10 Responses

  1. ALCO
    ALCO at |

    There’s a typo in your first sentence. [/Pedant]

  2. pedant
    pedant at |

    Also, “sortof” is not a word. It’s two words: “sort of”. This happens in many of your posts. HTH!

  3. Deon
    Deon at |

    Seems to me there’s some ignorance on the airline industry from this blogger. I care far more about leg room than meal and entertainment options. The latter two I can BYO, leg room I can’t. Also, why compare historical air fares, they’re no longer comparable. Food, baggage, seat assignments, and decent frequent flyer benefits used to be included in air fares, now they’re all separated out or not even provided. The all-in cost of flying is going up quite a bit, even if fares aren’t rising so much.

  4. NB
    NB at |

    @Deon. I have no doubt that the cost of flying has risen in the last 5 years in absolute and relative terms. Likewise it has fallen in the last 50 years. Also, it is a much less pleasant experience now than 5 years ago. But the point glossed over by that article is that the position 5 years ago was both unusual and unsustainable. Airlines were bankrupt and losing money hand over fist – that cannot go on. We were in recession so planes were empty (and an empty plane is far more enjoyable than a full one) – recessions do not go on forever. And oil prices were significantly lower – and they have now gone up.

    As it happens, the reduction in competition has been only one of the factors that has led to greater profitability for the airlines – a level of profitability they need to survive and we, the passengers, need to have an airplane to fly on. The other factors have also been instrumental in producing that profitability. So, it’s clear that the mergers have not yet been shown to produce monopoly or quasi-monopoly pricing except in very limited and specific markets (which, by their nature, are also insignificant).

    Whether the reduction in competition will result in inflated air fares is a far more difficult question and is way too difficult to call at the moment. We still have three (assuming AA/US happens) major network carriers who are still competing aggressively, we still have various LCC type operations with national scale and we still have a handful of outliers such as Alaska and Hawaiian, for example. More importantly, we have a very efficient market, with transparent pricing, and a public determined to obtain the lowest price.

    The conditions are not right at all for monopoly pricing to flourish except in limited markets – but those are markets which are generally artificially subsidised at the moment.

  5. DaninSTL
    DaninSTL at |

    You have to keep it in context. Time is a news source like MSNBC is a “news” source. Time is an anti corporation liberal rag that’s why most people don’t read it anymore. It’s like reading USA Today Instead of the Wall Street Journal. Sure you’ll get “news” “stories” but only to push an agenda. Any argument they can form against private business or capitalism is perfect for Time.