Airlines' Path For Profits: Fly Less, Charge More - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Airlines' Path For Profits: Fly Less, Charge More

DALLAS - After a decade of multibillion-dollar losses, U.S. airlines appear to be on course to prosper for years to come for a simple reason: They are flying less.

By grounding planes and eliminating flights, airlines have cut costs and pushed fares higher. As the global economy rebounds, travel demand is rising and planes are as full as they've been in years.

Profit margins at big airlines are the highest in at least a decade, according to the government. The eight largest U.S. airlines are forecast to earn more than $5 billion this year and $5.6 billion in 2012.

.S. airlines are in the midst of reporting fourth-quarter results that should cap the industry's first moneymaking year since 2007.

"The industry is in the best position — certainly in a decade — to post profitability," says Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly. "The industry is much better prepared today than it was a decade ago."

The airlines' turnaround has benefited investors — the Arca airlines stock index has nearly quadrupled since March 2009 — but it's been tough on travelers.

Fares in the U.S. have risen 14 percent from a year ago, according to travel consultant Bob Harrell. Flights are more crowded than they've been in decades. On domestic flights, fewer than one in five seats are empty. Space is even tighter over the summer and holidays. That's why it took a week to rebook all the travelers who were stranded by a snowstorm that hit the Northeast over Christmas weekend.

Travelers also face fees these days for services that used to be part of the ticket price, such as checking luggage (usually $25 to $35 per bag) and rebooking on a different flight (usually $150 for a domestic flight, more when flying overseas).

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • "My son was just gone": mother of kidnapped baby speaks out about online danger

    "My son was just gone": mother of kidnapped baby speaks out about online danger

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 12:30 AM EST2017-11-21 05:30:18 GMT
    Police say Fern Littlecalf kidnapped a babyPolice say Fern Littlecalf kidnapped a baby

    SPOKANE, Wash.- The mother of a 6-month old baby who was kidnapped as part of an elaborate online scam is speaking out, urging everyone to be careful who they meet on the internet.  Lekeisha Johnson, from Kennewick, says she thought she'd been in a relationship with a man for weeks, but then she found out that her supposed boyfriend never existed in the first place. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash.- The mother of a 6-month old baby who was kidnapped as part of an elaborate online scam is speaking out, urging everyone to be careful who they meet on the internet.  Lekeisha Johnson, from Kennewick, says she thought she'd been in a relationship with a man for weeks, but then she found out that her supposed boyfriend never existed in the first place. 

    >>
  • Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Wednesday, December 21 2016 2:36 PM EST2016-12-21 19:36:25 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>
  • Seattle budget includes money for safe-injection site

    Seattle budget includes money for safe-injection site

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 11:46 AM EST2017-11-21 16:46:49 GMT

    SEATTLE, Wash. - The Seattle City Council has passed a 2018 budget that includes $1.3 million to create what could be the nation's first authorized safe-injection site for drug users. The Seattle Times reports that the $5.6 billion budget approved Monday also increases city spending on programs that address homelessness to $63 million, a nearly 40 percent jump over four years ago. 

    >>

    SEATTLE, Wash. - The Seattle City Council has passed a 2018 budget that includes $1.3 million to create what could be the nation's first authorized safe-injection site for drug users. The Seattle Times reports that the $5.6 billion budget approved Monday also increases city spending on programs that address homelessness to $63 million, a nearly 40 percent jump over four years ago. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/