Shrinking Airplanes Mean Higher Prices
It's no secret that airlines are in the business of dipping into traveler's pockets for food, headphones, pillows, extra leg room and over-sized bags that need to be checked-in.
One other unknown factor is that airlines are reducing the size of their planes, employing mostly mid-size aircraft, thus cutting seat capacity.
Simultaneously, they’re increasing the number of smaller planes, thus, making a mess of air hubs, schedules and already congested airports.
Travel Industry publication, Travel Weekly, reports that downsizing planes obviously decreases the number of seats and size of the aircraft. It ultimately means that planes are filling up faster and, you guessed it, prices are rising.
More flights using smaller planes creates problems, according to Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole. Additionally, Poole said the move to smaller planes, fewer seats and increased capacity is understandable as the industry attempts to “right itself,” to do whatever it has to do to generate revenue.
Smaller planes use less fuel and mostly fly with no empty seats, as empty seats means lost revenue.
Perhaps the one thing that will keep costs down, is the phenomenal growth of low-cost airlines like the ones Southwest (the industry’s forever volume-leader) and Jet Blue use (not to mention their ability to capture market share).
The Brookings Institution, a DC-based think tank, reported that already 99% of all passengers pass through one of the major airports at least once in their travels. Additionally, Travel Weekly quoted US Airways CEO Doug Parker as saying that the airline industry will eventually be down to four large hub-and-spoke carriers, a result of increasing consolidation, which theoretically will allow carriers to align schedules and cut congestion.”
Forget about competition and competitive fares. If the airline you’re flying seems like the one you flew last week and the week before, it’s because the airlines believe that a one-size-fits-all approach will squeeze the most money out of already hapless passengers.
Have you noticed your ever-shrinking airplane?