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Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:59 am

http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/24/news...s/index.htm?postversion=2007012413

Snippets:

"I hear this from very conservative people in my state, they're asking for re-regulation of the airlines because of lack of service," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., also argued that smaller communities have been hurt by consolidation in the industry.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., also said he believes deregulation of the airline industry has been bad for smaller markets, saying it costs twice as much to fly to his home state from Washington than it does to fly to Los Angeles, which is twice as far away.

"For those [senators] who have small communities, which the low cost carriers will never serve, you should be very concerned about the health of the network carriers," Parker said. "We need to encourage an industry that allows network carriers the opportunity to be profitable and not have us in the continual cycle of coming back to you every five or six years to ask for help."


Personally, I think these senators are full of it. Deregulation has made flying much, much more accessible to people that could never have afforded to fly in the regulated era. I don't think anyone doubts that service has fallen off a bit, but compared to how much fares have fallen, that's a small price to pay. In addition, in the regulated era there were few frequent flyer miles, no IFE, and much less choice as to frequency.

As for small markets, high fares will always be part of the game. In some instances, cities that can't support service will lose it -- and the only inconvenience will be that passengers may have to drive a little more to get to an airport.

In short, I think the article makes it clear that re-regulation is not likely, but I sure as hell hope it doesn't happen (and, as one airline executive is quoted as saying, the airlines operate in the most-regulated deregulated environment in business).
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commavia
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:25 am

Stupid Senators who have absolutely no concept of how the free market works have been harping on this virtually since the day after Carter signed the Deregulation Act.

The truth is, however, that it will never happen. The truth is that 95% of the people complaining about bad service, no flights, high fares, etc., are people who live in relatively smaller markets that can no longer viably support any real air traffic. These people, thankfully, make up a small and rapidly-shrinking of the U.S. population, and thus won't be able to mess up deregulation, which has been so, so very good at delivering exactly what the majority of U.S. customers want and value -- price, price and price.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:31 am

Quoting Ssides (Thread starter):
"I hear this from very conservative people in my state, they're asking for re-regulation of the airlines because of lack of service," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Go to hell. That is all. Yeah sure
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:37 am

If we haven't been able to figure out from the Airbus fiasco that the more government is involved in a business the bigger mess it is then we deserve what we get. Airline regulation was largely the invention of Juan Trippe and his buddies who wanted to (and did very successfully) use it to choke off competitors. It never has and never will serve the public interest.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:57 am

Quoting Ssides (Thread starter):
"I hear this from very conservative people in my state, they're asking for re-regulation of the airlines because of lack of service," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

I'll be sending Uncle Ted a strongly worded e-mail this very day.

He's getting senile, but he's not stupid. He knows better I'm sure.
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ikramerica
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:12 am

Just one of the joys of the change in leadership. The 49-49-1-1 breakdown is obviously a mandate to regulate the industry. The people have spoken and they obviously want the status quo, or they wouldn't have voted so "neutrally."

While two of the quoted senators are "R" that is usually done in press articles to show "bi-partisan support" for a liberal idea even if they are the ONLY two R's saying this stuff. They also will label anyone with an R as "conservative" if possible, but don't attach the "liberal" label to D Senators. And that way, it makes it seem like "even conservatives" want this. But it's not as if Olympia Snow is conservative...

I agree that it's silly how expensive it can be to fly to one airport vs. another. The whole CVG v. DAY is a big puzzle, as it's not just DL who's charging double and triple anymore, and somehow the government should investigate this kind of price "fixing" into certain airports. But, compared to the days of regulation, even the remote markets and the "sketchy" situations have ticket prices LOWER now than then.

If Alaska wants better service, they can afford to pay AS a stipend to provide it. Alaska (the state) has lots of money, so rather than getting the federal government involved to force airlines to charge less in Alaska (and more to LAX, I would assume), why doesn't the state of Alaska help the cause?

Maybe what gets these Senators all upset is the cost of F travel? Back in the days of regulation, F wasn't much more than Y. Maybe these Senators are acting in a completely selfish manor and are only thinking about how much money they would save...
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NASCARAirforce
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:21 am

Quoting Ssides (Thread starter):
"I hear this from very conservative people in my state, they're asking for re-regulation of the airlines because of lack of service," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

And they name an airport after this guy.
 
airfrnt
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:25 am

Talk about stupidity in the first order. With economic policy like this, we can all rest easy for the next two years knowing our senate is in great hands.
 
khobar
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:46 am

Quoting Ssides (Thread starter):
Personally, I think these senators are full of it. Deregulation has made flying much, much more accessible to people that could never have afforded to fly in the regulated era. I don't think anyone doubts that service has fallen off a bit, but compared to how much fares have fallen, that's a small price to pay. In addition, in the regulated era there were few frequent flyer miles, no IFE, and much less choice as to frequency.

Apart from making air travel more accessible to those who might not have been able to afford it in the regulated era, what benefit has deregulation provided? And is making air travel more accessible to those who might not have been able to afford it in the regulated era any advantage at all? I can think of a number of negative effects it's had: more pollution, longer lines, more congestion, less service. Then there's always the threat of cutbacks - just how deep do the cuts go and is there a danger that airlines will be forced to cut too deeply?

Unfortunately, I am at a disadvantage as I was too young to do much of my own flying during regulation (I did fly extensively, but on someone else's tab), so my view has been shaped entirely by the decline of the airline industry under deregulation.

So, what other "positives" are there?
 
texan
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:57 am

First off, the article has Stevens saying that some of his very conservative constituents want re-regulation. Rockefeller then says that deregulation has hurt smaller communities and wishes for a way for smaller communities to regain the service they had at the prices of populous communities. Snow and Dorgan both note that deregulation has hurt smaller communities but do not appear to support re-regulation at all.

What they have all said is just a fact of life: deregulation has hurt service to smaller communities. Maine, Alaska, North Dakota, and West Virginia are not the most populous states, so their air service has suffered since deregulation. This is not some big secret. It seems to me that all they are really doing is wishing their states had more, better, and cheaper airline service. Hey, you know what, we keep saying the same thing over and over again on this board!

