Monday, November 25, 2013

Build And They Will Not Come

A Star story about the problem with fewer flights and drastically higher fares for flights at Indianapolis' International Airport tries its best to sugar coat a serious problem facing the city's airport. The reality is that the three-pronged public investments in a new airport terminal, expanded convention center and new football stadium have proven not to be the panacea touted by their proponents. The new airport terminal has never seen the level of flights experienced at the old airport terminal. The story blames fewer flights at the new terminal on the loss of local airline ATA after it went bankrupt, failing to point out that much higher fees on the airlines to pay for the new airport terminal's $1.1 billion cost coincided with ATA's demise.

A USA Today study found that Indianapolis' airport has lost one-third of its passenger flights since 2005, while airfares have risen 23% in inflation-adjusted dollars. It's not just the loss of ATA that has contributed to fewer flights. Northwest cut back the mini hub it had been growing at Indianapolis' airport after its merger with Delta in 2009. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation had to take the drastic step of providing an annual guarantee of $1.5 million just to coax United Airlines into adding one non-stop daily flight to San Francisco. "City officials now hope that United’s competitors don’t respond by offering cut-rate fares on competing one-stop flights to San Francisco, undercutting the gamble that the IEDC has taken with public money," the Star report says. Yeah, competition that yields lower airfares is the last thing we want, eh?

A spokesman for Visit Indy says it is trying to lure more visitors to the city by convincing them that hotels, restaurants and taxi fares are cheaper in Indianapolis than other cities. “It’s a new message we have been able to deliver to key meeting planners,” Gahl said. More than a few would quarrel with Gahl's claim, particularly due to the fact that the city's taxes on hotel, restaurants and car rentals have been increased to among the highest levels in the country to help pay for all of these added amenities the folks at Visit Indy assured us would attract more visitors if we built.


Anonymous said...

Only idiots, cowards and freedom-haters fly.

No freedom-loving American will allow himself to go to an airport, permit a thug and fool order him to remove his shoes and belt, have his DNA forever altered by a millimeter wave porno scanner, be subjected to rape if the cancer scanner is unelected, subject oneself to being federally arrested if he complains in the slightest about airline service, and have to kowtow to dumb stewardesses as if they are military police.

No, anyone with a sense of pride and even a bit of backbone doesn't fly. Flying is a horrible experience designed to crush the independent spirit of anyone who uses it. Nobody who returns from flying can still say he is a free man who doesn't take orders from others and immediately cower like a whelp upon government order.

Why is the federal government paying for passenger screening for the benefit of private airlines, anyway?

Just why do people who live here like this country? Upon what honest deliberation does anyone take pride in this country? Does anyone honestly see freedom when he looks at that flag?

Couldn't we all do better, live freer lives and be much happier under a new system?

Here's the big problem, Gary: as people withdraw from flying, the government is still going to want to keep tabs on travel, so I wouldn't be at all surprised to see government become more involved in controlling personal highway travel.

guy77money said...

Indy is a good family destination with the children's museum, the 500 and the other museums along with the under promoted downtown library. That's about it for coming to see Indy. So good luck having people come for Convention's (I would go to Chicago, Cincinnati or St Louis) before I would pick Indy.
Actually StLouis would be my first destination for a family vacation. They have the City Museum (I can't describe the place just take your kids and go!), the science museum, Grant Farm, the free zoo and the bontanical gardens. Oh did I forget six flags and the Cardinals!

guy77money said...

I forget St Louis has great food (Italian is my favorite) and musical and plays and architecture. Geez how did I forget about the ARCH! ;) The Muni still has free seats (ok they are way in the back but they are free) and the City zoo is free. Oh did I forget the river and Laclede’s Landing. Oh heck Indy can't hold a candle to St Louis!

Flogger said...

I suppose some might want to take a vacation here, but if I have the money I would prefer SoCaL, NoCal, Hawaii or Florida to relax. If want to visit museums I would go to DC's Smithsonian's.

The Local Elite want to justify their poor decision making skills by touting a New Airport and a normally empty Stadiums.

Actually, the Elite's poor decision making skills only effect the tax payers. Their real goal is pile money into the pockets of the connected.

Septly said...

I suppose if Anonymous needs to travel from Indianapolis to LA for work in less than a day (or two for that matter) he teleports? Neat trick, he should be on Star Trek.

Count me as a proud "freedom hater" who hasn't mastered the art of teleportation.