... the simple question is... What is going to happen?
Several recent articles are highlighting the success of smaller non-traditional carriers like Southwest, jet Blue, and Frontier, citing lower operating costs. They say these airlines will continue to expand this year with hiring and adding new routes and flights as the bigger carriers pull out of less profitable cities.
What I want to know is this: are we seeing a major never-before-seen shift in the way the U.S. airline system operates? Will the Southwest and jetBlue of today be the American and United of tomorrow? Will we see airline travel become more of a "shuttle" and "bus" service and less of an exciting experience that is professional, respected, and often times seen as glamorous? Where will our airlines be 5 years from now? Will American be reduced to a nickel and dime airline on the edge of bankruptcy like TWA and PanAm? Will Southwest swell to become the nation's largest (and most profitable) airline?
What is going to happen?