Ted is not going to do something completely idiotic like introduce a bill to re-regulate the industry. The Democrats won't either. What you have are four Senators who are concerned about the availability of cheap, frequent flights to their states. That's it and there's really nothing more to it. Their states are unlikely to see just a huge amount of new service and the Senators themselves are not going to do something to try to re-regulate an industry. Much ado about nothing.

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commavia
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:00 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
Apart from making air travel more accessible to those who might not have been able to afford it

That's a pretty big "benefit" -- in the last nearly thirty years, hundreds of millions of people have been able to fly who never would have otherwise been able to. That is huge.

Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
what benefit has deregulation provided?

Lower fares, more flights, more competition, better (or at least more customer-centric) service, etc., etc., etc. and on and on.

Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
And is making air travel more accessible to those who might not have been able to afford it in the regulated era any advantage at all?

Not if we want to go back to an era of elitism when only the wealthiest few Americans can afford to take a flight.

Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
I can think of a number of negative effects it's had: more pollution, longer lines, more congestion, less service.

And a few positives: more jobs, stronger economy, more cross-cultural interaction ...

Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):
Then there's always the threat of cutbacks - just how deep do the cuts go and is there a danger that airlines will be forced to cut too deeply?

"Cutbacks" are a natural function of free-market capitalist systems. But "cutbacks" are sometimes a very, very good thing in the long-run. It was American's "cutbacks" in Nashville and Raleigh/Durham that led to Southwest coming in and basically dominating both markets by giving customers lower fares and better service. Same thing with Southwest coming into formerly sovereign USAirways territory in Baltimore. And how about Eastern's demise leading to a much stronger, more economically viable U.S. leader to Latin America in American? Or PanAm's folding leading to a bolstered Delta?

The market's ebb and flow is natural, and good, but always in the long-run. If we only look in the short-run, or even worse, only make decisions in the short-run, then no viable public policy will ever be made.
 
PSAjet17
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:08 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 2):
Go to hell. That is all.

Can't! There hasn't been regularly scheduled air service there since deregulation!
 
flybyguy
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:12 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 1):
These people, thankfully, make up a small and rapidly-shrinking of the U.S. population, and thus won't be able to mess up deregulation, which has been so, so very good at delivering exactly what the majority of U.S. customers want and value -- price, price and price.

Whoa... that's a little harsh. I for one agree with you concerning the benefits of the Deregulation Act, however, those people's complaints aren't without merit.

Unless you fly business or first class on a regular basis, you WILL see an overall decline in service over the years as prices steadily climb after 9-11. I really forsee the American economy travel public paying top dollar in 5-10 years for little more than a seat... especially after the airlines have systematically taken all of the "costs" of flying an economy class passenger from A to B (i.e. hot meals, pillows, blankets, on-board periodicals, etc.). I personally miss the day when you can get a meal on a flight especially if you're too rushed to grab a bite on the way to the airport. What the airlines pass off as "food" in their new pay per meal strategies is a cardinal sin.

I travel economy class practically everywhere I go usually about 14X annually for various reasons... mainly because I'm a "poor" grad student who doesn't have the luxury of corporate expense accounts and unlimited free business travel. But what peeves me, are people who say "airline service is great so shut up", yet they've never spent a day in economy because their companies pay their way through business and first class. Unlike those members of the "upper crust" of the traveling public... I have to dig into my own checking account and pay for my tickets... so I'm mortally insulted when I don't get VALUE for my dollar. Most companies just wright off business class tickets in excess of $2000 like it's nothing... so they couldn't care less if an airline served a capuccino with their employee's danish.

If anything... price may be down adjusted for inflation compared to before deregulation, but service and ultimately, value have taken an even bigger nose dive. I would think that with more than 100 years of aviation behind us and nearly 70 years of scheduled airline travel that the industry would have fine tuned the business by now.
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commavia
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Indu

Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:43 am

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 13):
I for one agree with you concerning the benefits of the Deregulation Act, however, those people's complaints aren't without merit.

I'm not saying their complaints "aren't without merit." I said absolutely no such thing, as their complaints clearly have merit -- it is undeniable that in the last 25 years, you're chances of getting high levels of service from high-quality carriers if you live in a city with a population less than 150,000 has diminished considerably.

What I said was that I am thankful that this small consituency of people who have been negatively effected by the downside of deregulation is not sufficiently large enough to shape public policy in order to take away the enormous benefits reaped from the vast majority of the flying public, living in cities with populations over 150,000, who have gotten more service, more choice, and lower fares because of deregulation.

Life is all about choices, and society is a reflection of its own choices. We chose back in 1978 that we wanted lower fares and more flights. We got them. The unfortunate consequence, however, is that only most of us got them, not all of us.

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 13):
I really forsee the American economy travel public paying top dollar in 5-10 years for little more than a seat... especially after the airlines have systematically taken all of the "costs" of flying an economy class passenger from A to B (i.e. hot meals, pillows, blankets, on-board periodicals, etc.).

Personally, I don't subscribe to your future vision of passengers paying ever-higher fares for ever-worse service. I think the future of air travel in the domestic U.S. market is the 'hybrid' carrier -- a la JetBlue, Frontier, AirTran, etc. -- that caters to budget-concious business and leisure travelers but still provides some combination of competitive and compelling value-added amenities to the customer experience like: inflight movies/music, satellite TV/radio, a Business Class cabin with upgrades, free drinks, leather seats, wider seats, more legroom, etc.

In my personal opinion, fares -- adjusted for inflation, and again, in the long-run -- are going to continue to fall. I just don't see anywhere but down for them to go. However, I think that the airlines that will survive and thrive in the next 10-20 years will be those that, as I said, can find ways of competing profitably on price but still delivering to passengers products and services that create true value and comfort and can be delivered consistently and efficiently every flight.

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 13):
I travel economy class practically everywhere I go usually about 14X annually for various reasons... mainly because I'm a "poor" grad student who doesn't have the luxury of corporate expense accounts and unlimited free business travel. But what peeves me, are people who say "airline service is great so shut up", yet they've never spent a day in economy because their companies pay their way through business and first class.

