Sunday, June 22, 2008

Could Airlines Disappear As Fuel Costs Rise?

There are few businesses in the United States that have been hurt more by rising fuel costs than the major airlines. For generations, Americans have taken great pride in travel to and from locations all over the world whenever we saw fit. However, in the past two years there has been a remarkable decrease in the numbers of average airline fliers and in recent months, even big business has started to cut back on the numbers of flights their employees and executives book. At the heart of the U.S. airline crisis is the ever rising price of jet fuel which is manufactured from the same crude oil that is turned into gas for our cars and trucks. Like average Americans, major airline companies have been looking for ways to increase their prices because of rising fuel costs, but to date few of these price increase have been able to hold for more than a few days or at the most one week.

High jet fuel costs are dragging the bottom line of all U.S. air carriers to the breaking point and somewhere down the road, something will have to give or these necessary businesses are not going to survive financially. Conservative politicians worked for years to get the U.S. airline industry deregulated and while their ideas of deregulation looked good one paper, once all the U.S. airlines were deregulated, all hell started to break loose within that once strong U.S. industry. In most areas of business, I side with conservative Republicans on deregulation. However, there have been some businesses in the U.S. economy that seem to preform better for the consumer when they are regulated by the government, instead of being thrown into a worldwide marketplace like most other companies.

History has proven that the U.S. airline industry worked much better, years ago, when it was a government regulated industry than when it was deregulated. Today, almost no one says that flying is fun anymore and most people would rather visit the dentist than to go through security and fly on a domestic airline flight these days. While the terrorist attacks against America on September 11th, 2001 did cause the flying public to even hate flying more than before, in reality the flying experience of most regular airline passengers was rated as negative long before 911. Rather than most customers having a feeling of appreciation from the major airlines since deregulation, instead most of the American flying public feels like they are little more than cattle on some airborne flight where they receive little customer appreciation and on most trips they can't wait to get off that plane as soon as possible.

While most Americans do not want to go to a totally government regulated marketplace, it is time for extreme conservatives to admit to themselves and to everyone else that some industries preform poorly under a strict capitalistic system. In hindsight, it is a proven fact that the U.S. airline industry is not working well under a deregulated environment and something needs to be done in Washington to remedy this problem. When it comes to business, there is no – 'one size fits all'. While most businesses flourish in an open and competitive marketplace, some do not and at the top of that list of companies that preform poorly in a a free market system are American airlines. While some politicians will try and blame all of the problems with U.S. airlines on the current energy crisis, in reality – most U.S. airlines were in trouble long before the price of jet fuel became a big issue and before terrorist attack the U.S. on 911.

Title: Could Airlines Disappear As Fuel Costs Rise?
Written: June 22 2008
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