Over the past couple of years, the attitude of U.S. consumers towards flying has shifted dramatically. Once upon a time most Americans looked forward to flying, but thanks to rising airfares, horrific fees and ridiculous airport security measures that has changed. In particular, the new airport security scanners that can look underneath our clothing and the new “enhanced pat-downs” have caused many Americans to decide to give up air traveling for good. It is being projected that airline profits are going to be way down in 2011. Could this partially be due to the fact that these ridiculous airport security measures are chasing Americans away from the airports?
According to the International Air Transport Association, profits for the global airline industry will only be about $4 billion this year. Last year, the airline industry made $18 billion. Things look particularly bleak in the North American region.
Of course rising oil prices and global economic turmoil are contributing factors, but there are also millions of Americans out there today that have now decided that they simply are not going to fly unless they absolutely have to.
Take myself for example. Once the naked body scanners and the “enhanced pat-downs” went in, I decided that I would not fly unless I absolutely had to. At this point I have not taken a flight in over a year.
Analysts say that the airline industry is being “right-sized”, but you would think as our population grows that the number of people in need of air travel would continue to grow.
Instead, we have witnessed a horrible decade for the airline industry. Over the past decade, one out of every four airline jobs has been lost…..
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, passenger airlines lost one in every four jobs between 2000 and 2010, dropping from 523,208 jobs at the end of 2000 to 390,053 at the end of last year.
Of course this has nothing to do with all of the ridiculous security measures put in after 9/11, right?
2008 and 2009 were particularly bad years for the airline industry. During the years of 2008 and 2009, airlines combined to lose a whopping 23 billion dollars.
According to a 2008 survey, air travelers in the United States avoided 41 million trips because of perceived problems with the air travel system. The U.S. Travel Association says that those avoided trips cost U.S. airlines 9.4 billion dollars.
Most Americans are still taking flights, but there is a small percentage of Americans (that is growing) that simply do not want to go through the hassle of air travel anymore.
Thanks to the Internet, Americans are reading all of the worst TSA horror stories. For example, one 61-year-old retired special education teacher was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an “enhanced pat-down” went badly.
As horror story after horror story about these ridiculous airport security measures continue to come out, an increasing number of Americans are deciding to change their travel habits.
A recent poll of air travelers found that 35 percent said that they would be traveling less by air and only 17 percent said that they planned to travel more by air.
Sites like The Drudge Report have been featuring negative stories about the TSA for months. If the airline industry thinks that this is not having an impact then they are delusional.
The rest of the world is watching all of this happen as well, and millions of people are deciding that the United States is a place that they would rather not visit.
In 2009, 54.9 million tourists visited the United States, and those tourists spent approximately 93 billion dollars. Tourism is the first, second or third biggest employer in 29 U.S. states.
So what happens if a significant chunk of international tourists decide that they are simply not going to fly because they don’t want to be blasted with radiation and they don’t want to be subjected to TSA groping?
The U.S. economy has gotten worse over the past couple of years. Do we really need to kill off the tourism industry also?
What is going on at our airports is just another example of how America is turning into a “Big Brother” police state. For many more examples of this phenomenon, check out this article: “32 Signs That The Entire World Is Being Transformed Into A Futuristic Big Brother Prison Grid“.
If you are still convinced that all of this new airport security is no big deal, you might want to think again. You never know, the next viral video on YouTube might be of you….