Markus' Travel and International Living Blog

Markus is an enthusiastic traveler, who lives in Houston, TX (USA) most of the time, but also spends some time in Saalfelden, near Salzburg (Austria). He is fascinated by travel and also by his experiences gathered by living in two different countries and continents.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Our Planes Are Fuller Than Ever!

May 2005 just set a new record for airplane utilization. The "Big Six" US carriers (American, United, Delta, Northwest, Continental, and US Airways) have managed to fill their seat capacity 79.2%. An amazing number, considering that these carriers also serve less popular routes than some of the smaller carriers. And this is despite price increases.

For travellers, this isn't truly great. To achieve such high utilization, many flights have to be overbooked and people get bumped off the flight. For frequent flyers like myself, this means that upgrades get rarer and rarer, as no seats remain open in the ever-shrinking business class section. Also, carriers achieve these utilization numbers by dropping flights. Compared to May 2000, airlines are now flying 25% less seats (and that despite many carriers packing more rows of seats into their planes again), reducing traveller options.

As a result, airtravel has become even less comfortable and affordable than it used to be, a trend I certainly would not have predicted that way...

Posted @ 2:02 AM by Egger, Markus (








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