The fallacy of some of these arguments is that Bush and Obama allowed such extreme consolidation that there isn't any way for consumers to "push back" or fly roomier competitors. As long as both airlines on a duopoly route treat customers badly in equal ways, there is no alternative.
The above is the true fallacy.
What percentage of domestic U.S. city pairs today are true duopolies? I don't know the exact answer - although I'd love to know - but I'm quite confident it's an extremely percentage. And as a related question, what percentage of domestic U.S. passengers today face a true duopoly on the city pair they're flying? Again, don't know the exact answer - but I'm quite confident that it's an even lower
percentage. That doesn't necessarily mean that someone will always have more than one nonstop competitor in a given market (although in the biggest, highest-volume, city pairs, they almost always do), and it also doesn't necessarily mean that someone will always have more than one nonstop competitor at exactly the time they want to fly
, either. But, alas, free markets don't guarantee perfect outcomes for all consumers.
Further, you can try to avoid the UA A320 or the AA 738, what happens when they are the only aircraft on a route out of ORD? No choice at all.
You connect through DTW or MSP or ATL on Delta, or you fly JetBlue, or go over to MDW and get on one of Southwest's 200+ daily flights, and on and on. People have choices - if they elect not to take them because said choices are less convenient, or because they're limited by a policy arbitrarily imposed by their employer, that's not the airline's choice. But again, that's how markets work - everyone doesn't necessarily always get perfect competition tailored exactly to their precise, specific, individual needs.
Also, it's a product you can't "try on" when you buy. Considering most people don't fly enough to know what's changing or what they are buying, it's only when they sit down that they will find out. That's a reason for a standard minimum right there.
Completely and totally disagree. Airlines don't hide this stuff - all of this information is publicly available. If consumers don't take the initiative to seek out information about the products and services are providing, or only procure said products or services so infrequently that they feel it's not worth their time, that's their choice - and nobody else's. I continue to find astounding that people think "minimum standards" - as arbitrary and subjective as they would, by definition, be - are reasonable because consumers voluntarily choose
not to research what they're buying.
Think about any other product where you can't return it or get a refund but also can't examine it before you purchase. Not only that, but you can't even cancel and advance order for this product, no matter how far in advance you place the order.
Uh, how about tickets to virtually any time-specific event on earth? I can't examine the seat in the baseball stadium before I show up for the game, nor the seat at the theater when I go see a concert or play. And, in almost all cases, I can't cancel said purchases and get refunds for that stuff, either.
Last edited by commavia
on Wed May 03, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.