2007 October 26 Friday
Airlines Oppose Congestion Pricing

US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters wants to use congestion pricing to reduce delays at busy airports. But the airlines oppose market-based solutions for rationing limited resources.

"Congestion pricing has worked exceptionally well in other areas of our economy such as highways, electricity, and telecommunications, and we believe the time has arrived to pursue similar approaches in the aviation sector," Peters told a Senate committee last Thursday.

The airlines are adamantly opposed to the idea of paying more to fly during peak periods, contending that it will only cause them to raise prices and reduce service. Other analysts question whether congestion pricing will work in the New York region.

"Peak pricing doesn't work in a place like LaGuardia because LaGuardia is busy all of the time," says John Hansman, an aviation expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Given the shabby ways that airlines are willing to treat passengers their reaction is really par for the course. I think the South Park episode The Entity does the best job of capturing just how bad the airlines have gotten. Even Mr. Garrison's gyro monowheel beats traveling with the airlines.

As for places that are busy all the time: Raise prices high enough and they will become less busy.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 October 26 11:30 PM  Economics Transportation


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