|From From Kaleel|
The “One Size Fits All” Airplane Means Higher Prices, More Congestion.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Airlines are reducing the size of their planes, employing mostly mid-size aircraft, thus cutting seat capacity.
Simultaneously, they’re increasing the number of these smaller planes, making a mess of air hubs, schedules and already congested airports.
Travel Industry publication, Travel Weekly, reports that downsizing planes obviously downsizes the number of seats and size of aircraft, which means planes are filling up faster and, you guessed it, prices rise, artificially.
More flights using smaller planes, says Reason’ Foundation’s Robert Poole, creates problems. But he says the move to smaller planes, fewer seats and increased capacity is understandable as the industry attempts to “right itself,” to do whatever it has to, to generate revenue. Smaller planes use less fuel and fly with no or fewer empty seats, and an empty seat is forever lost revenue.
Perhaps the one thing that will keep costs down somewhat is the phenomenal growth of low-cost airlines like Southwest (the industry’s forever volume-leader) and Jet Blue, and their abilities to capture market share
But the move to smaller planes and more of them will certainly increase congestion, leading some observers to predict sharp FAA intervention.
The Brookings Institution, a DC-based think tank, reported that already 99% of all passengers pass through one of the major airports at least once in their travels.
Travel Weekly quoted US Airways CEO Doug Parker as saying that the airline industry will eventually be down to four large hub-and-spoke carriers, a result of increasing consolidation which theoretically will allow carriers to align schedules and cut congestion.”
Forget about competition, competitive fares.
So if the airline you’re flying seems like the one you flew last week and the week before, it’s because the airlines believe that a one-size-fits-all approach will squeeze the most money out of already hapless passengers.