Thursday, March 8, 2018

Why You Hate Flights

Why You Hate Flights
Lauren Wright

Have you ever questioned why you dread the flight before going on your vacation or trip? Have you ever wondered why your suitcase belongings are a mess when you get your bag back once you’ve reached your destination? And whatever happened to airlines giving out those complimentary cookies and milk? You can blame deregulation for all of these concerns.
Deregulation occurs when the government lessens or removes restrictions on industries. The goal of this tactic is to enhance the simplicity of doing business and decrease monopoly. It rids a regulation which could potentially hamper with firms' ability to compete, in particular overseas.
Being said, in the 1960s and 1970s, the Civil Aeronautics Board set harsh rules for the airline industry since it was a generally new business. The board organized routes and set fares for the companies. In return, it promised a 12 percent profit for any flight that was at least 50 percent occupied. Consequently, airline travel became so overpriced that 80 percent of Americans had never flown in an airplane. Yet, on October 24, 1978, the Airline Deregulation Act offered a solution to this predicament. Safety was the only part of the industry that would be controlled. Therefore, fares dropped, competition rose and more people took to the skies. Over time, many companies could no longer compete; they either were merged, acquired or went bankrupt. This is why today solely four airlines control 85 percent of the U.S. market, being American, Delta, United, and Southwest. Ironically, deregulation has created a near-monopoly.
This is where the consumers come into play. Today airlines are getting stingier and more manipulative when it comes to the Airline Deregulation Act. Now, airlines charge for things that used to be free, such as food, ticket changes and luggage. They have also caused customers to undergo cramped seating, crowded flights, and long waits just because they can do so and still make profit. For example, Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines, which was known as "the best care in the air", and provided those warm chocolate chip cookies that airline passengers savored has faded into history, swallowed up by it’s bigger competitors. Instead, they have been replaced with crackers and breakfast bars which those flying economy will have to pay $1 for. In this case, the consumer is forced to give up goods which make flights more tolerable, also known as the opportunity cost, for “cheaper” flights which may not actually be as cheap as they are advertised. As you can see in the chart below during the past few years major airline companies have been raising flight prices. In fact, Southwest Airlines average ticket price had nearly doubles in the span of a year.

All in all, as large airline companies are relishing in all-time high profits and steady operating costs we are stuck with subpar service, reduced quality of flight and higher fees on food and drinks. Which just goes to show how big name brands tend to take advantage of loopholes and regulation flaws, and also explains why you often times dread your flight.

Works Cited:

Pabst, Georgia. “Last Crumb of Midwest Disappears.” Journal Setinal, 1 Apr. 2014, archive.jsonline.com/business/frontier-airlines-says-goodbye-to-the-cookie-ap4qm28-145716075.html/.

Wyman, Oliver. “Airline Economic Analysis 2016-2017.” Oliver Wyman - Global Management Consulting Experts, Nov. 2017, www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2017/jan/airline-economic-analysis-2016-2017.html.

Amadeo, Kimberly. “Why Airline Travel Is So Miserable, and Other Effects of Deregulation.” The Balance, 22 Feb. 2018, www.thebalance.com/deregulation-definition-pros-cons-examples-3305921.

8 comments:

  1. It's crazy how much a company will sacrifice customer satisfaction to make more money. I 100% agree with you that airlines are finding new ways to increase profits. They advertise "low prices" but then make you pay for everything that should be included on your ticket, like you said. Luggage care, free food, customer satisfaction, and cleanliness are all thrown out the window when a company is provided with an opportunity to fatten their pockets.

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  2. We live in a world where unfortunately it has come down to money being a more important factor than customer satisfaction, if you have money to spend these flights would then be more enjoyable. When airlines do not have certain requisites for their customers such as food and drinks, it isn't necessarily their fault. Because of the competition with other companies they want customer to be somewhat happy so that they come back but it isn't that important compared to the money they make off you.

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  3. I never noticed how bad the airlines have become when it comes to care. Whenever I fly, I try to squeeze everything into a carry-on so I am assured that my bag will make it to my destination; with me and on time. I find it interesting how the airlines that we pay so much money to fly with don’t take care of our belongings and charge us for every little detail. At least with Southwest you get one non-alcoholic drink for free and maybe a few peanuts and pretzels but when it comes to the other competitors you get charged for everything. It is ridiculous that you get charged to check bags whenever you fly. You need clothes and toiletries but I guess those are just luxuries these days. Hopefully in the future the big name airlines will take notice in how they are flying their passengers and give a little. Look at the passenger perspective and treat their things like you would want your things treated.

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  4. I agree that airlines have become too stringent on what they consider complimentary, and what they don't. I'm not sure on the regulations that they have in Europe, but it always seems like the airlines over there, although often times the same airlines we fly on, are more customer oriented. Here in America, often times cancellations result in you spending hours sitting at an airport, or paying for an extra night at a hotel, and yet I almost never hear of anyone getting reimbursed. However, my sisters flight from Europe was delayed overnight, and she was reimbursed hundreds of dollars for her inconvenience. This is something you typically don't hear happening in the USA, which makes me wonder whether people are more willing to spend money on airfare in Europe due to this superior treatment, and whether it pays off eventually for these airlines to treat consumers with more respect.

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  5. As a mixed economy, we always think about not having the government involved with the industries. However, this is a time where it is vital to have some regulations. I am not happy about the increased flight prices. I am wondering why the deregulation act occurred, and what were the advantages of doing so. Travel has been increasing in its expenses to consumers, and soon, middle-class travelers will not be willing to pay for those prices.

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  6. Who would've thought that one day profits would be more important than consumer care. It goes to show how corrupt airlines have become because they’re draining the pockets of consumers instead of accommodating them on the flights. They’re charging for things that shouldn’t be charged. For example, it’s crazy how a person has to pay for luggage now. Do airlines think that the majority of fliers will get on an airplane without packing anything? Hopefully in the future, airlines will drop these expenses and make flights more enjoyable for consumers.

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  7. I always hear complaints from people about the time they have to spend at an airport. Whether it is a delayed flight or just the slow process of getting through the gate. With that, to only make matters worse there are tons of fees one must pay additionally. Airlines are just always searching for different ways to make profit and take as much as possible away from their consumers. Unfortunately it has come down to money being a more important factor than customer satisfaction which is completely unacceptable.

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  8. I think part of the reason airlines are becoming so expensive is due to the limited number of airlines. As you mentioned, there is essentially an oligopoly of four airlines in the United States. This means that to fly domestically, consumers are almost forced to choose one of the four major airlines, regardless of subpar service. Airlines can then charge a higher price on tickets or luggage because consumers don't have any better options.

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