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Airplane deregulation led to crappier planes

Every time we watch an older movie featuring airplanes (this time it was Die Hard 2) Min wonders why the planes look so spacious. So here's a recent post by Yglesias on that.

The declining quality of air travel has to do with deregulation in the 1970s. Interstate air travel used to have its fares set by a federal agency rather than market forces, and it tended to mandate relatively high fares. That was cozy for the airlines, gave airline labor unions a lot of revenue to try to grab for their members, and generally led to a high level of service. You couldn't compete on price, but you could try to compete on quality, and unions were happy to agree to schemes featuring high levels of staffing and low plane density. Then came deregulation, competition, fare wars, price cutting, layoffs, staff givebacks, and everything else that makes plane travel annoying but fairly cheap.

It's not his first on the subject and this post takes it for granted that his theory is correct and moves on to talk about why that in turn means that airports have gotten "nicer" (in my opinion, more like shopping malls, but i don't know if that really translates to nicer), but he does lay out the basic idea.

By fnord12 | November 17, 2013, 10:49 AM | Liberal Outrage & Movies | Comments (1)| Link

If Wes Anderson Made a Horror Movie


By min | November 2, 2013, 1:29 PM | Movies | Link

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