Is it time to re-regulate the airlines?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, May 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:

    In this age of delayed flights, rising fares, confusing price structures, congested airports, mounting fees, and generally poor service, more and more travelers are beginning to reconsider their position on regulation of the airline industry.

    In many cases, it's a bit of a "Catch 22" for the airlines. No one can legitimately argue that fuel costs have not had an adverse effect on airline costs and resulting airfares. Airlines have low fixed costs and high variable costs, with much of the latter consisting of fuel expenses. For example, with jet fuel at $3.17 per gallon, the fuel cost per hour for a DC-10 in flight would be $7,624 and for a 747, $10,813.

    Obviously, these costs must be recouped through fares, but this is not the major complaint of most of today's passengers, particularly business travelers. The concern is the product being received for the price paid. First of all, the fares are both high and erratic, varying with Saturday stay-overs, lead time, and other considerations. It is not uncommon to have a variety of fares represented on a given flight among passengers with similar itineraries.

    Second, the fees are a major irritation to many fliers. In 2010, airline revenues from bag fees totaled $3.4 billion. The baggage charges have resulted in more carry-ons with no space left for the last passengers to board the aircraft. Oh, by the way, don't forget to pay the fee for the extra leg room if you want some semblance of comfort.

    Obviously, poor service, such as flight delays, is not always the fault of the airlines, but when it is, it just compounds an already unpleasant experience.

    Mergers have created further unpleasantness and expense in some cities. My hometown of Memphis is a case in point. Since Delta's acquisition of Northwest in 2008, flights out of Memphis have been reduced by 33 percent. Memphis's recent average airfare was third highest among the country's 100 airports and 31 percent higher than the national average. The point was brought home to me when I paid $1,093 roundtrip to go to a meeting in Chicago. This was with two weeks' notice and no Saturday stay-over. I would have been better off if the meeting had been in Paris. One of our local wags has started a Facebook page titled "Delta Does Memphis," and it already has 1,500 members. Delta cites high fuel costs, but it appears to be more like the time-honored practice of charging whatever the market will bear.
    uggboy likes this.
  2. uggboy
    Original Member

    uggboy Gold Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    At least quality, pricing and capacity should be consistent.;)
    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

    Likes Received:
    Status Points:
    I'm sure everything will get so much better if the government gets involved. :rolleyes:
    ella likes this.

Share This Page