Issue Overview

Labor’s Day U.S. airlines are thriving, and so are their workers. Is that a problem?

Alaska Airlines

Labor’s Day U.S. airlines are thriving, and so are their workers. Is that a problem?

November 4th, 2013 at 12:29 PM EST
2 min read

Issue Overview

Ten years ago, in the fall of 2003, the U.S. airline industry was in crisis. The fallout from the 9/11 attacks hadn’t fully dissipated. The U.S. economy was just emerging from recession. War in Iraq was sapping demand for international air travel. Fuel prices spiked. The U.S. dollar was depreciating, giving a competitive cost advantage to overseas rivals. Excessive industry fragmentation meant excessive competition. And all major legacy airlines were cutting pay, cutting investment, losing money and fighting for survival.

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