A couple of thoughts came to mind the other day because of a situation that occurred. The situation centered around computer outages at USAirways and United and how these outages affected the vast majority of their customers. Luckily, those issues were resolved fairly quickly and life in aviation returned to normal after a day or two. So, that was the situation. The thoughts were, due to the limited number of airlines that exist today, the possibility and impact for something major to affect so many is heightened even when it happens to a single carrier, let alone two. The other thought was how few airlines exist today. In essence, we have limited choices in the airline industry. And for us avgeeks (aviation geeks), limited material to blog and talk about.
Imagine for a moment, the delight of aviation bloggers, and avgeeks around the world if the Internet had been possible before 1978 (we’re sure Al Gore was working on it though). Airlines and choices were plentiful. There would have been so much to write about. Can you imagine? Compared to the years right after 1978 there are only a handful of carriers today.
On October 24, 1978 the Airline Deregulation Act was signed into law. It really was about increasing competition and removing the barriers to entry into the airline business. According to AlterNet, an online news magazine and community, “In the 27 years before airline deregulation, no airline went bankrupt. Since 1978, 160 airlines have come and gone. In the last quarter-century, the rate of bankruptcy among air carriers has been as much as 10 times higher than that of the general business community.” In essence, limited choices. We would be remiss not to mention the toll this has had on many individuals, families, and communities; a topic we’ll cover at a later date.
Some of the airlines that no longer exist included: PSA, Western, AirCal, Braniff, Eastern, TWA, Pan Am, Air Florida, Texas International, Northwest Orient, Southern Airways, PeoplExpress, Piedmont, New York Air, National, Hughes Airwest.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have all these, and today’s, airlines to blog and talk about? Imagine the volume of material. Imagine the stories. Imagine the possibilities.
However, we’ve come to some realizations. Not only in aviation, but in life. When it comes to limited choices we have to make due with the choices we have available. Having limited choices requires us to search harder, be more aware, become more at peace with what is; not with how we want things to be. As for the limited airline choices for blogging and discussing, we’ll make due and and continue to feel strongly and passionately about a topic that is dear to our hearts. Are you doing the same about that which brings you joy?