Consumers benefited from airline mergers

  • Article by: John Heimlich
  • Updated: April 6, 2013 - 11:55 AM

Counterpoint

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hermajestyApr. 5, 13 8:04 PM

Flying is cheaper, but on the whole, we would have been better off if we reserved flying for long trips of over 600 miles and had spent the past thirty years building high-speed rail for shorter trips, like most other countries. The only we reason we "need" to fly is the lack of alternatives.

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northhillApr. 6, 13 5:53 AM

The airline deregulation act of 1979 has meant that more people travel; but comfort has been compromised.You used to get breakfast on a flight to Chicago,but that is ancient history.Most of the travel is still between large markets. I found that flying between MSP and Wichita Kansas to be prohibitively expensive. It is much cheaper to fly to Kansas City and rent a car.

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texas_technomanApr. 6, 13 6:05 AM

Is flying cheaper because of mergers, or because they number of flights has been scaled back...and all the seats are full?

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alansonApr. 6, 1312:28 PM

The headline is wrong. It should be "consumers benefited from airline deregulation." However, the mergers have been an anti-competitive response to deregulation that enables airlines to raise fares. On balance the benefit from deregulation has outweighed the anti-competitive effect of mergers. But there is no guarantee that will be the case in the future. As Adam Smith wrote in 1776: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." A merger is such a contrivance.

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hobie2Apr. 6, 13 1:21 PM

"Third, service... [has] improved dramatically."... Only when you measure quality only in dollars, and if the plane pulls away from the gate on or before time - and then I am not conceding better, because I pay more and I arrive just like I used to... I would hardly call smaller seats, bag charges, flight change fees, ticket print fees, carry-on fees, bathroom use fees, surly overworked fight attendants, and the like better service. Compared to hanging on the wing with Orville Wright piloting his bi-plane, maybe.

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hermajestyApr. 6, 13 2:28 PM

As a tall person, the feature of modern-day aircraft that I hate, hate, hate is the cramped seating. I wonder if it's even safe, if it would make it impossible to evacuate the aircraft in an emergency.

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garagewineApr. 7, 1312:39 PM

"The only we reason we "need" to fly is the lack of alternatives."---I'm sure you mean lack of economically viable alternatives. Those who don't fly typically also have the alternative of auto and bus. And they exercise those options where the combination of price and service gives them the best deal. Just like those who choose to fly.

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