Airline deregulation has saved travelers big money—$15 billion a year, according to a Brookings Institution estimate. But it has also led to increased service, even to small cities. In part, this is because the hub-and-spoke systems developed after deregulation connect travelers from small and medium-sized communities to hubs, from which they can travel to a wider variety of destinations.
In the new journal Domestic Affairs, transportation economist Elizabeth E. Bailey of Carnegie Mellon University reports that the number of flights has increased dramatically since deregulation. Her figures include 28 large cities, 29 medium-sized cities, 58 small cities, and 382 rural or small communities.