Belt tightening in air travel

by



The financial problems in the United States have affected the services of the airline industry. As cut-downs on the usual perks of travel have started many months before, the United Airlines asked $15 for my check-in baggage of less than 20 kg—something that was free before. I shouln’t be surprised because early on in September prior to the labor day weekend, drastic belt tightening was in the offing. That was the result of the rises in fuel prices.

“This month, domestic airline capacity measured by the number of seats on flights will shrink 7% from last September, according to OAG-Official Airline Guide. As airlines continue to shrink, domestic capacity by November will be down 10% nationwide — forcing up airfares. In many markets, service cuts will be much deeper.

Travelocity.com reports that the average domestic round-trip airfare booked so far on its site for flights from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2009, is up nearly 16% year-over-year. Travelocity says the average booked fare this winter is up 27% to New York’s three major airports, up 25% to Dallas/Fort Worth, up 22% to Atlanta, up 21% to Chicago and up 30% to Boston.

“These are the highest year-over-year airfare increases I’ve ever seen,” says Travelocity editor at large Amy Ziff. USA Today (09/02/08, Adams); eTurboNews; Global Travel Industry News.

In keeping with the news, I agreed without question. Domestic flights had not been serving meals anymore. International flights like those of Canadian Air had their beverages on sale. Only drinking water on board the plane was free.

With huge cuts in travel, I noticed fewer passengers were on the plane. It could be coincidence, but in the JFK of New York, O’Hare of Chicago and Calgary International airports didn’t have the number of the people I used to see. Could this be the sign of hardtimes ahead? If true, against pessimism, I hope this difficulty will be shortlived and temporary. =0=

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