Wow, what a month and it isn’t even over yet. Four airlines cease operations and one files for Chapter 11. So far we’ve seen Aloha, ATA, Skybus and most recently, EOS, all stop flying in the last month. We’ve also seen Frontier Airlines, one of the highest quality US airlines, file for Chapter 11. So what does all this mean to you?
- Aside from large cash reserves, little can defend against an era of $100+ oil.
- Innovative airline models seem even more susceptible. All first class (EOS/MaxJet), bare-bones coach (Skybus/ATA), and even geographically protected (Aloha) airlines are taken down without sympathy.
- Fewer brands mean less capacity, thus generally increasing prices and creating less frequent flier availability.
While overall this isn’t great news, things could be a whole lot worse:
- With the Delta and Northwest merger on the horizon, we’ll know it short order (before the presidential election) if it is approved. It’s not a done deal, particularly given a ticking clock on the remaining days of a known, merger-friendly, administration.
- With a softening economy, bookings, particularly on international routes, may not come in as robust as previously expected. This could mean slightly lower prices for summer travel.
- Your miles are generally safe unless you are vested on one of the smaller airlines.
Finally, many thanks to the great folks out there who are telling the world about InsideTrip. Our passion is all about showing the same prices as the other guys but giving unrivaled quality insight to help people make the most intelligent travel choices. Special kudos to Aseem Kishore at On-Line-Tech-Tips.com and Lisa Marie Mercer at Flyaway-Weblog.com for their postings and for reaching out to say hello.