We have all been suitably horrified by the #United Airlines video of the customer who was knocked unconscious and had his teeth broken.
Did you ever ask yourself how one earth this could have ever happened? The horror of the United Airlines video was brought to you by an unholy trinity: 1) Deregulation; 2) Massive consolidation; and 3) disregard for consumer rights. These have created an environment where there is effectively little or no competition – its now an Oligopoly.
The deregulators’ remorse was seen when the Justice Dept. sued to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways. It was an admission that federal antitrust policy involving airlines had been a massive #FAIL.
This was but part of a long series of deregulatory disasters sold to the American public as increasing competition, improving services, and lowering costs. Instead, it allowed consolidation, and an oligopoly to form — the met results have been higher fees, less competition, and markedly worse service.
Note that this is not a one off, but a look at one possible grim future if the Supreme Court keeps favoring corporations over citizens
1. Today, airline fees have grown into a $6 billion side-pot — quadrupling in just the last five years. There are now fees for bags, WiFi, food, headsets, unaccompanied minors, the emergency row, and practically everything that cannot be simply described as “one adult sitting with a back-pack in one middle seat.
Note also: The number of air passengers tripled between the 1970s and 2011