I'm certainly not rich, not even close, and also spend the vast majority of my 50,000-60,000 but-in-seat miles per annum sitting in the back of planes. But, it is definitely true that while everyone complains and complains about airline service not being what it used to be, and while it is definitely true that it is not what it used to be, it's also true that you get what you pay for.

And in America today, we have decided as a culture that we'd rather forgoe all the luxuries in order to save $60 per person round-trip to travel. That's the decision we've made, so we have to live with the completely expected consequences it produces.
 
planespotting
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Indu

Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:58 am

It's simple, really.

Regulation would get the entire industry healthy again, but make flying less available for the common man. Regulation would make US markets like Quincy (IL), Ottumwa (IA), Decatur (IL), etc...viable again because airlines could afford to serve them without the current break-even load factor in the upper 70's and lower 80's.

It's kind of a choice between serving all 400 or so communities with air service (local air-service to a community stimulates growth) at a higher price, or serving about 200 communities at the current low-fare level.

I'm not advocating either one, just breaking it down in the simplest way possible...
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SEPilot
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:05 am

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 15):
Regulation would get the entire industry healthy again, but make flying less available for the common man. Regulation would make US markets like Quincy (IL), Ottumwa (IA), Decatur (IL), etc...viable again because airlines could afford to serve them without the current break-even load factor in the upper 70's and lower 80's.

I doubt that; since deregulation traffic has grown dramatically due to lower fares. With reregulation fares would go up, causing demand to go down, and many airplanes will get parked. Bottom line, no one wins.

Quoting PSAjet17 (Reply 12):
Can't! There hasn't been regularly scheduled air service there since deregulation!

And there was before? Which airline and what flight? Round trip available?
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
airfrnt
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Indu

Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:07 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 9):

Apart from making air travel more accessible to those who might not have been able to afford it in the regulated era, what benefit has deregulation provided?

The primary (and indeed only) job of Airlines should be air travel available to as many Americans as possible? That's crazy talk! Next thing you hear will be that the automotive companies will be selling cars to every American instead of just those who want a automated buggy next to their real one.

[Edited 2007-01-25 01:10:08]
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:13 am

chill out. The article cited is another reflection of snippet journalism at its worst. Anyone who listened to the hearings knows re-regulation is not what was proposed.

There was frustration w/ service levels and there are concerns about the amount of service small town cities propose. Senator Rockefeller asked Parker and Grinstein if they would be willing to support a referee on small town service issues. Grinstein answered first and didn't understand what Rockefeller was asking for so the Sen. pressed again more completely unveiling the referee concept. Grinstein agreed and then Parker answered with a simple "yes" to being willing to work with the DOT on small town service issues.

But Sen. Rockefeller said that he knows re-regulation of the industry is not what anyone wants and he is not proposing it.

I personally don't see how the DOT or Congress can mandate small town service levels at all and say the airlines are economically deregulated. However, there are requirements for telecommunications carriers in small towns so the concept is not totally foreign.

I hope even Rockefeller's proposal will die but that is still a far cry from re-regulation - something that no one at the hearings was willing to consider.

read the facts of what was said and act on them.
 
planespotting
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:46 am

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 16):
I doubt that; since deregulation traffic has grown dramatically due to lower fares. With reregulation fares would go up, causing demand to go down, and many airplanes will get parked. Bottom line, no one wins.

Ahh but lower fares due to low-cost carriers. Low cost carriers will not serve the little airports I mentioned. LCC's make the most money flying direct routes to large and medium metropolitan areas. Take this example that was given to me by a 30 year industry veteran...

Take Quincy Illinois, a city of around 40,000 about 80 miles North of St. Louis. Quincy is down to something like 8,000 passengers a year to and from St. Louis on J-32's. In the future, if a point comes where quincy is no longer viable to serve by the legacy carriers from an Express option, an LCC like AirTran or Southwest is not going to swoop in and save Quincy from the no-air-service monster.

Quincy is 74 miles from the nearest commercial-service airport, Kirksville (with service only to MCI), 90 from Burlington, IA, 116 miles from Springfield, IL and 143 miles to St. Louis. Without convenient commercial air service, it would not be easy to convince anyone to move to quincy or to invest their money in the town either...not when there are other markets of similar size and infrastructure around the United States that are within 30 miles of convenient service. The town could literally die!

Obviously this is a dire scenario and probably not going to happen in the next five or so years. Mesa airlines is actually starting service from Quincy to MDW and MCI in february with prop service, but time will tell whether or not people actually use the service.

Yes, it is easy for leisure passengers to drive 70 or even 100 miles to travel, but that is a tall order for the frequent business traveler, the one that we all know the airlines depend on to break even so they can make a small profit on the lower fares.
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:40 am

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 19):
Ahh but lower fares due to low-cost carriers. Low cost carriers will not serve the little airports I mentioned. LCC's make the most money flying direct routes to large and medium metropolitan areas. Take this example that was given to me by a 30 year industry veteran...

I grant that service to small towns is a problem; I am well aware of it because I live about 100 miles from the nearest major airport (there actually are 3 about equidistant). Businesses have not left because of that, and new businesses have started. Commuter service is available at two airports about 30 miles away, one of which has been subsidised by the Feds. I would not want to go to reregulation in order to get nearer major airline service; with the Interstate system I can reach BDL or BTV in two hours without problems. The thing is in rural areas traffic is not usually a problem and it is something most people who prefer to live in rural areas can live with.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
Eagle11
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:15 pm

Obviously the industry will never be "re-regulated" because of the widespread opposition among everyone (consumers and businesses alike). I don't think anyone wants that, including Congress.

With regards to the whole small community problem, EAS does do a relatively good job at maintaining some level of service. Therefore, it's hard to believe that any small communities who desperately need service will loose out completely.

However, when one airline has complete control over a market, prices will skyrocket. That goes back to the whole US/DL merger problem, where having one larger, combined carrier could cause prices in the smaller markets to go way up. You can only hope for those cities that another airline, even if it is another legacy, will move in and lower prices.
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Valcory
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:20 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 11):
the last nearly thirty years, hundreds of millions of people have been able to fly who never would have otherwise been able to



Quoting Ssides (Thread starter):
but compared to how much fares have fallen

That's because the airline employess subsidized ticket prices with concessions and paycuts.
 
