I saw the article in Friday’s USA Today Business section about increasing regulations on the airline industry.
What I found interesting about it is that nearly all the rules come under the heading of consumer protection. One airline executive states that they are the most regulated de-regulated industry in America.
I would argue, instead, that most industries are just as heavily regulated as to how they treat customers. What would happen if a company produced a toy that broke half the time? Or a frozen pizza that sickened people a large percentage of the time? But a flight that is chronically late (a product that is chronically faulty) was never subject to any sanction, or even disclosure, till recently.
I would have preferred that these things could have been addressed without rules. Airlines had the chance to do that when they made several customer services promises in 2000. They didn’t follow through and now face the regulatory music.
(ACI-NA on Thursday filed comments generally support DOT’s efforts to expand passenger rights.)
Airports have absolutely no interest in airlines being in financial trouble or in their being over-regulated. Airports, and the communities they represent, lose service when airlines are under pressure. But we recognize, unfortunately, that these issues would not have been addressed without regulation. And, we commit to working with airlines to serve our passengers and reduce the impact of those regulations on service.