Sunday, February 23, 2014

Deregulation then, deregulation now

There was not much notice of a little tweet last week that indeed PeopleXpress is (finally) hiring pilots.

Remember Peoplexpress? It was considered a baby of deregulation that was a fad in the airline industry early in the 1980s before being absorbed by 1986. New competition bred innovation for sure; Peoplexpress was the first airline to introduce a fee for baggage, charges for in-flight sodas and reportedly 200% overbooking. But if traveling stag, you were not thirsty and had a lot of flexibility the fares could be quite cheap. The airline also used general admission boarding and on-flight payments. I think that business model has long since been superseded by both history and tomes of TSA regulations. So the airline is long gone, but the baggage fees have remained.

But the name at least lives on and Pittsburgh has been part of the talk about the new airline since its rebirth. Indeed there has been talk of incentives to lure PeopleExpress here to Pittsburgh.  Flights were expected to begin almost two years ago, but have been  perpetually delayed. Even was once talk of making Pittsburgh a 'focus city' of the new airline, though I would suggest different marketing of that after our history with USAirways, or whatever it is called now. But now they may have pilots, so who knows what is next? Planes maybe even.

update:  ok, ok.  Though news coverage on this point is inconsistent, it appears the airline has acquired a few planes it is currently operating as charters. 


Blogger GSOLTSO said...

That sounds like a positive development! There are some smaller carriers still operating with the same basic principals. Allegiant flies out of my home airport GSO, and they have popcorn seating with some assigned seating as an additional charge, baggage fees bsed on what you have with you and some smaller fees on the actual plane for the longer flight legs. It is still a viable business model, but there doesn't seem to be any takers on expanding it to medium sized metro areas large scale.

Sunday, February 23, 2014 11:02:00 AM  

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