Rising Fuel Prices Mean Passing Costs on to Arizona Airline Passengers
As fuel prices soar, the airline industry is taking action to ensure its financial survival in the short term. However, will these short-term decisions end up hurting airlines in the long run? In a recent interview with Ted Simons, our aviation law attorney Mike Pearson weighed in on what rising jet fuel costs could end up meaning for both Arizona airline passengers and the industry as a whole.
We’ve already seen changes at a consumer level, including:
- Higher airfare
- Charges for baggage
- Changes in carry-on luggage
- Smaller aircraft with fewer seats
- Changes in “peak days” for frequent flier miles
- Cutting of some air routes
Many experts believe this will only continue to get worse, and airline passengers can expect to be paying more for what once was complimentary. Mike Pearson agrees that the situation is bad, and that it will probably get worse. Pearson said that these types of changes may help the airlines now, but that, in the long term, these changes could keep many leisure travelers out of the air and looking for different ways to get from point A to point B. Pearson points out that many airlines have started cutting the number of seats available in order to drive up fares and keep planes full, but that there are only so many seats an airline can cut. With long-term survival in mind, many airlines are looking to mergers, moving toward what Pearson calls a “natural oligopoly.” Several airlines have either already completed mergers or are looking in that direction. Unless we see a quick reduction in the price of fuel, these significant changes will probably only get worse for the consumers.
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