- The government controls the Air Traffic Control System so planes are not free to take off or land when they wish.
- The airlines and FAA have conspired to limit competition and innovation. For example, if a new airline wanted to allow its passengers to carry on a third piece of luggage it is forbidden to do so.
- The government created a shortage of take-off and landing slots at the U.S.'s largest airports and it is very difficult for new entrants to get landing and takeoff rights.
These are just a few of the examples I can cite.
So, if a free market environment doesn't exist, some regulation along the lines of what I outline below seems called for.
My friend who was stuck at Reagan Airport yesterday (see below) asked me to send him the links to my series on this subject. I did, but I'm also posting them below in case you missed them the first time around.
There is one thing I would like to add since writing the series more than two years ago: The TSA is worse now. Not only are there more "nude machines," the workforce has gone from sullen to -- in too many cases -- actively hostile and misinformed. For example, I carry a very small computer. The TSA rules say it does not have to be taken out of its carrying case.
"Electronic items smaller than the standard sized laptop should not need to be removed from your bag or their cases. It’s that simple."
Now, I don't for one moment disagree with or challenge the TSA's authority to ask me to take the computer out of the bag and sometimes they do. I'm happy to do it and willingly comply. But, about half the time, I get "the lecture." That all computers have to come out of the bag. No, they don't. The TSA workforce, at a shockingly high rate, does not know its own rules.
If the TSA was actually trying to stop hijackings rather than choreographing "security theatre," this guy would not have been able to steal an airliner in Utah on Tuesday. This blog has reported numerous times about the unguarded aircraft and tarmac access points. If I know it and if this pilot knows it, don't you think the bad guys know it?!
Addition: To further prove my point about the TSA, here is a story from yesterday of another one of their outrages.
So, even though the government is bad at most (not all) of the things it does, the current system is worse. It is time to consider re-regulating the airlines.