The future of American air transportation rides in the cabins of the nation’s big airlines. For more than 70 years, airlines like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines have proudly served the interests of American travelers. Along the way, they have helped businesses earn trillions of dollars, worked with the government to secure our borders, and given travelers a way to explore the wonders of the world.
And what have they gotten in return? Travelers have taken advantage of airlines’ willingness to maintain competitive fares and repaid it with fleeting loyalty and indifference. At the same time, selfish labor unions have drained the big airlines’ coffers and predatory upstart carriers have poached their routes.
But when it comes to air travel, consumers toss loyalty aside in search of a better deal. I call this the “Southwest Effect” — the naive idea that the best deals will be found on Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, and other low-budget carriers, as well as on third-party Web sites. Not only do these better deals not exist, but this greedy strategy is wreaking havoc with the U.S. air travel industry.
In my opinion, it’s un-American.
Whenever travelers fly a low-cost carrier, they disrespect the contributions that the major carriers have made to the United States of America. Failing to repay the debt of gratitude we owe the major U.S. airlines is unpatriotic.