Thursday, April 10, 2008

Airline Industry In Trouble, What Does In Mean For Us?

In the past few weeks alone, you cant open a newspaper or watch the evening news without seeing some new development in the airline industry. A few of the smaller operations have filed bankruptcy and shut their doors and many of the larger airlines are dealing with problems of their own with FAA inspections causing them to cancel flights. Of course there is the price of oil rising faster than the morning sun every day that is putting a hurt on every ones wallet in one way or another as well. So, what does this mean for Joe Passenger? I have talked previously about how many airlines are going to the "a la carte" menu of flying. This is something that a couple of the smaller (and now bankrupt) airlines were already doing. Look for more a la carte pay as you go options to pop up and the prices to increase as we become accustom to them. It is not to far off where not just a second checked bag will cost, but possible that in the future each checked bag will have a fee attached to it. It is also possible that seat location could become like going to a concert or sporting event where the better locations will come at a premium. Want to one of the first to exit the plane could cost you. But besides all these nickel and dime situations where you have a choice, look for the price to fly to go up in general. Mergers and acquisitions is going to decrease the number of options and fewer players will make it easier for all airlines to increase fares without to much worry about losing passengers. Deals will be out there but there will probably be fewer and we will have to work harder to find them.

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