A Better Flight Plan

Industry Insights

A4A Statement on Competition Within the U.S. Airline Industry

The White House should get the facts straight amid efforts to impose new policies and regulations on our nation’s aviation industry. The fact is that more than 90 percent of Americans have flown in their lifetime compared to 50 years ago when less than half of the U.S. population had flown commercially. The fact is that more than half of Americans have flown before their 16th birthday. The fact is that two million people choose to fly each day in the U.S. The fact is that all of this is possible because robust competition among U.S. airlines generates a wide variety of selection and a range of choices for consumers.

Few industries match U.S. airlines when it comes to consumer choice, which is why air travel is now enjoyed by the vast majority of Americans from a range of economic, cultural, racial and geographic backgrounds. In 2021, due to historically low fares and robust choice, one-third of Americans who flew had family incomes under $75,000. In 2022, fares (adjusted for inflation) were 6.8% below 2019 prices.  

A4A passenger airlines compete aggressively for customers, which is why they strive to provide a positive flight experience for all passengers. A4A’s member airlines make every effort to accommodate customers traveling together, especially those traveling with children, without additional charges, and consumers are offered a range of choices at the time of ticket purchase, including various seating options. A4A passenger carriers do not charge a family seating fee, unlike some ultra low-cost carriers.

The White House proposals are short-sighted and would inevitably drive-up costs and reduce choices for the consumer. The federal government should be focused on 21st century policies and procedures that drive our nation’s aviation system forward, rather than making efforts that threaten to reduce access and affordability for consumers.

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