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Letters: Flying is a bargain

February 17, 2013
  • A US Airways plane is parked between two American Airlines planes, one bearing the new logo, far left, and the old logo, far right. American Airlines and US Airways announced last week that the two companies would merge, creating the nation's largest carrier.
A US Airways plane is parked between two American Airlines planes, one bearing… (Tom Fox / MCT )

Re "Fewer carriers, higher prices," Column, Feb. 15

I am amazed by the myth that airlines are charging too much for flying. Some basic research would quickly reveal the reality of the situation.

According to a 2011 article in Businessweek, the average price a passenger paid per mile in 1974, adjusted for inflation, was 33.3 cents. For the first half of 2010, that average was down to 13 cents. The cheapest New York-to-Los Angeles ticket allowed under regulation in 1974 was $1,442 in inflation-adjusted dollars. That fare can now be found for far less, including bag fees.

Meanwhile, a barrel of oil in 1974 cost about $40 in inflation-adjusted dollars; now, it's more than $90. Most products and services are way more expensive now than they were 40 years ago, and yet flying is significantly cheaper.

And people wonder why the service is not what it used to be. Deregulation's lower prices are not a myth.

John Meyer



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