As fuel prices soar, the airline industry is taking action to ensure its financial survival in the short term. However, will these short-term decisions end up hurting airlines in the long run? In a recent interview with Ted Simons, our Tempe aviation law attorney Mike Pearson weighed in on what rising jet fuel costs could end up meaning for both Arizona airline passengers and the industry as a whole.
Many passengers are already noticing significant changes, such as higher fares, baggage charges, carry-on luggage issues, fewer routes, fewer seats, and smaller planes. Pearson concurs with many experts who believe that these types of changes will continue for the foreseeable future. Airline passengers can expect to be paying for previously complimentary services, and they will also probably continue to pay more for seats.
However, Pearson expressed concern about the long-term outlook for airlines. Most of these changes are finite; for example, you can only cut so many seats or routes to save money. Leisure travelers are likely to find other ways to travel if airlines continue to make flying both expensive and inconvenient. The next step is for airlines to merge, creating what Pearson calls a "natural oligopoly." In fact, several airlines are already talking about mergers or have made serious moves to do so. As competing airlines dwindle, fares are likely to stay high.
If you would like to speak with an experienced Tempe aviation lawyer, or if you have been injured in an airplane or helicopter accident, please connect with Attorney Mike Pearson at 1-888-929-5292 today. We also strongly encourage you to request your free copy of Mike Pearson's helpful book Aviation Accidents: What You Really Need to Know. We look forward to helping you with your legal needs.