i live in boston and usually only fly to large cities, so for me, low-cost-carriers are a wonderful thing. this is the case for the majority of american travelers, as lcc's have brought fares down and choice up. but for those of you who fly out of small towns and cities with only a prop flight or two a day, lcc's are endangering your commercial service.
the smallest aviation markets, like those of northern michigan, wyoming, and the dakotas are often funded by the profits of larger, high demand routes. this subsidization (in addition to gov't subsidization) was successful for the larger hub-and-spoke carriers, because there was demand on larger routes to justify high airfares, whose profits were then passed on to the lower margin commuter routes. this is one reason why, even with deregulation, each of the majors has its own sphere of influence (ual the rockies, nwa in michigan, co in eastern texas, and aa in western/northern texas, delta in the southeast and so on). because these routes are not profitable on their own, competition does not arise. with the rise of low-cost-carriers, the profits made on the high demand routes are decreasing as yields decrease. as a result, there is less revenue to be passed onto the commuter routes and in turn, these commuter routes are losing their subsidies. subsequently, those of you who fly from those small strips are losing a lot of your service.
so what is the answer? certainly the rise of low-cost-carriers is a good think, especially on the national scale. but are we to lose service to these smaller markets, or are low-cost-carriers going to grow to the point that they take on these smaller markets and in turn become high-cost-carriers? while i understand the problem, the solution is mirky at best. i'd love to hear your suggestions.