Better Airport Services in the Bag with Privatization

Published July 9, 2008

According to Boston Globe writer Nicole C. Wong (“Fewer Flights, Fewer Delays,” July 8, 2008), higher airfares and fees from checked luggage have resulted in fewer flights, reduced flight delays, and decreased the number of mishandled and lost bags.

Cynics, however, say new baggage fees may hamper timely take-offs as cost-conscious fliers block the aisles while attempting to cram over-stuffed carry-on bags into overhead bins. Rather than considering the success that Europe has achieved through airport privatization with selective “congestion pricing” to address congestion during peak hours, Boston’s Logan International Airport is continuing to operate under the old paradigm.

But today, airlines are more risk-averse and more cost-conscious than ever. A privatization model that provides stable, predictable landing fees and space rental rates for legacy and low-cost carriers, and increases congestion pricing to control overcrowding delays and high incidences of lost and mishandled bags, would better serve American citizens and tourists alike.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is local legislation manager at The Heartland Institute.