No, no, and no! Deregulation has brought far more benefit than cost to American consumers, businesses, and communities. The numbers tell the story: fewer than 300 million Americans flew in 1978, and over 660 million flew last year. That's growth far beyond what economic and/ or population growth could possibly account for.
Ticket prices are actually far lower *on average* than below deregulation, adjusted for inflation. THis brings us to the one real inequity of deregulation, which the market has still not adequately corrected on its own. Most of this benefit is in major markets.....medium and small size communities unfortunately don't see lower ticket prices unless Southwest comes in to hold the Six Families mafia cartel acccountable.
The bifurcated airline industry that has resulted from deregulation has distributed its benefits unevenly. The high-cost, high fare Six Families and similar carriers reach down to the smallest of air markets (with help of regional affiliates) but gouge for the service. The low-fare carriers pick and choose a few medium-size markets and make everyone else drive, an inequitable outcome which for now is unavoidable. No one seems to have come up with a profit formula for economically and consistently bringing low-fare service to small communities, and the medium-size communities not served by Southwest.
The Six Families enforce this inequitable situation by predatory practices, which shut down the free market. So the only "regulation" that is needed is stiffer predatory pricing and capacity-dumping amendments to the Sherman Antitrust Act. The outcome of the USA vs. AMR suit shows that tougher capacity dumping standards especially are needed. The government must vigorously protect the level free market playing field.
But beyond that...the government should not re-regulate the industry. That only protected high fares and high cost structures. Deregulation has been a winner, and its weaknesses can be corrected over time if ingenuity and the free market are kept open and allowed to do their work.
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)