13 Ways The U.S. Airline Industry Has Changed Since 9/11

airport check in

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U.S. airlines have a long, complicated history that includes incredible technological advancements, bankruptcies, deregulation and presidential intervention. But the years following the 9/11 attacks proved to be the most tumultuous and formative.It’s coming up on a decade since the day that changed the country forever. Here’s 13 ways the airline industry changed in that time.

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permalink=”airlines-have-lost-a-total-of-55-billion-since-2001-1″
title=”Airlines have lost a total of $55 billion since 2001″
content=”The airline industry was already seeing a decline in yields and fares by early 2001, but it wasn’t until September 11th that the real hurt began.

Since that day, airlines are in the red for $55 billion dollars.”
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permalink=”airlines-have-cut-roughly-160000-jobs-since-2001-2″
title=”Airlines have cut roughly 160,000 jobs since 2001″
content=”To compensate for these huge losses, major airlines have downsized, cutting 160,000 jobs.”
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permalink=”the-industry-itself-contracted-dropping-service-across-the-country-3″
title=”The industry itself contracted, dropping service across the country”
content=”Over the last 10 years, airlines across the country reduced the number of seats on flights by millions and even cut service to certain destinations.

Recently, Delta Air Lines said it would drop service to 24 small to midsized airports, and US Airways decreased flights to and from Las Vegas by 40 per cent.”
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permalink=”security-oversight-was-added-and-practices-reformed-4″
title=”Security oversight was added and practices reformed”
content=”As any traveller can tell you, security became equal parts tougher and more annoying following 9/11. The Transportation Security Administration, now a part of the newly created Department of Homeland Security, took over the role of screening passengers at all U.S. airports.

Some of the rule changes included a banning of knives on flights, no more curbside check-in, and reinforced cockpit doors. TSA took over many major airports from Argenbright Holdings Ltd., which in 2000 pleaded guilty after hiring 1,300 untrained security guards at Philadelphia International. This company was in charge of screening at Washington Dulles and Newark Airports on September 11th.

Security costs today are $7.4 billion annually.”
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title=”Some of the world’s oldest airlines went under”
content=”Mexicana Airlines — which dates back to 1921 and was based partially out of the U.S. — ceased operations in 2010.

Though not based out of the United States, Iraqi Airlines — which was directly affected by American foreign policy — also stopped flying last year. Iraqi Airlines played a pivotal role in the seizure of Kuwaiti aeroplanes in 1990.”
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permalink=”giants-of-the-industry-merged-to-make-super-giants-6″
title=”Giants of the industry merged to make super-giants”
content=”In 2010, two of the country’s biggest airlines in Continental and United Airlines agreed to merge into United Continental Holdings. The transaction was worth $3.2 billion. This new company will begin servicing more than 370 destinations with over 700 aircraft in 2012.

Also of note is the merger of LCCs Southwest Airlines and AirTran, which made Southwest the fourth-largest airline in the U.S.
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title=”Loss of revenue was made up for by tons of extra fees”
content=”What used to be part of the ticket price is now added-on afterwards, making for an increasingly expensive travel experience as the trip progresses.

Last year domestic airlines raised $3.4 billion by charging for checked baggage. For comparison purposes: in 2007, the year before most airlines started charging for checking a bag, the comparable figure was $464.2 million.”
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title=”59 million extra bags were carried on this year”
content=”Instead of paying the extra checked bag fees, more passengers have been taking more and more of their stuff onboard with them. There were an estimated 59 million extra bags being carried onto planes each year.

Most of the added time at security checkpoints and during boarding can be chalked up to these extra carry-ons.”
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permalink=”major-airlines-lost-ground-to-low-cost-carriers-9″
title=”Major airlines lost ground to low cost carriers”
content=”A 2006 report noted that while major carriers had begun to cut down on amenities and battling jet fuel prices, low-cost carriers were stepping their game up. Frequent-flyer programs and business classes were introduced to go along with low prices.

The end result was an big increase in market share. LCCs went from 12.3 per cent of the market in 2001 to 18.1 per cent in 2003. Meanwhile, “The majors’ share of total passenger capacity fell from 78% in 2000 to 69% in 2005.”
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title=”Our flying experience has faltered”
content=”The U.S. Commercial Air Transportation Analysis concluded in 2006 that despite advancements in technology, the overall customer flying experience was going down.

Cuts in food, customer service, capacity, onboard conditions were just some of the reasons given by the report, which came to this conclusion: ‘Virtually all travellers would likely say that travel through the aviation system today is less rewarding and more onerous than it was 5 years ago.'”
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[slide
permalink=”passenger-traffic-and-revenues-dipped-for-two-years-it-would-take-an-even-bigger-hit-during-the-recession-11″
title=”Passenger traffic and revenues dipped for two years. It would take an even bigger hit during the recession”
content=”Passenger traffic the world over fell 2.7 per cent in 2001, and it did not rise to 2000-levels until two years later. Revenue also fell, losing $23 billion until 2003. Both passenger traffic and revenue continued its rise, but it was the recession that caused another drop — passengers fell 2.1 per cent and revenue saw a 14 per cent decline, more than twice as much as experienced after 9/11.”
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permalink=”oil-prices-have-skyrocketed-12″
title=”Oil prices have skyrocketed”
content=”The rising price of crude oil has made a heavy dent in the industry. As oil prices, and thus jet fuel prices, rose, a higher percentage of cost was relegated to buying jet fuel. In 2001, it was 13 per cent of cost — in 2011, it is projected to be 30 per cent.”
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permalink=”there-were-7204-million-people-on-airplanes-last-year-in-the-us-13″
title=”There were 720.4 million people on aeroplanes last year in the U.S.”
content=”That number is slightly higher than the 719.1 million passengers in 2000.

So despite the changes in security, performance, competition and job opportunity, perhaps things are looking up for the U.S. airline industry.”
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[slide
permalink=”maybe-we-should-stick-to-trains-14″
title=”Maybe we should stick to trains”
content=”Click here to see The Best Public Transportation Systems In The World >
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