What the writer forgets is that the airlines are monopsonies, price-fixing
entities that control access to the air. This is not a "free market."
Business travelers must use them or lose their businesses. Now the airlines
announce they're going to INCREASE the number of seats in their planes.
Phlebitis, strokes, and passenger rage, here we come.
The airlines are consolidating into less and less competition. They follow suit
on service cuts and added fees so quickly now I really don't think there is
much left in competition so much as matching. The 90's are over, no more
$200 trips to Europe, we better get used to it.
The quality of airline travel has declined dramatically over the past several
years. We are paying more and more for less and less. There has
also been a large consolidation among the carriers. Instead of 6 or more major
carriers providing service in the U.S., now there are only 3-4. Business travelers can absorb the costs--since usually employers are picking
up the tab. Leisure travelers may have greater difficulty absorbing ever
increasing prices and unpleasant conditions. People in our family have flown
several times a year, but we are now looking to reduce the amount we fly. This
year's get-together involved everybody driving to a centralized location,
rather than flying.
But make no mistake, it's by far the best option
I still don't believe it is our lot to be treated like cattle. We're
getting taller and larger, and I believe there is a business model out there
that will accomodate a more civil, comfortable flying experience for all which
sees airlines make money.
Like the author, I don't really care too much about how comfortable the
seats are on airplanes, but it is worth noting that the safety of air travel,
the specifications of how Interstates are constructed, the railroad industry,
and automobile safety standards are all in the government domain.Things work best when there is a balanced approach. A complete free market
approach to aviation safety would be chaotic, and having the government
manufacture cars would be likewise crazy.Things must be working
pretty well if we're arguing about how wide the seats are on airplanes.