N908AW
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:50 pm

So...all this talk about more efficient ways of using fuel...saving the airlines fortunes because they can get passengers to travel a little ways to fly...

If American has to serve Chicago to Denver via Rockford, Mankato MN, Fort Dodge, Omaha, North Platte, Rapid City, Casper, and Fort Collins...how does that fix our economic dependence on oil? How does that affect the revenues American makes and turns into a little bit of tax money back to the government? How does that affect the price of a barrel of oil?

Or are we going to regulate that too? Will we eventually make it back to mercantilism?
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positiverate
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:21 am

Quoting Ssides (Thread starter):

"I hear this from very conservative people in my state, they're asking for re-regulation of the airlines because of lack of service," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., also argued that smaller communities have been hurt by consolidation in the industry.

EAS is already de facto regulation of service to small communities.
 
khobar
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:12 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 11):
Or PanAm's folding leading to a bolstered Delta?

Um, Delta is bankrupt.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 14):
Personally, I don't subscribe to your future vision of passengers paying ever-higher fares for ever-worse service. I think the future of air travel in the domestic U.S. market is the 'hybrid' carrier -- a la JetBlue, Frontier, AirTran, etc. -- that caters to budget-concious business and leisure travelers but still provides some combination of competitive and compelling value-added amenities to the customer experience like: inflight movies/music, satellite TV/radio, a Business Class cabin with upgrades, free drinks, leather seats, wider seats, more legroom, etc.

But we are paying ever higher fares for ever-worse service, IMO.

Inflight movies? On long flights, perhaps, and you have to pay for the privelege. Pay-per-view is just around the corner, no doubt.

Free drinks? Airlines are already reducing "free drinks" to water, oj, or coffee.

Wider seats? Nope. More legroom? Nope. Leather? Some, but that's not for our comfort.

Ah, but you were talking about all that in the Business Class cabin - which defeats your argument about accessibility.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 14):
In my personal opinion, fares -- adjusted for inflation, and again, in the long-run -- are going to continue to fall. I just don't see anywhere but down for them to go.

Well bravo for clearly stating this is your personal opinion. I applaud that. Of course it's your personal opinion, and you state it very well. I disagree with your assertion, however. We are paying ever higher fares for ever lower service, and while the fares today may be lower than they were when inflation is taken into account, we are getting less for our money, too, so the comparison isn't entirely accurate.

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 15):
Regulation would get the entire industry healthy again, but make flying less available for the common man. Regulation would make US markets like Quincy (IL), Ottumwa (IA), Decatur (IL), etc...viable again because airlines could afford to serve them without the current break-even load factor in the upper 70's and lower 80's.

I seem to recall back in the days of regulation there were these things called "regionals". Am I correct in remembering that these regionals often served markets where mainlines were absent? Is that really any different today? It would seem, then, that re-regulation would not necessarily force mainlines to serve unprofitable markets.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 17):
The primary (and indeed only) job of Airlines should be air travel available to as many Americans as possible? That's crazy talk! Next thing you hear will be that the automotive companies will be selling cars to every American instead of just those who want a automated buggy next to their real one.

Consider this: if car companies were not trying to sell to every American, then perhaps we'd have a viable public transportation system in more areas than we currently do. Then our energy reliance on foreign oil would be drastically less than what it is now, if at all, and we'd be much better off.

The car companies would also be much better off as they'd be able to concentrate on making their products attractive to customers rather than having to make them as cheap and nasty as they can in order to make any profit at all.

Same would apply to the airlines and aircraft industry. Airlines might be smaller under regulation (due to decrease in demand), but they'd have a lot of money and would likely order new aircraft more often than they currently do.

Whether the above is totally nuts on my part or not, I'm tired of everything having to be cheap, cheap, cheap and the quality going down, down, down. (Apologies for any and all ranting)
 
ssides
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:40 am

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 13):
but service and ultimately, value have taken an even bigger nose dive.

That is absolutely wrong. Service levels have decreased slightly, but not near as much as fares have. Sure, you might be missing a meal or free drink on a plane, which might cost $10. Adjusted for inflation, the average fare has decreased by much more than that.

Quoting Khobar (Reply 25):

But we are paying ever higher fares for ever-worse service, IMO.

Inflight movies? On long flights, perhaps, and you have to pay for the privelege. Pay-per-view is just around the corner, no doubt.

Free drinks? Airlines are already reducing "free drinks" to water, oj, or coffee.

Wider seats? Nope. More legroom? Nope. Leather? Some, but that's not for our comfort.

What are these "ever-higher" fares of which you speak? DOT studies show that since 1978, average airfares have decreased by 40%. I can remember when a DFW-LAX ticket was running about $300 -- in 1981 dollars. The fact that I can get a DFW-LAX ticket for $275 in 2007 dollars is a major, major reduction.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
khobar
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:12 am

Quoting Ssides (Reply 26):
That is absolutely wrong. Service levels have decreased slightly, but not near as much as fares have. Sure, you might be missing a meal or free drink on a plane, which might cost $10. Adjusted for inflation, the average fare has decreased by much more than that.

I used to arrive at my destination satisfied, relaxed, and happy. I now arrive at my destination tired, irritated, and questioning if I even should have flown at all.

Quoting Ssides (Reply 26):
What are these "ever-higher" fares of which you speak? DOT studies show that since 1978, average airfares have decreased by 40%. I can remember when a DFW-LAX ticket was running about $300 -- in 1981 dollars. The fact that I can get a DFW-LAX ticket for $275 in 2007 dollars is a major, major reduction.

I used to fly PHX-MCO non-stop for $199 round trip. Now the non-stop fare is a whopping $438. Cheaper? Certainly not for me.

According to the GAO, between 1979 and 1996, airfares decreased an average of only 9 percent, adjusted for inflation. Of the 112 airports reviewed, 73 had lower fares while 33 had higher fares. Specifically, fares had declined at 36/49 airports serving small communities, 19/38 serving medium-sized communities, and 18/25 serving large communities. Maybe newer data reflects even greater savings to get to the 40% you quote, I dunno.

