Archive for August, 2008

Airline Ticket Prices May Rise Even More

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Over the past year the average price on several airline routes has gone up over 200% as Airlines struggle with higher fuel prices, reduced travel, and other challenges. My talk with a Sky West staffer suggested that fuel prices are the overwhelming challenge, so with Oil now down some 20% off highs hopefully we’ll see some ticket price relief. Unfortunately thought there can be a spiral effect as people stop flying and drive instead, challenging the airlines to keep routes that don’t have enough passengers to be profitable.

A solution I hope the airlines will consider would be flight consolidation. I recently travelled from Medford Oregon to Dulles IAD on the same day and similar times to my parents who travelled the same route, yet we were on different airlines and always on different planes. It would seem the computers might reschedule people in ways that flights could be cancelled – though I suppose the number of complications this would cause might overwhelm a system that is already balanced somewhat precariously given all the flight delays and such.

My pal was complaining that the Airlines seem to be failing more and more to make connections and create harmonious travel experiences, and I think he’s right, but I also think the cost for improvements is not supportable by the system. It’s another example where our great American system brought something that was a total luxury item (air travel) to the mainstream during our economic gravy days of the 50’s-90’s, and now we’ll be unable to backtrack and make it a luxury item again. The huge fleets, high fuel cost, and expectations of both Airlines and travellers will take some time to readjust and in the meantime…. bankruptcies and trouble are on the horizon.

Airplane Cell Phone Ban Advances

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Despite the fact that cell phone use on planes is generally not allowed anyway, a cell phone ban bill is advancing in congress. It appears this would prevent airlines from allowing something most would consider a good idea – let our cell phones free on the plane so we can surf, collect email, and communicate more effectively during flight downtime!