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Why does flying have to suck?

A United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane passes a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 while taking off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as seen from El Segundo, California, on September 11, 2023. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
A United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane passes a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 while taking off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as seen from El Segundo, California, on September 11, 2023. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Complaints against U.S. airlines hit a record high in 2022. And it’s not getting any better. Consumer complaints nearlydoubledin the first three months of this year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

With only four major airlines in the U.S., there’s little choice for consumers in the market. And with air travel expected to reach a record high this holiday season, many will be subjected to the worst of travel: long lines, high prices, and of course, awful airplane food.

But why does our time in flight have to be riddled with anguish? And what can be done to make the skies friendly again?

For that, we’re turning toGanesh Sitaraman, a professor at Vanderbilt University Law School and director of the Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator. He’s also out with the new book, “Why Flying is Miserable: And How to Fix It.”

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

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Michelle Harven
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