walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_$20 per gallon_ foolishness

Locations 1040-53

"Carriers you can expect to survive: Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France - KLM, and Japan's All Nippon Airways....Some countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austrial, Ireland, and Italy, will lose their national carriers altogether as foreign airlines take over the transatlantic business-- Continental, Air France, British Airways, and Lufthansa."

I don't get it. KLM is the Netherlands national. It merged with Air France in 2004 and operates as part of a larger consortium including Continental at this point. So what did the above pair of statements mean? The name KLM will go away? He doesn't realize KLM is the Dutch national?


Locations 1167-74: "But state schools that depend on out-of-state students will be hurt as well, including the University of Vermont, which draws 65% of its students from out of state."

Uh. Gee. Where to start. Calling the University of Vermont a "state school", while technically true, sort of misses a lot of what UVM is. UVM got invited to become an Ivy (which it turned down), and while a lot of its students are from out of state, they are not from out of region. I do not envision a world in which $8/gallon gas has a significant impact on the ability of UVM to attract the kind of students to which it has grown accustomed. His further examples are pretty silly, too. Kids are limited in college selections now because everyone is broke and borrowed too much and is scared to death and retrenching. The idea that someone would decide not to go far afield to college because they couldn't go home 4x a year (or whatever) neglects how common that was not too many years ago. The idea that people wouldn't move across the country because they'd be away from extended family and unable to afford plane fare to visit neglects, you know, like, how on earth is it that this country had so many white people in it before airplanes were invented.

Yes, people are not moving much right now -- but that happened with cheap gas because the housing market froze hard. If it gets expensive for people to fly to Disneyworld, they can still drive. If he's thinking they can't afford the gas to go to Disneyworld, they can if they swap to high enough mpg figured over total passengers so maybe there might be trains and/or buses involved. When I was a kid, Disneyland attracted people from Seattle. In droves. And they didn't fly.

I'm finding this book unbelievably frustrating. I suspect the author is very young. It's reminding me of that article that suggested that if you couldn't fly across the ocean, the next alternative would be Harry Potter style through-the-fireplace wizardry. As if boats had never carried passengers across the pond.

If this is to be believed, people are indeed switching from the bus in the sky to the bus on the ground:



As another $8 effect, our youthful author notes that resort towns will suffer and has an extended discussion of ski towns such as Jackson Hole, and how the resorts there guarantee the airlines who run flights into Vail-Eagle Airport and promise to make up revenue shortfalls if the folk don't show up. "In a world of $8 gasoline, however, guaranteeing those flights will be a risky play, as the airlines will likely demand $800 a seat or more."

A quick trip to google confirms what I suspected: 50% off sales on multi-million dollar homes in Telluride, Vail, etc. in auctions designed to get the totally cratered real estate market. More notably, it confirms something else. Tourism is not and has not been the "No. 1 area industry" (location 1207-15). Real estate was. It didn't take $8/gallon gasoline to wipe out the resort towns (and, I might add, you can get some significant discounts on season passes at all of them this year, more than enough to make up for whatever increase might happen to your plane fare, and I bet the hotel rooms are going begging, too).

Locations 1200-? whine on about how DisneyWorld will close with $8/gallon gas, which is pretty funny. I _know_ people were driving their 12 mpg max SUVs down the coast when gas cost a buckish. There's no reason you couldn't drive a Fit down there when gas cost $8/gallon; the fuel cost of that trip either way is quite minimal compared to the overall cost of the trip.

Don't believe me? From here, it's about 1300 miles. 2600 RT/44mpg (the Fit when R. drives) = about 60 gallons of gas. At $8/gallon, that's under $500. Even in the _cheapest_ flight years, you'd be hard pressed getting 4 airplane tickets from Logan or Manchester to Orlando RT for $500 (altho there were times it could be done).

$8/gallon gas wipes stuff out because people's fuel budget grows and wipes out what they can afford to spend on other things. It wipes out casual dining chains before it wipes out Disneyworld. _We know this_. Because we already saw the effect at $4/gallon gas. I'm utterly mystified at what this guy is picking for what goes away when.
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