Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Airlines, customers each issue own manifestos

The industry trade group Airlines for America recently issued a manifesto that outlined what it would include in a national airline policy. The document, which was promoted yesterday in speech by the group's president, called for reducing taxes and regulation on airlines, reducing oil price volatility and improving the air traffic control system. In response, New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey thought it would be a good idea to develop an airline customers' manifesto, defining some those who pay to fly should expect from the companies, given how much they want the government to help them with a national airline policy. Here is what the columnist is hearing from his eaders.

Airlines, customers each issue own manifestos

The industry trade group Airlines for America recently issued a manifesto that outlined what it would include in a national airline policy. The document, which was promoted yesterday in speech by the group's president, called for reducing taxes and regulation on airlines, reducing oil price volatility and improving the air traffic control system. In response, New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey thought it would be a good idea to develop an airline customers' manifesto, defining some those who pay to fly should expect from the companies, given how much they want the government to help them with a national airline policy. Here is what the columnist is hearing from his eaders.

Here are some of my own thoughts about the Airlines for America manifesto (read the article above to understand what I'm saying here):                                                                                   

Most taxes on airlines are effectively user fees, going to government programs that benefit aviation.

Much of the regulation airlines have chafed against lately, like the tarmac-delay and fare-and-tax transparency rules, were brought about by the airlines' own bad acts or acts of omission in the past.

Perhaps airlines should lobby Congress to appropriate more money and provide effective oversight to Next-Generation air traffic control technology.

And two points of the manifesto would require significant help from the same government overseers that the airlines complain about: Federal action to help control volatile fuel costs and changing the rules that now limit control of U.S. airlines by foreign citizens.

Let us know what you think.

Tom Belden
About this blog
Tom Belden has been reporting about Philadelphia International Airport and other air travel subjects for more than 20 years, writing columns for The Inquirer's Travel and Business sections. His reporting (with colleague Craig McCoy) on baggage handling problems in Philadelphia have been credited with helping to improve the system. His previous blog was called Road Warrior. He can reached at tbelden@phillynews.com. Reach Tom at tbelden@phillynews.com.

Tom Belden
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