Deregulation was the father of the hub and spoke system. Whether that particular legacy is good or bad is a different debate. I'm mixed - I don't like having to fly to hubs and yet I doubt I'd be able to fly to MLB at all without ATL. Oh well...
 
commavia
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Indu

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:16 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 25):
Um, Delta is bankrupt.

Um, Pan Am went out of business in 1991. Delta went bankrupt in 2005. And Delta is still strong validating Pan Am's legacy -- with lots of routes to European markets, etc.

Quoting Khobar (Reply 25):
But we are paying ever higher fares for ever-worse service, IMO.

First off, we're not paying "ever higher fares." Maybe you are if you continue to live in a small town where there is only one airline in the market, but otherwise, anyone who is paying "ever higher fares" today versus 5 or 10 years ago is doing so at their own fault. Fares -- and low ones, especially -- are more accessible and more abundant today than ever before.

And as for "ever-worse service," I think that frequent flyers of JetBlue, Frontier and Southwest, to say nothing of other U.S. carriers, would disagree with you somewhat. Air travel is rapidly becoming a commodity product, and as such, is begin to adhere to the rule that applies to all other commodities: price rules all unless you are able to deliver real added value for your customers are sufficiently able to communicate the value to them.

In the future, as I said, it is those airlines that are able to do this that will be most successful. Case-in-point: JetBlue has a better domestic product that just about anyone else today, and they know it, and they've educated their customers about it, which is why they are able to deliver consistent low fares but also retain strong customer loyalty -- a winning combination for this business in the 21st century.

Quoting Khobar (Reply 25):
We are paying ever higher fares for ever lower service,

What? Adjusted for inflation, average U.S. fares are lower today than they have been in decades.
 
goingboeing
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:21 am

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 8):
Off topic-but I like your sentiments...When the liberals get going, keep your hand on your wallet.

Yes...I seem to recall that one of the Sponsors of the Airline deregulation Act of 1978 was Ted Kennedy...

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 19):
Yes, it is easy for leisure passengers to drive 70 or even 100 miles to travel, but that is a tall order for the frequent business traveler, the one that we all know the airlines depend on to break even so they can make a small profit on the lower fares.

With all due respect, how many companies are based in Quincey IL? A person living in Quincy and taking a job requireing weekly airline travle most likely should have located closer to the corporate office. And how does the Illinois Senator explain to his constituents in Chigago that the reason it costs them more to fly to Disney World with the family is so that people in Quincy could have air service?
 
rampart
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:25 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 14):
What I said was that I am thankful that this small consituency of people who have been negatively effected by the downside of deregulation is not sufficiently large enough to shape public policy in order to take away the enormous benefits reaped from the vast majority of the flying public, living in cities with populations over 150,000, who have gotten more service, more choice, and lower fares because of deregulation.

There are plenty of instances in which a minority group can impact, or even dictate, public policy. (Bill of Rigths, e.g.) The whole gist of the American Way accommodated individuals and subgroups, not mob rule and "majority mandates". So, it is entirely reasonable for government to try to come up with ways to minimize the marginalization of small cities (and even mid-size cities) and rural areas. (Re-regulation? I agree, probably not).

Quoting Commavia (Reply 14):
I just don't see anywhere but down for them to go.

Not in the last 5-10 years, in my limited sample of travel, airfares appear to be increasing faster than inflation, and I'm seeing less service and fewer amenities. Airlines are setting a new comfort level for their financial health, and they probably need to, but in so doing they'll outprice themselves to certain populations. I might be one of them, someone who travels on a very limited business travel fund or for leisure.

-Rampart
 
cba
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:34 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 5):
While two of the quoted senators are "R" that is usually done in press articles to show "bi-partisan support" for a liberal idea even if they are the ONLY two R's saying this stuff. They also will label anyone with an R as "conservative" if possible, but don't attach the "liberal" label to D Senators. And that way, it makes it seem like "even conservatives" want this. But it's not as if Olympia Snow is conservative...

You make it sound like it's some liberal media conspiracy. As previously stated, these are just four Senators of relatively small (in terms of population) who want to see more air service to their constituents.

IMO, if anything, the airline industry is still not deregulated enough. They ran an interesting article about this in the economist about a year ago. With a lot of intl. markets being slot restricted (the recent fight for a PEK/PVG slot being a keen example), carriers have a difficult time entering certain markets. If anything, with the exception of airports like LHR that simply can't take extra capacity, open skies is a must. They also mentioned that airlines should be less like the government owned/backed entities that they traditionally were, and more like today's modern global corporations. This means that international ownership should be allowed, and fifth freedom rights should always be allowed.
 
access-air
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Indu

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:38 am

Well, I think Re-Regulation to some degree would not be a bad thing...

Yes, Deregualtion has opened up a free enterprise situation regarding air carriers and route expansion....However, it has also virtually isolated ALL of Rural America...
Alaska can hardly be compared to the lower 48.....Its why the old Civil Aeronautics Board made different special exceptions for Alaska.....

Deregualtion has allowed what once used to be small commuter airlines in this country that served the smaller cities with small piston and turboporp aircraft to grow into major airline status in the process abandoning the small cities that they grew from. They have also not helped the FALSE notion that Propeller planes are somehow dangerous and jets are safer.....Mainly by embracing the whole Regional Jet thing...
Its history repeating itself...Its like the old Local Service Airlines like Ozark or Allegheny or North Central serving smaller cities with the likes of Larger Full Size DC9s or BAC 111s or BIG Convair 580s or FH-227s abandoning smaller cities, esp. after Deregulation became law in 1978. What happened then???? Sure you had a swarm of CAB Part 298 airlines come in to offer more frequent service to the hub cities but People were used to the big planes....In a lot of cases the likes of DC9 or BAC 111 jets. Little buy little the planes got bigger amd in some cases these smaller regionals actually started flying full sized jets in the DC9, BAC-111, BAe 146 category and restored what the Local Service airlines had taken away 10-15 years earlier, but at the same time polarizing their operations to align with just one (in most cases) major airline but in the mean time dumping smaller cities and leaving them to the have ZERO Air service. The airline industry has evovled so much now that we have come full circle....It has be come virtually impossible for ANY Independant Commuter Airline to exist becuse now they are:
1. Required to adhere to the same Part 121 regualtions (as of 1997) as Jet Airlines are which require much extra equipment and extras.
2. Being and independant commuter means you connectability to the major airlines is virtually impossible and negotiated joint fares have all but ceased to exist.
3. People are still being falsely lead to believe that Propeller planes are more dangerous that Jets.... Look what Happend when CO Express wanted to introduce Props back on some of their Northeastern routes....People went Apes**t.....Come on folks we are not living in the DC3 days.....Althoug because of its size youd prolly be able to coax more flyers onto a DC3 than you would a Beech 1900D or similar equipement.

