Free Minds & Free Markets

If You Can Afford a Plane Ticket, Thank Deregulation: New at Reason

Forty years after the Civil Aeronautics Board was abolished, look how far we've come.

CSA-Printstock/iStockCSA-Printstock/iStockIn the '50s and '60s, when I was growing up, air travel was a luxury. People dressed up as if going to church. There were lots of empty seats, so on night flights you could often get a row of three together and sprawl out. There was ample legroom, and full meals were served in coach.

My family and I were able to take vacations by plane only because my dad worked for an airline, and we flew on company passes when space was available. Since planes were typically only half full, we nearly always got seats on our chosen flights. But we were some of the lucky few.

Flying was a luxury because it was expensive, and it was expensive largely because of detailed federal economic regulations governing how air carriers could operate and, importantly, what they could charge, writes Bob Poole in the latest issue of Reason.

Photo Credit: CSA-Printstock/iStock


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