H McKee Stewart Jr

Musings on Business, Finance, and Economcs.

The Law of Unintended Consequences

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Is the one the government always passes. A case destined to become a classic: airport waiting times.

Due to largely justifiable outrage over passengers being stranded in planes waiting to take off, the FAA is implementing rules that will fine the airlines $27,000 per passenger if the flight sits on the tarmac for over 3 hours.

From the government’s perspective, there are several key advantages: they get to “fight for the little guy “ against the greedy capitalist running dog airlines, as well as avoid actually having to try to fix the problems associated with lack of capacity at key airports.

What does this mean for the traveler? More flight cancellations. The airline business isn’t exactly coining profits these days, and a $2.7 million dollar fine for getting 100 passengers off the ground after a 3 hour and one minute delay isn’t going to help matters. Logical outcome? Once wait times on the tarmac start to creep up, the airlines will preemptively cancel the flight, rather than risk the fine.

Economically, there’s too much risk for them to do otherwise.

So, in the name of protecting the consumer, we’re going to wind up with poorer air service, and more folks stuck at airports.

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Written by hmstewartjr

28 April 2010 at 1:21 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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