WASHINGTON — A government watchdog confirms what airline passengers are finding when they try to book a flight: Service to communities of all sizes is declining, but especially to small and medium airports.
The Government Accountability Office told Congress that there are fewer flights and fewer seats available at airports of all sizes than there were seven years ago. Smaller destinations were particularly affected, with flights down as much as 24 percent since 2007. Flights have declined 9 percent and seats 7 percent at large hub airports.
Only government-subsidized air service to rural communities has been increasing, and that’s largely a reflection of congressional efforts to prevent some small airports from losing commercial service entirely.
Mergers and high fuel prices are part of the reason.