So Yeah, I think Re-regulation to the degree that it would help Rural America regain its air netwrok would be wonderful...It would be in place to force larger hub airports that make cutbacks on the swarms of Regional Jets and set aside slots allocations for smaller cities and not give preferntial treatment to the larger aircraft....
What ever happend to the concept of the STOL Runways at Major airports like DCA when Henson and Ransome used to fly in with their Dash-7s ....They used to use stub runways away from the main flow of traffic easinmg congestion???

Yes...I would definately love to see it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Access-Air
Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
 
ssides
Topic Author
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:39 am

Quoting Rampart (Reply 30):
Not in the last 5-10 years, in my limited sample of travel, airfares appear to be increasing faster than inflation, and I'm seeing less service and fewer amenities. Airlines are setting a new comfort level for their financial health, and they probably need to, but in so doing they'll outprice themselves to certain populations. I might be one of them, someone who travels on a very limited business travel fund or for leisure.

Fares have increased somewhat in real terms over the past five years, but that is an anomaly when you look at fares over the past 30 years. In 2001 and 2002, fares hit rock-bottom because they had to. Travel was down 20-25%.

I think fares will climb a bit in the coming years, especially if there is some consolidation. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. In real terms, they will never approach the astronomical levels of the regulated days, and the pricing power will help airlines remain solvent. This, of course, is key -- an airline can't remain unprofitable forever.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
commavia
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Indu

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:58 am

Quoting Rampart (Reply 30):
airfares appear to be increasing faster than inflation

Airfare growth has been outpacing inflation in the very recent past, but that's because inflation has been basically 0 since 2000. In addition, while fares have been inching up in $5/$10 incriments every few months over the last 2-3 years, that follows several years immediately before and after 9/11 where fares plummeted as the bottom fell out of demand and low-fare carriers took the lead.

Today, in 2007, nothing about that equation has changed much: in markets where a low-cost competitor is a competitor, fares remain low and the legacy carriers still have next to no pricing power whatsoever.

Quoting Rampart (Reply 30):
I'm seeing less service and fewer amenities

Then switch airlines. That's what a free, deregulated market is all about.

We, as consumers, have to decide which attributes are most important to us: price, schedule, number of stops, meals, upgrades, inflight service, frequent flyer awards to Hawaii, etc.

If you feel that you're getting "less service and fewer amenities" on the airline(s) you currently fly with, why not go somewhere else? Why not try JetBlue, which seems to be a hit with just about everyone who flys them, or AirTran, where you get cheap upgrades, or Frontier, which has low fares and inflight TV? If other considerations, like price or schedule or connections, etc., are more important to you, then that's fine and I can certainly relate, but you'll probably have to wait a few more years before a new competitor comes into the markets you frequent most and provides a service you value and a price you're willing to pay.
 
rampart
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:59 am

Quoting Ssides (Reply 34):
think fares will climb a bit in the coming years, especially if there is some consolidation. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. In real terms, they will never approach the astronomical levels of the regulated days, and the pricing power will help airlines remain solvent. This, of course, is key -- an airline can't remain unprofitable forever.

You are probably right, but on my personal level, it would be a "bad thing" if I had to fly less! I can't help but think that we've seen fares bottom out five years ago. In fact, the proportional increase in fuel cost will dictate fare increases, which may be beyond the normal inflation and cost of living increases. That's the pessimist in me. And consolidation doesn't help. On the other hand, for every consolidation, there's some new entrant to fill the void -- except in the case of local service and regional airlines, where voids persist.

-Rampart
 
deltamike172
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Indu

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:11 am

I love how the arguments are either status-quo or exactly how it was before deregulation. Perhaps that's the real issue here, but I'll attempt to ignore it.

This is NOT about how when the government regulated the industry, when all these cute little small towns where served by real airplanes, nor is it about how the free market is triumphant in lowering costs and increasing service.

To start, think about what has actually happened since deregulation. A lot. Some has been very positive. Airlines exist now that couldn't back in the day, fares are lower, much lower, and there are more flights between major cities.

The free-market types are singing in the streets. I guess I'm just gonna have to be a tad bit cynical. Don't freak out, please.

How many billions of dollars has the government paid in "loan guarantees" to the airlines? Those bankrupt airlines that get those loans use them to lower fares lower than they normally would be able to operate on, and thus force the airlines that run their business well to lower fares to compete. These non-bankrupt airlines then file bankruptcy because they were forced to compete with a government aided company already in bankruptcy, and the cycle then continues indefinitely. At least, until the originally bankrupt airline purchases or merges with the newly bankrupt airline to create a new mega airline which then of course limits the competition, all at the approval of the government who bailed out the purchasing airline and thus doesn't want to see its funds wasted on an airline that ended up not making it.

I agree that our economy is improved due to the easy flow of people and information via air travel. However, I fail to see how bailing out a poorly run company with federal money is in our best interest, especially from those who preach small government, less welfare for the poor, and are supposedly capitalistic.

After 9/11, the government should have aided AAL and UAL to purchase replacement aircraft and to help the victim's families. Thats it. There are plenty of other airlines that survived the week of no flying and decreased passenger loads. A large chunk of the bailout money should have been spent on security. That is what caused a decrease in air travel, people didn't feel safe. Now we have the TSA, which is practically a joke.

I think we have a partially regulated industry now, it just looks different in the budget. There are still massive barriers in place that prevent new airlines from starting up. After all these years, jetBlue needed over a hundred million dollars in startup money from private sources to start. Apparently, that's the new standard.

