Occasionally we unearth photos from air travel’s glory days, from about the 1950s to mid 1970s.
We know it’s hard to reminisce about roomy cabins, piano bars and cocktail lounges with today’s spartan, confined and famine-inducing flights.
You might say this stark difference is becoming unacceptable considering US airlines have raked in record profits since 2009 – and $25.6 billion in 2015 alone, a 241% increase from 2014,according to the Department of Transportation
Furthermore, passengers are telling the DOT they’ve never been more unhappy. (Note that the airlines do not publicize passenger complaints filed directly with the carriers.)
So, it is astounding that despite soaring profits and revenues, airline customer service is worse than ever.
But customer dissatisfaction rewards the airlines. The industry has worked out that the more awful the experience, the more passengers will pay for the most basic services.
Under the guise of “consumer choice,” passengers get bilked into spending more for this sham “premium” service.
And unlike most industries, you aren’t likely to take your business elsewhere, at least when flying domestically in the US, because 86 percent of air travel is controlled by just four airlines, United, Delta, American and Southwest – a “collusive oligopoly.”
This is why the US major carriers have been so aggressive in keeping out the Middle-East big three airlines – Emirates, Etihad Airlines and Qatar Airways – as it would jeopardize their current collusive oligopoly.
The US Justice Department has acknowledged this problem and opened an investigation last July into the US major carriers for antitrust violations and fare collusion – the case is still ongoing
Per New York Magazine
, “Investigators hope to find out whether these airlines let each other know about added flights and extra seats, in an effort to keep the number of open seats low and prices high.”
There too many of these links between airline mergers and multiplying fees with drastic decreases in frequent-flyer benefits. The lack of competition affects US travelers across the board on both international and domestic routes.