The business press is abuzz the past couple of weeks with glowing predections that the airline slump is ending. Our advice: don't pay a lot of attention to it. The biz press (and its associated analyst) have a notoriously poor understanding of the aviation industry. But I digress...
It's a sure sign that the airlines are hurting financially: they're hiking bag fees again.
On Friday American Airlines announced the cost of checking the first bag will go up from $15 to $20, effective on trips booked after mid-August. But wait, there's more: the cost of a second checked bag on American will go up from $25 to $30.
The economy is really starting to do a number on the airlines.
"A severe downturn could be just the opportunity the airline sector needs to clean up its act once and for all, said Robert Crandall, the former chief executive of AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and a veteran of the industry, on Tuesday."
That's the lede in a story from MarketWatch.
That's the lede sentence in a story today from USA Today. What the story lacks is perspective. It's common industry knowledge that airlines have been asking pilots to conserve fuel—and it's been going on for sometime.
Skyway Airlines, a regional carrier for Midwest Airlines, shut down over the weekend. It's the fourth airline to close in less than a week. The other three are Aloha, ATA and Skybus. A fifth airline, Champion Air, says it will close before summer.