The problem of the US airport service investment and air tickets costs

Failure to invest in air traffic control seem to bring decrease in cheap air tickets

As Americans, we have a problem with the need to pay taxes. We seem to believe that caring commercial organizations will solve all our problems without the need for us to pay a government to provide a basic infrastructure. Sadly, this is completely unrealistic. Organizations that exist to make a profit are not interested in giving free access to services. If we do not pay modest taxes, we will end up paying higher commercial charges for the same services. As an example of the problem, let's look at the failure to invest in air traffic control. We're rapidly reaching the point where the controllers cannot safely manage the traffic. The result is increasing delays in scheduling take-off and landing slots. Unless something dramatic is done to increase capacity, delays will increase significantly. At first, this is likely to affect only those holding cheap flight tickets. For historical reasons, the air traffic system gives priority to the larger legacy airlines, so the discount and budget carriers will find it difficult to get slots at the major hubs.

As to the design or airports, we're already experiencing serious delays because of the increased levels of security. If airports are expected to operate at peak levels for more hours in the day, this will need major redesign and significant increases in the number of trained staff. In turn, this will force up prices for the use of airports. Yet there are no signs of any willingness to make the necessary investments. With Washington focused on reducing the deficit, it's difficult to see how funds can be diverted to air transport when there are obvious shortages and problems in other equally important public services. Air travel is not considered a public service in need of government support when put alongside health care and education.

Will cheap air tickets decline?

The situation is worse at state level where the local deficits are forcing some cities into bankruptcy. Without major increases in the level of taxes collected and adequate investment, the national air traffic control system will struggle to perform even at current levels, and it will also fail to match the more sophisticated systems operated in Europe. Cheaper ticket deals will decline as delays increase - only a higher ticket price guarantees arrival at the destination on time in a capitalist country.

Cheap air tickets and European travel for the disabled

The Europeans are very precise in the way they think about rights. If there's a single market, there should be one set of rules. If there's one set of rules, it should apply equally to all citizens no matter whether they are disabled or their mobility is restricted in some way. Opportunities for travel should not be denied people because they are disabled. Except. . . There are always exceptions. In this case, it comes down to questions of practicality and safety, so we need to explain carefully how the rules are designed to work. Before an airline or travel agent accepts a booking from a person with a disability or some form of limit to their mobility, there's a duty to identify any problems likely to occur. This is not something that should arise when the disabled individual arrives at the airport. If proper notice is given in advance of potential problems, refusal to allow boarding will be considered a breach of contract and entitle a full refund plus the award of compensation. This applies whether this was full-price or cheap air tickets are involved, and whether this is flight only or part of a package holiday or tour.

This duty to accommodate the disabled does not just apply to the airline. It also applies to the airport operator which should provide properly designed access and trained staff. This should not be separately charged. Societies should be inclusive and not discriminate against individuals on the ground of their disability.

So when can transport be refused? In less common cases, because the disabled individual cannot pass through the aircraft door or something prevents moving through the aircraft to the designated seat. If this proves the case, the carrier must suggest alternatives. This can involve requiring a second individual accompany the disabled person to offer help and support. If a person with limited sight has an assistance dog, all airlines must publish their rules and cannot ignore them when convenient. If the disabled person holds cheap air tickets that involve changing flights, each airport has the legal duty to ensure appropriate arrangements are made to move from one gate to another.