You don't need me to tell you that the summer of 2008 was a tough time for air travel. Higher airfares, crowded planes and let's not forget delayed and canceled flights. It was also the summer that air travel in America became the Land of the Fee: checked bag fees, talk-to-a human-being fee, eat-airline-food fee... How long before pay toilets are installed?
And just when you thought it couldn't get worse, fasten your seatbelts-it's going to be a very bumpy flight. That is, if you can find one. (Or worse, afford one.)
Consider this: Within the next few weeks, airlines in the U.S. will be cutting their domestic capacity by up to 16 percent across the board. Southwest Airlines will cut 200 flights from its winter schedule this fall. In September, Jet Blue ended on the following routes: Boston to San Francisco, Boston to San José, New York to Ontario, Washington to Burbank, Washington to Las Vegas, and Washington to San Diego.
This means that major airlines will be parking (i.e., taking out of service) planes. Continental will park nearly 70 planes, American will retire more than 80 and United could park more than 120.