Holiday weekend air traffic down, car travel up

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, May 29, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    TSA continues to destroy our airline industry ...

    Your News Now: Air travel for the holiday weekend down from last year

    My handy dandy calc(.exe)ulator says that's a drop of 7.4%.

    The following is an AP-wire story being picked up in a lot of papers ...

    The Columbian: More travelers to hit the road this Memorial Day

    So the score is air travel -200K, automobile travel +400K.
  2. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Longer times thru security, increasingly hostile screening procedures, having to do the perp walk and pose, getting groped anyway, occasionally getting the full body feel-over, have a blue shirted baboon pawing through your underwear and possessions, having the constant apprehension of humiliation--all of this adds up to a massive dis-incentive to do air travel. They are losing a great many casual travelers and even those who have to travel, if they can find an alternative. I'll bet the airlines have internal numbers for the TSA-induced passenger losses.
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    People not traveling by air has to be impacting the airlines. I know that available seats are fewer due to cut backs on the number of flights, at least to destinations that I track, and that will impact economy of scale. In other words travel by air will become more expensive forcing even more people to make other travel choices. Throw in some other unforeseen factors and some airline companies could find themselves not able to continue. I will be curious to see what is left of American, or whatever it becomes, after bankruptcy.
  4. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    I continue to hear more tales from formerly indifferent coworkers about how air travel is just becoming too much hassle. Another one today said that his trip back from IAH was disaster largely due to UAL. He arrived with wife and child two hours early but the backup was so long just to check baggage that he couldn't check a car seat and nearly missed his flight. Then security was a problem and they had to run to the gate, just making a 8:00A flight despite showing up at 5;50A.

    Just what part of flying these days is enjoyable? The fundamental disconnect is that no one cares whether the fare (formerly known as the customer) is harassed, inconvenienced or doesn't make it to the destination. A box of bolts shipped on a common carrier gets better treatment than most airline passengers. Maybe if a few more airlines fail someone will wake up to the reality that this abuse is taking its toll on the travel industry as a whole.
    Sunny Goth likes this.
  5. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    I think it would be great if a few more fail.
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    There are only 5 left worth mentioning: Southwest (now includes AirTran although it still operates under separate 121 certificate), Delta, Uninental, American & US Airways.
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Has US Airways given up on a merger with American? Haven't heard anything in the news the last couple of weeks talking about that possibility.
  8. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    So it's SouthTran, Delta, Uninental, and perhaps soon-to-be Amairways? And then there were four...

    Meanwhile, Amtrak has better customer service, and provides a better, more relaxing travel experience, than all 4-5 put together. I've been dreaming up vacation destinations lately, not because they're anywhere I particularly want to go, but just so I can take another train trip.

    I have a soft spot for WN as I have family who work for them, but if airlines keep dropping like flies WN and whoever else is left are going to be scrambling to figure out WTF is going on (if they don't see it already) and, when they realize TSA is pissing in their lunchboxes, turning loose the roid-raging lobbyists. At that point, either air travel collapses or TSA goes away. Either way, invasive airport security becomes a thing of the past. TSA's life is going to get real tough in the former scenario, as train travelers are going to be wise to TSA's (expletive deleted) and the people will get reeeeeal sick of highway checkpoints reeeeeal fast. I wouldn't be surprised to see some angry motorists in pickups or SUVs deliberately running down smurf-clerks and speeding away as fast as they can.
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Maybe ... NOBODY wants US Airways.
  10. FetePerfection

    FetePerfection Founding Member Coach

    Obviously car travel is out when heading home from Puerto Rico this weekend but I have to say I am so depressed by my observations. I was in a "priority" line that took over 45 minutes just to get my grope. The SJU airport is notorosily bad but this was the worst I've seen it. Hundreds of passengers lined up with only two security lines open and everyone except children were herded into NoS, AND everyone complied except me. I was the only opt out. Pathetic. Not to mention, dozens of TSA milling about, joking with passengers and each other with no interest in opening up additional baggage X-ray or WTMD. I was so distressed and discouraged I could hardly contain myself. I'm still shaking my head...:(
  11. FliesWay2Much

    FliesWay2Much Original Member

    Does anybody have the price of gas handy this year versus Memorial Day 2011? If prices were higher this year, the +400K becomes a lot more impressive.
  12. lkkinetic

    lkkinetic Original Member

    Gas prices are slightly lower this Memorial Day than they were last year, but not much lower. To put it in techy terms, given the low price elasticity of demand for gasoline, it's not lower enough this year to make for a meaningful effect on travel method selection relative to last year.
  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach


  14. FetePerfection

    FetePerfection Founding Member Coach

    I stand corrected :)
  15. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    So, DL just released their numbers for May.

    YOY passengers boarded for May '12 compared to May '11 is down almost 200,000, which is a 1.2% drop in enplanements.

    Traffic is down. Read into that what you will.
  16. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    That's = 2,000 empty flights, just for DL in May.
  17. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    What are "YOY passengers"?
  18. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    Year over Year, comparing May of this year to May of last.
  19. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    United's consolidated (UA, CO, and regional) numbers for May are down .5% YOY, and flat at .1% YTD.

    Yup, definitely people love flying these days...
  20. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    AA saw a 2.5% increase YOY for May.

    They traditionally are best at managing inventory, so this isn't too surprising. But seriously, what business would want to see a 2.5% increase in customers?

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