"Deregulation was meant to remove barriers to entry and to promote price competition among airlines," says Greenwald. "Instead, the major airlines have used it to create fortress hubs." These hubs enable the airlines to route passengers through the airports they already dominate. In that kind of flight pattern, "most smaller and start-up airlines havenít stood much of a chance," says Greenwald.
Donít expect matters to change for the better any time soon, either. "The majors seem to be flying off in the direction of less goods and services," says Greenwald. "They are driving to cut their costs in order to lift their stock prices." The recent sick-out at American Airlines was a good indication of how the bottom line is charting the course of both management and unions, and once again leaving passengers behind.