Regulation Is Not a 4-Letter Word.
Not that long ago, it was actually fun to fly. In the 70’s and 80’s, the major airlines provided a quality experience even in economy class, with comfortable seats, adequate legroom, and a decent meal service.
But that was then; this is now.
And now the major airlines are at it again. They’ve figured out yet another way to extract a few more shekels from a few more helpless passengers.
According to Charlie Leocha, the driving force behind Travelers United, the three major airlines—American, Delta and United—are going to allow passengers in the economy sections of the planes to choose window or aisle seats . . . for an extra fee, of course. Isn’t that swell? Pay only the published fare and you’ll very likely end up in one of the dreaded middle seats.
Good heavens! What next? And where does it stop? And can anything be done about it?
May I suggest that this nickel-and-diming of ordinary passengers all started with deregulation of the airlines. Once free from much of the government oversight, the airlines were able to look for new ways to increase revenues. There was no one to say “You can’t do that”, so they did it.
But why are we surprised? Corporations have stockholders and dividends have to be paid, the bigger the better. Without regulation, the airlines can add fees. Without regulation, some banks make risky loans. Without adequate regulation, some pharmaceutical companies gouge sick people. Without adequate regulation, some auto makers fudge emission numbers. Without adequate regulation, pesticides turn up in our food supply.
The fact is, given the opportunity, some people and some companies will cheat, even if it causes harm to others. And rolling back existing regulations that could prevent that harm, in order to score political points with less than half the voting public is a travesty.