I dispise flying. I do it because I have to. Its certainly disheartening to hear that an airline that you had trust and loyalty in is knowingly violating the public's trust. Indeed, the FAA is certainly to blame. Inspectors who highlight problems should not be punished they should be given awards for their brave attitude to go against industry and supervisor pressures. In saying this, I am certain that SWA is not the only airline that knowingly puts their maintainence on hold for a period as to not disrupt flight schedules. I have been on a number of aging aircraft, including SWA, United, AA, US Air. They have had broken ceiling panels, broken lavs, broken overhead bins and on and on and on.
Airlines have been cutting costs because it is almost nearly impossible to be profitable. SWA has made its profits in the past and been allowed to offer cheaper fares due to their hedging of gasoline. (basically locking in a price early as to avoid the rising costs of fuel). I'm not sure where the hedging agreement stands, however with the inability to be profitable and airline starting to cut costs, the airlines will need to make a decision as to whether they will continue to skimp on employees salaries and maintenance or whether these costs will once again be passed on to the consumer. I guarantee you that you will see these costs passed on to the consumer once again.
Regardless, until we can move beyond the bureacracy of federal agencies and beyond corporate greed, we will not see a solution. Its upsetting, but true.
One side question: Why is it the same price to fly from WDC to Boston as it is to fly from WDC to LA?
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