Writer, raconteur and grouch Kim du Toit invites airline executives to pound sand since they have hit economic hard times and are seeking a bailout from Uncle Sugar. Says he:
"F*** 'em. Let 'em go out of business. Let new airlines arise from the ashes of these burnt-out, bloated conglomerates, let these new airlines heed the lessons from these failed and extinct dinosaurs, and maybe everyone will be better off."
It's too late for the free market to punish these businesses and reward newcomers. Air travel has already been effectively nationalized. In what meaningful ways can an airline distinguish itself from the dinosaurs and capture business from them? Between local government ownership of the airports and Fed responsibility for security at all points in the air travel experience, there is little left to the airline itself to improve service without diminishing its profits further, or either changing or violating a law.
Air travel won't be profitable as a business again, nor tolerable for Kim or for me, until the present airline security approach is removed, so airlines can begin treating their passengers as paying customers instead of felons. With what to replace it?
Give me back my Gerber E-Z Out.
I've advocated allowing pilots to arm themselves with firearms, and that actually might happen. I've also advocated allowing flight attendants to carry firearms, but that is unlikely and has even been dissed here in the Blogosphere.
Allowing passengers to carry firearms is even less likely. But a few stout folding knives would have been very useful to the brave passengers of United 93, or the folks who restrained the shoe bomber.