By Andy Serwer, managing editor
FORTUNE -- Washington has finally lost its collective mind. I'm not talking about the defeated gun bill (which 90% of Americans supported) or any other spineless behavior. I'm talking about our elected officials actively making our country worse by crippling our already incredibly fraught commercial aviation system.
In case you haven't been to the airport lately, Congress and the President have allowed sequestration to cut funding for air traffic controllers and security, which is beginning to cause massive delays in security and flights. Already flights are backed up two to three hours at major airports. Unless something is done pronto, this will get worse -- much worse as we head into the busy summer season. Can you imagine what a Friday night with thunderstorms at O'Hare will be like this July?!?
Commercial aviation should never be subject to sequestration. It is an outrage that air travel wasn't carved out of harm's way. And by the way, don't believe for a second that Obama and Congress were powerless to avoid this. Of course they could have. (On the other hand, maybe it's not a priority for them: You have to wonder how many of these folks fly commercial and/or wait in regular TSA screening lines.)
Yes, I fly a lot so this hits me hard, but guess what? I'm not alone. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that 815.3 million passengers traveled on U.S. airlines and on foreign airlines serving the United States in 2012.
Speaking of foreign passengers, it's a widely known fact that our security procedures and airports are incredibly difficult for visitors from overseas. When the word gets out that our system is worsening, I'm sure we'll see a drop in tourism. Just what our economy needs, right?
By not passing the background check for guns, Congress left a bad situation untouched. By allowing funding cuts to hit our aviation system, Washington is actively making our economy and our country worse. Maybe our elected officials should be required to take some sort of Hippocratic oath, "Primum non nocere." (First do no harm.) Bet they'd want to get some polling numbers on that first.
US Airways CEO Doug Parker and the workers of both US Airways and American Airlines will be cheering this merger.
By Cyrus Sanati
FORTUNE -- The proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways is not all doom and gloom for everyone -- it is all about timing. At first the new airline will seem to be on track, but the honeymoon will quickly fade away as the combined company's chief MOREFeb 14, 2013 11:57 AM ET
Passengers should prepare for headaches from the American-US Airways matchup. And the short-term boost for employees will almost certainly be erased later.
By Cyrus Sanati
FORTUNE -- The merging of American Airlines with its smaller rival, US Airways, will produce a number of winners and losers, with the scales, unfortunately tipped squarely in favor of the losers. While Wall Street might cheer the deal, it's hard to see how the two MOREFeb 14, 2013 11:57 AM ET
Airlines and private equity firms are exploring a deal with American Airlines, but its best option is to emerge from bankruptcy as an independent airline with a stronger balance sheet.
By Cyrus Sanati, contributor
FORTUNE -- The sharks have started to circle American Airlines, but don't expect anything to come of it -- at least in the near term. A tie up involving American with either Delta Air Lines or US Airways MOREJan 17, 2012 12:00 PM ET
We may look back 10 years from now and realize that we had the best health care system today.
FORTUNE -- Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in elementary school, my first writing assignment of the new school year would invariably be, "My Summer Vacation."
So now, with the school year starting again, I'd like to uphold that tradition, and share three things I picked up MOREAllan Sloan, senior editor-at-large - Sep 14, 2011 5:00 AM ET
It's hard to defend all the fees that airlines charge, but it sure is easy to get mad at all the taxes the government tacks on.
By Becky Quick, contributor
Which item do you think has the most federal taxes and fees attached to it: (1) a can of Budweiser, (2) a carton of Marlboro Reds, (3) a Smith & Wesson Centennial revolver, or (4) a roundtrip airline ticket from Chicago to MOREFeb 21, 2011 5:00 AM ET
We're dining out again and buying airlines tickets. But is it a comeback?
For decades, the consumer has been the engine driving growth in this country. Since the economic downturn started in 2007, consumers have watched as their most prized assets – investments and homes – erased much of their value. They have felt poorer, so they've saved more and spent less as they paid off debt following years of too MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Jan 14, 2011 11:48 AM ET
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