Airlines aren’t just hiking fees to cover fuel costs—they’re also reducing the number of places where they’ll fly. Nearly 30 cities across the country have lost their scheduled service over the last year, making it just a little harder to get to sparsely populated areas. [New York Times]

(Photo: Photocapy)

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  1. tricky69 says:

    What BS. The major 3, ua, aa, and continental bamboozled our government into giving them $15 billion after 9/11 and they still fucked up their businesses. This isn’t about fuel costs only, it’s about businesses that are piss poor managed. And this is what they always do, make consumers pay more money, and take more away at the same time.

  2. geoffhazel says:

    Airline travel was very expensive until de-regulation. Then it got dirt cheap. Apparently its going to get more expensive again.

    Let’s not look for a conspiracy under every rock on this, it’s pretty simple economics.

  3. savvy9999 says:

    While corporate incompetence has no small part to play, the simple fact is that many small routes are not priced high enough to break even.

    Much like the housing bubble that is reducing prices, we’re in the middle of a air-travel price correction. Unfortunately, it’s upwards to reflect the true costs of flying today.

    Even when fuel was cheap, I was amazed how airlines could offer a transnational flight for under $200.

    Perhaps this is a great opportunity for private pilots to start offering their services from these smaller airports that have been shut out by the airlines? Charge what the market will bear.

  4. Kounji says:

    I usually call bs on market corrections. Though this one actually seems legitimate. We weren’t actually supposed to be flying so cheap but we were only able to due to lack of oil demand and the fact that profit was high enough at these levels. Now it is not so simple.

  5. Orv says:

    @savvy9999: Technically a private pilot can’t do that. A private pilot license is exactly that — a license to fly privately. You’re not allowed to carry revenue passengers. To do that you need a commercial pilot license.

  6. MercuryPDX says:

    @Orv: Is that the same as a booking charter flight (eg. [www.charterx.com] )?

  7. MercuryPDX says:

    as a booking charter = as booking a charter :/

  8. Tmoney02 says:

    @MercuryPDX:

    Yes, if you book a charter flight the pilot flying it has to have at least a commercial pilot license. Usually you will have pilots with far higher credentials than even a commercial pilot license as they are working for the charter company to get enough flight time to be hired by the airlines.

  9. humphrmi says:

    @MercuryPDX: Pilots of charter flights are still commercial pilots, not private pilots. Private pilots cannot fly revenue passengers.

  10. captadam says:

    Time for rural America to bring back local economies. No planes, no trains, and expensive gas makes it hard to get to, say, the middle of Nebraska.

  11. ARP says:

    @savvy9999: However, the airlines get subsidized to fly the small routes. So they’re still taking the money, but likely reducing their schedule to the bare miniumum to maintain the subsidy. The problem is that we don’t have a meaningful alternative. Amtrack is useless unless we actually fund it full force and invest in regional high speed rail. That can help reduce gas prices and air congestion. Small towns that are near larger cities (e.g. St. Louis, Milwaukee, Madison all could feed into Chicago), could get a meaningul choice to regional flights and it will probably cost much less over the long term.