HolyCoast: Airlines Doing Their Part To Encourage Train Travel

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Airlines Doing Their Part To Encourage Train Travel

In the 50's the airlines began seriously taking traveling customers away from trains, thus ending the dominance of trains on many routes and essentially ending privately owned passenger train service by 1970.  Today the airlines are doing what they can to drive people back to the railroads with their never-ending fare and fee increases:
If you’re flying this summer, be prepared to kiss your family goodbye at the gate. Even if they’re on the same plane.

Airlines are reserving a growing number of window and aisle seats for passengers willing to pay extra. That’s helping to boost revenue but also making it harder for friends and family members who don’t pay this fee to sit next to each other. At the peak of the summer travel season, it might be nearly impossible.

Buying tickets two or more months in advance makes things a little easier. But passengers are increasingly finding that the only way to sit next to a spouse, child or friend is to shell out $25 or more, each way.

With base fares on the rise — the average round-trip ticket this summer is forecast by Kayak.com to be $431, or 3 percent higher than last year — some families are reluctant to cough up more money.
Southwest Airlines has to be loving this because they still don't charge baggage fees and since they don't assign seats, there are no seat fees either. There's simply no reason to fly any other airline on routes served by Southwest.

And on trips of less than 750 miles, I don't see any reason to fly at all.  I can drive that in a day easily and I don't have to get a TSA groping to do it.  And, thanks to Obama, traffic won't be all that bad:
Change you can believe in: “Traffic congestion dropped 30 percent last year from 2010 in the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, driven largely by higher gas prices and a spotty economic recovery, according to a new study by a Washington-state firm that tracks traffic flows.”

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