So, just remember, next time you criticize a public program such as welfare or low income housing, you are also criticizing the airline industry as well. How else could they survive?

DM
 
smokescreen
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:53 am

At the risk of sounding like a big-city jerk, no-one is being forced to live in rural Alaska or Maine etc. Every single person living in remoter areas with limited air service is doing so because they freely choose to. That is a sacrifice one makes for a rural lifestyle, lower property costs, less crime, and all the other good things associated with living in the country.

Ted Stevens and the other complainers should move to Atlanta or Chicago if they want more convenient air service.
 
AADC10
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Indu

Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:56 am

Quoting Ssides (Thread starter):
I don't think anyone doubts that service has fallen off a bit

Service has fallen off more than a bit. It has fallen on its face. Most of us who are old enough to remember flying before deregulation regard it as a golden age, particularly in the 1970s. There were many domestic widebodies, much greater seat pitch and often greater seat width and the middle seat was often empty. While there were weather delays, the runway gridlock and the crush of passengers at the major hubs was a rare event.

Service was often more attentive. Food in first was served more like a restaurant on transcons (although it was never particularly good) and a hot meal was served in coach, even on flights to DFW or ORD. Small regional planes only went to small airports. There was no pressure to have 20 flights per day between LGA and DCA.

Fares were relatively high under regulation but part of the problem was related to the chaos after the Arab oil embargo and the cost of the fleets of widebodies that were purchased. Even if regulation continued, prices would have fallen anyway due to more efficient aircraft, computer reservation systems and other advances.

Regulation had its faults, but everything was much more orderly back then. I doubt that re-regulation would mess everything up. Regulation was implemented to halt the chaos that threatened to destroy the industry. With the mess that there is now and considering that new runways and airports are slow in being constructed, it is hard to see how regulation would make the situation worse.

Regulation would make flying a better experience at a higher ticket cost. For those that have seen the almost continuous decline in service, a reversal would be welcome.
 
khobar
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:03 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
Um, Pan Am went out of business in 1991. Delta went bankrupt in 2005. And Delta is still strong validating Pan Am's legacy -- with lots of routes to European markets, etc.

Delta's situation didn't happen overnight. In fact most of the majors have gone bankrupt at some point over the past 30 years - some multiple times, and some never survived.

Delta is "still strong validating Pan Am's legacy" only because they are protected.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
First off, we're not paying "ever higher fares." Maybe you are if you continue to live in a small town where there is only one airline in the market, but otherwise, anyone who is paying "ever higher fares" today versus 5 or 10 years ago is doing so at their own fault. Fares -- and low ones, especially -- are more accessible and more abundant today than ever before.

Well, anyone can quote "averages", but the question is, how were those averages obtained?

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
And as for "ever-worse service," I think that frequent flyers of JetBlue, Frontier and Southwest, to say nothing of other U.S. carriers, would disagree with you somewhat.

Southwest is way too expensive, JetBlue offers only next day arrivals and/or ridiculous departure/arrival times (lv1235pm, ar1230am, lv1159pm, ar1120am), high fares, and nutty routing (PHX-MCO via JFK or BOS? Are you kidding?). Frontier, perhaps the best choice of the three, has only two flights arriving at either 4pm or 10:40pm (lv625am or 235pm, resp.). I'm not sure that helps your argument, but I will at least keep Frontier in consideration for my next trip.

BTW, PHX is the 8th busiest, ranking ahead of Philadelphia, Detroit, Newark, Boston, JFK, LaGuardia, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, and a long list of others so we're not in a small market by any sense of the imagination.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
What? Adjusted for inflation, average U.S. fares are lower today than they have been in decades.

But lowest fares purely by monetary value don't tell the whole story, the decreases aren't even as great as we're supposed to believe, and the decreases aren't enjoyed by everyone - even in some large markets fares actually went up.
 
planespotting
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:09 am

Quoting Goingboeing (Reply 29):

With all due respect, how many companies are based in Quincey IL? A person living in Quincy and taking a job requireing weekly airline travle most likely should have located closer to the corporate office. And how does the Illinois Senator explain to his constituents in Chigago that the reason it costs them more to fly to Disney World with the family is so that people in Quincy could have air service?

Quincy was just an one example of what could be hundreds of cities that are like Quincy all over the United States...a town with a population of 20-40,000 people with an airport struggling to keep one airline, located 60 or 70 miles from the nearest airport with sustainable service. There are many in the midwest and I can think of quite a few just in Iowa: Fort Dodge, Mason City, Waterloo, Dubuque, Ottumwa (no service anymore), Spencer (no service anymore)...Communities like these are all over this country, and just because each one only has two or three companies, if you put them all together you get thousands of companies employing millions upon millions of people and providing billions of dollars to the economy.

Obviously, not everyone of these towns will die without commercial air service, but it will most likely lead to many of the companies who for many years called that certain community home to consider moving to larger towns with unsubsidized-sustainable air service.

"rural-flight" is the term I believe.
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
smokescreen
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:19 am

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 43):
Obviously, not everyone of these towns will die without commercial air service, but it will most likely lead to many of the companies who for many years called that certain community home to consider moving to larger towns with unsubsidized-sustainable air service.

"rural-flight" is the term I believe.

That's capitalism for ya. Industrial urbanisation has been happening for centuries now, and it isn't going to stop because some people are nostalgic for a small-town way of life. It is foolish to think that a town of 20-40,000 should be as economically viable as a city of 150,000.
 
Flyawa
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:35 am

“In our view, Americans will pay one way or another --

as consumers, through airfares that allow airlines to cover their cost of capital,

or, as taxpayers, by funding bailouts, pension defaults, and larger unemployment roles.

Our sense from observing the hearing is that at least some in our legislative branch could lead us to the latter.”

--David Strine, analyst, Bear Stearns report, Jan. 25
Better than most, not as good as some.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:46 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 24):
Consider this: if car companies were not trying to sell to every American, then perhaps we'd have a viable public transportation system in more areas than we currently do. Then our energy reliance on foreign oil would be drastically less than what it is now, if at all, and we'd be much better off.

