David Grossman asks whether the internet is killing the airlines. Consumers shopping online are able to see all of their options — pushing down the prices they pay for travel.
The real enemy of the airlines here is information and better informed consumers. Competition and technology drives that. Airlines have a love-hate relationship with technology. They embrace it for lowering their ticket distribution costs by circumventing travel agents, but they kvetch about it for creating savvier consumers.
Any business that relies on the ignorance of it’s customers will only sustain profitability over a limited period of time. That ignorance is bound to end. The internet isn’t at fault for this. The airlines come off sounding way too much like Bill O’Reilly.