Flying

“WASHINGTON – Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Friday the government has opened a price-gouging investigation involving five airlines that allegedly raised airfares in the Northeast after a deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia in May disrupted rail service.
The Transportation Department sent letters on Friday to Delta, American, United, Southwest and JetBlue airlines seeking information on their prices before and after the May 12 train crash.” (Newsday July 25 2015)
In a recent blog about the confrontation between capitalism and socialism in Cuba, the mariner demonstrated capitalist behavior by using airlines as an example: ….whereas only 4 [airlines] can mimic one another easily, coordinate hub flights to assure every flight is full, and, in order to keep profits high, slip down the slippery slope to collusion….
From a capitalist point of view, the airlines did nothing wrong by raising prices to the Northeast. It’s a matter of supply and demand. With the train option eliminated, demand rose for airlines, making a seat more expensive because supply had not changed. All’s fair in love, war and capitalism.
When the mariner was working for others, he constantly had to use airlines. For two years running, he belonged to United’s 100,000 mile club. This recognition provided easy upgrades to first class and access to the United club room at the airport where waiting was more pleasurable. Nevertheless, the mariner did not like flying because it was an experience very close to hog gestation cages. More than once, a drink sitting on the fold down tray went flying when the person in front pushed their seat back within six inches of his face. When he had a contract in Madison, Wisconsin, he calculated that the entire trip by air took eight hours door to door. It also took eight hours to drive to Madison, door to door – so he drove instead. And this experience was before TSA! On the way to a Caribbean sailing trip after he retired, the mariner stood in Orlando airport for two hours just to pass through TSA. He retired just in time.
But now he faces the airlines again. He must fly from Denver to Los Angeles and back. The mariner is not afraid of flying; he has 22 hours toward a private pilot’s license, a project that was interrupted by a career move. However, he is afraid of the airline corporations! Corporate greed is never on display more than when flying – unless you fly internationally and have LOTS of money. But that is flaunting one’s wealth – another form of greed.
This is the first post to the mariner’s blog associated with his trip to see his progeny. He will make every effort to share the good times….
Ancient Mariner

Leave a Reply