged
if we don't.All the more reason to give real competition and
build high speed rail.
Professor Davis is a socialist, who believes the solution to every problem lies
in some department of a bloated, inefficient, ineffective Big Brother
government.The problem with airlines is us. We permit them to enter
into collusive, governmental "regulation" schemes that encourage them to
rip us off, treat us like cattle, and provide them with anti-competitive top
cover as they conspire to extend fewer and fewer services for more and more of
our resources.So, not surprisingly, they do.Airlines are
dead. They just don't know it yet. They've adopted the same deranged,
short-sighted, government-sanctioned, anti-consumer tactics as all other
communal, collective transportation schemes before them -- stagecoaches, trains,
ships, buses, light rail, and "high-speed" rail -- and will suffer the
same ignominious fate when the "Model T" of individual air travel comes
out.They'll conspire with government to prevent the advances
that will doom them, but Americans are so deathly sick of airlines, even bloated
government won't be able to stop the flood.
wider seats more reclining, it's called first class, with a higher $$$
Anybody else get tired of getting smacked by the service cart when you're
in the aisle seats?
what do you suppose is going to be the model t of personal air travel. being a
pilot, I can tell you that once in the air, the small plane is no harder to fly
than a good car is to drive, however, the take off and landings can be really
interesting, add a little cross wind, and it gets even more interesting. Also,
when you have a problem in the air, you don't just pull over and take out
your cell phone. there is more to it than that
I liked the post above that said when the airlines added more seats, did prices
go down? The answer was NO. It is sort of like in pro sports when the your
favorite franchise goes cheap and lets all the superstars go saying they
can't afford them or whatever. They cut payroll but never has season
tickets ever gone down.
Are you people who claim prices haven't gone down made allowances for
inflation? I'd be surprised if you did.
@ SEY: Be surprised then.
Not until you show some evidence, Kalindra. Show me the stats. All the ones
I've seen show that air fares have decreased dramatically over the past 5
or 6 decades.
Yeah, wider seats, aisles, and better food would be nice but then prices would
rise. I have flown commercial and military (jump seats/canvas backs and box
lunches, some included my own parachute - unused).To me the bottom
line is: leave on time, arrive on time. Get in, sit down, shut up, launch it
and read a book, close your eyes and turn on your own music player.Unless the flight is transcontinental or oceanic forget the food and drinks.
Just get the plane to the next runway in one piece. Let passengers purchase
their own box lunch from vendors inside the security zone, if they want to
munch.I would give up all the frills for bigger overhead storage and
some under seat storage that would allow more carry-on and less waiting and loss
at the baggage pick-up. Most flights are less than two to three hours. It is
pathetic to have adults who can't just sit still in a seat and occupy their
time for 150 minutes of less.It is transportation not entertainment.
Re: "what do you suppose is going to be the model t of personal air
travel[?]Of course market forces will determine final
winners/losers, but there are already some pretty good autogiro airframes out
there, with a rotor spin-up capability, stubby wings that provide most of the
lift at cruise, and the capability to slow rotor RPM at higher speeds to
increase stability -- reducing lateral lift inequalities and eliminating
retreating blade stall -- and decrease lift/drag.And, it won't
be long before highly redundant, semi-autonomous digital flight-control and
emergency-escape systems catch up.Such a system, permitting
relatively safe, relatively inexpert, 200+ k. flight, manufactured in quantity
and sold at minimal profit margins -- as was the Model T -- would revolutionize
travel throughout the world.As did the Model T.