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Airline Flight Reductions and Layoffs

We knew it was going to happen. With the cost of jet fuel these days, airlines are being forced to take drastic measures. The little guys folded, and now the big guys are making big changes. Older, less fuel efficient planes are being retired from service, routes to not so profitable destinations are being cut and employees are losing their jobs. In light of that, American Airlines’ checked bag fee doesn’t seem so bad, does it?

Continental Airlines is reducing domestic flights by 16%, eliminating service in some cities all together. 3,000 people will be out of work and 67 aircraft (all Boeing 737’s) will be retired.

United Airlines announced several days ago they will lay off several thousand employees. Ted is dead. The airline is removing 100 aircraft from its fleet, including six Boeing 747-400’s and 94 Boeing 737. The airline, which had already announced plans to eliminate 30 of the planes, also said it would lay off up to 1,100 employees, on top of 500 job cuts already announced.

Delta Air Lines and American Airlines also plan to cut flights to battle the losing war against rising costs.

So, the days of flying round trip for $100 are over. You can expect fares to rise substantially and fewer travelers to take to the skies. Some may hope this will be a return to the glory days of airlines, where only the elite could make the trip.

Everyone is up in arms about fare increases and not-so-convent flights, but we need to be collectively concerned about the large number of people who are losing their jobs. Our suffering economy is not going aided by the thousands of newly unemployed that are the result of these changes. If you’re headed to the airport, keep in mind the people you’re dealing with there are justifiably concerned about their future. Take it easy on those guys, huh?