US airlines' push to block competition will result in higher prices for consumers

CEOs from the major US Airlines meeting with President Trump on February 8, 2017 will likely discuss air traffic control privatization and further limitations on foreign air competition, according to Flyers Rights.org.

The airlines seek to block foreign competition from airlines such as Norwegian Air, WOW Airlines, and Emirates. However, blocking foreign competition will result in higher prices and fewer choices for consumers. As profits soar to record levels, passengers face a reduction in flights, shrinking seats, and less reliable air travel especially from small and medium size cities, noted FlyersRights.org.

Additionally, the airlines are pushing for privatization of the Air Traffic Control system. The plan for privatization leaves little room for government oversight over an inherently governmental function, would transfer all government air traffic control to an entity controlled by the airlines, and would grant a long list of demands sought by air controller union including the right to strike. Such legislation was passed by the House in the last Congress but not acted on by the Senate.

FlyersRights.org is a US airline passenger advocacy group. The organization is most famous for spearheading the Passenger Bill of Rights and the rule against tarmac confinements. Among the many services it provides for airline passengers, it operates a toll-free hotline and publishes a weekly newsletter. FlyersRights.org is currently appealing the FAA´s refusal to enact a rulemaking to address the problems of shrinking seat sizes to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.