American Airlines lost a bunch of money this quarter. Ruh-roh. [NYT]

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  1. iMe2 says:

    “American’s fuel bill went up 45 percent over the year-ago quarter, to $2.05 billion. Its fares were up 5.1 percent, a strong gain, but not nearly enough to remain profitable.”

    Maybe it’s time to invest in high-speed rail like the rest of the civilized world?

  2. hejustlaughs says:

    @iMe2: and the metric system too.

  3. balthisar says:

    @iMe2: Massively subsidized and more expensive to operate, and only operate at relative short distances compared to the expanse of the United States? That kind of high speed rail? It’d be cheaper just to subsidize the airlines, but then that’d be corporate welfare. Localized high speed rail isn’t a bad idea, but how are you going to get from New York to Los Angeles that way?

  4. iMe2 says:

    @balthisar: Good points, I was being a little facetious. I’d settle for traditional rail across long distances, at the very least for industry freight. When you consider the amount we spend on the interstate highway system, don’t you think it would be justified to spend something to remove trucks from the road, making our highway investment more sound and safe and cutting carbon emissions by a significant margin? Is there a more environmentally damaging method of transport?

  5. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    @balthisar:

    We’re already only a few years from when our only options for nationwide air travel will be (a) Southwest, (b) Jet Blue, or (c) the 18-headed monster formed from the corpses of the rest of the airlines that is propped up by the government.

  6. MDSasquatch says:

    I would be willing to pay a bit more if the service was better, but when some hardly-understandable customer service rep from some way-off land can’t help me find a seat on a flight, I will fly elsewhere.

    When is big business going to learn that a little CS goes a long way towards profitability?

  7. Fortunately, they’re fixing this…by grounding every aircraft that they can.

  8. ARP says:

    @iMe2: I think our transportation priorities are pretty messed up all around. We rely too heavily on cars and airplanes.

    1) High speed rail could be an option for regional travel (e.g. Philly to NY, DC to NY, etc.). In turn, that will remove a fair amount of regional jets from airports, which heavily contribute to delays (since they take up just as much space, but carry fewer people). High speed rail could also be used for small amounts of regional cargo use

    2) Public Tranporation needs to extend further into major city/suburbs, which will help get more cars off the road.

    If your concern is cost, think about how much we pay to subsidize airlines, street infrastructure, tax breaks for oil companies, etc. You’re already paying for something else, why not pay for something that can actually help the environment and offer more transportation chioces?

  9. TWinter says:

    @ARP: that’s exactly right. High speed rail could and should replace much of the regional jet fleet – most of those 40-60 minute flights from small and mid-sized cities to the big hubs.