I had planned to go to Maine the first week of November to help a friend for a week or so who is donating a kidney to his brother. I figured I could cut some firewood, watch his dogs and keep an eye on his place while he's recuperating. I tried to book a flight on the American Airlines web site on Tuesday, Oct. 16. I kept getting "booted" from the site and couldn't book the flights. On Tuesday the price was $439.20 round trip from St. Thomas to Bangor, Me.
I went back to the site on Wednesday to try to book, and, true to form, American had jacked the price of the ticket to $858 — nearly doubled!
We are getting raped by these thieves — even after they've managed to con the U.S. government out of $15 billion in corporate welfare. First they take it from our tax dollars, then they turn around and want more and more from our pockets. There are no alternatives. Does anyone really believe that the billions in corporate welfare won't go to executive bonuses at this year's end? Does anyone believe that the airlines aren't illegally price fixing?
They've been trying to put small business travel agencies under for years — agencies that paid the taxes that bailed the airlines out — and they've succeeded. I think re-regulation is in order. They managed to lobby and buy their way out of regulation years ago. We are captives to an uncaring, greedy system of airlines in the Caribbean. I believe that some form of deep discount for round trips originating here in the Virgin Islands, due to the "captive consumer" nature of our existence, would only be fair.
American's never been known for being fair, though. If you compare our airfare for St. Thomas to San Juan, what we pay on a mileage basis just to fly the 60-some miles to San Juan and back would translate to roughly $5,000 for a round-trip Boston-Miami ticket. I understand the economies of scale, but they are stealing from us. It's time to take a stand against these animals. Boycott American. Fly Pan Am right now and save over $200 to the Northeast. (See www.flypanam.com.)
Take any other airline to San Juan. Fly any carrier that will offer any kind of discount against American.
Problem is, we're prisoners of American Airlines. They know boycotts won't work. We have no alternatives. Delegate Donna Christian Christensen could and should be screaming bloody murder in Washington. Problem there is, she doesn't pay for her tickets; we do.
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