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Air Travel Class War

Megan McArdle has a good post about why you may feel that airline deregulation has been a disaster — if you’re someone who flies primarily for work it really has been a disaster. We moved from a high price / high quality equilibrium to a low price / low quality equilibrium, which is a terrible move if you’re not the one paying for the tickets. Meanwhile, the middle class tourist trying to move a family of four across the country for a vacation has seen significant benefits.

But what’s missing from this analysis is the executive suite. This is where folks have been able to give their employees a de facto pay cut in terms of subjecting them to cheaper, lower-quality air travel and plow the profits thereby gained into corporate jets and first class tickets. A sweet deal for them, indeed. In other words, business travelers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your missed connections!

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