I beg to differ with you; public transport in the US doesn't work because population density isn't high enough except in major urban areas to make it viable. Take away our cars and energy use will rise because of all the empty buses and trains that will have to run to allow people to get where they need to.

Quoting Smokescreen (Reply 36):
At the risk of sounding like a big-city jerk, no-one is being forced to live in rural Alaska or Maine etc. Every single person living in remoter areas with limited air service is doing so because they freely choose to. That is a sacrifice one makes for a rural lifestyle, lower property costs, less crime, and all the other good things associated with living in the country.

 checkmark 
As one of those who has made that choice I agree totally. Convenient air service is not one of the necessities of life.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
access-air
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:27 am

Quoting Smokescreen (Reply 36):
At the risk of sounding like a big-city jerk

Too late.....

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 39):
Obviously, not everyone of these towns will die without commercial air service, but it will most likely lead to many of the companies who for many years called that certain community home to consider moving to larger towns with unsubsidized-sustainable air service.

This statement is very true...Deregulationhas definately hurt smaller communities...with regard to businesses leaving to areas that have better opportunities to ship out their products....

Access-Air
Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
 
Australia1
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:45 am

Quoting Ssides (Thread starter):
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., also said he believes deregulation of the airline industry has been bad for smaller markets, saying it costs twice as much to fly to his home state from Washington than it does to fly to Los Angeles, which is twice as far away.

this type of moronic statement proves you don't have to be very bright to be a senator !!!
 
lostturttle
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:52 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 4):
He's getting senile, but he's not stupid. He knows better I'm sure.

Mind you he does have a long history with aviation, but describing the internet as a "series of tubes" kind of did it for me.

From the wiki

"Ted Stevens has taken criticism for a wide variety of positions and actions taken in the Senate. This includes placing a secret hold on a bill that would allow easier accountability and research of all federal funding measures, describing the Internet as a "series of tubes" when taking a strong alliance with the telecommunications industry on network neutrality[3], and supporting perceived pork barrel projects such as the Gravina Island Bridge (commonly known as the "Bridge to Nowhere") and the Knik Arm Bridge. He threatened to resign from the Senate if the federal earmark for the Alaskan bridges was sent to help repair Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina damage."

Re-regulation, it will never happen. Why not give a better tax rate or some other incentives for airlines flying into the remote communities
 
khobar
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:53 am

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 42):
I beg to differ with you; public transport in the US doesn't work because population density isn't high enough except in major urban areas to make it viable. Take away our cars and energy use will rise because of all the empty buses and trains that will have to run to allow people to get where they need to.

I am only talking about major urban areas (though I think there is a viable commuter link system in the NE US).

For example, Phoenix metro is a the 6th most populous urban center in the US, and we have "public transportation" that seems all but invisible (until you get behind one of the "moving stop sighs").

The farebox ratio for the buses is only 23% (comparable to Brussles, Milan, Stockholm, Cleveland  Wink ) - we make up the rest, despite ridership of nearly 52 million per year.

Perhaps if deregulation for the airlines was such a grand thing, it should be applied to other transportation sectors?

I dunno - I'm probably way off base on all this.
 
smokescreen
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:10 am

Quoting Lostturttle (Reply 45):
Why not give a better tax rate or some other incentives for airlines flying into the remote communities

That's a sound idea. It works in Europe, where "secondary" airports offer incentives to Ryanair and co. for service. If scheduled air transport is important enough for a community than paying for it would make good economic sense.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:21 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 27):
I used to fly PHX-MCO non-stop for $199 round trip. Now the non-stop fare is a whopping $438. Cheaper? Certainly not for me.

I would call it reality pricing. In reality-based pricing, the "whopping" PHX-MCO fare mentioned would be in the bargain-basement fare category. Airlines have no one to blame but themselves for their lack of pricing discipline that has lowered expectations to where $99 (each way) on U.S. trans-con and near trans-con flights (such as PHX-MCO) is seen by many as the regular everyday fare.
---------------------------------
Back to the issue of re-regulation, no one seems to be making a stronger case for re-regulation than the U.S. legacy airlines themselves. On the one hand, airline execs talk as if they assume they should be viewed as indispensable pubilic utilities who are entitled to goverment (taxpayer) subsidy if and when the airlines deem necessary while, on the other hand, expecting the same government to allow the airlines to operate in an extreme laissez-faire manner in which government turns a blind eye toward the legacies' defacto predatory attacks on honest competition and allows collusion among the legacies to avoid honest competition amongst themselves through codeshares that have become deceptive to the point of fraud in that airlines are allowed to create the false impression that they fly between two cities with flights operated entirely by other (would-be competitor turned collusive non-competitor) airlines.

Add to all of the legalized (based on past precedent) predatory schemes and collusion in the ranks of the U.S. legacies an ever more evident "public be damned" attitude reflected in their manipulative scheming that directly effects the traveling public in negative ways while smugly presuming upon the public treasury when they deem it necessary and, well, as I said at the outset...

No one is making a stronger case for re-regulation than the U.S. legacy airlines themeslves.
 
cjpark
Posts: 1225
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:46 am

RE: Senators Suggest Re-regulation Of Airline Industry

Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:30 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 1):
Stupid Senators who have absolutely no concept of how the free market works have been harping on this virtually since the day after Carter signed the Deregulation Act.

The truth is, however, that it will never happen. The truth is that 95% of the people complaining about bad service, no flights, high fares, etc., are people who live in relatively smaller markets that can no longer viably support any real air traffic. These people, thankfully, make up a small and rapidly-shrinking of the U.S. population, and thus won't be able to mess up deregulation, which has been so, so very good at delivering exactly what the majority of U.S. customers want and value -- price, price and price.

Why not level the playing field among the airlines for the benefit of all consumers? Why not insist that airlines be responsible for committing a specific portion of their service to serving smaller communities or pay a windfall profits type tax for being able to cherry pick routes to larger markets while ignoring smaller markets?

After all it is not a free market if you have to rely on the Government to provide the resources you need to conduct your business anyway!
"Any airline that wants to serve the [region] can go to DFW today and fly anywhere they want," WN spokesman Ed Stewart

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