New Mayor Wants to Change Airfares?

I have flown out of Sioux Falls on several occasions. I’m sure a number of my local readers have done so as well. It is a known fact that flying to, oh, Philadelphia or Los Angeles is often much cheaper by way of Minneapolis or Omaha than Sioux Falls. Sometimes the difference in price is enough to offset the fuel and drive time, sometimes it isn’t.

The new mayor of Sioux Falls wants to fix the problem:

Huether says he wants the city to make investments and take action to increase competition and bring down airfares.

Let’s keep this very simple. The first job of the city is to take care of mundane things like roads and public safety. Subsidizing the airlines to reduce perceived costs to the passengers is not one of these mundane things. Yes, I realize that nothing was said about subsidies, but that is often what “investments” and “action” mean in this context.

Airfares come down when there is real competition for real passengers. Sioux Falls will probably never have airfares which compete with the aforementioned nearby cities–simply because it does not have a high enough population to warrant more airlines being able to support more flights, which inevitably brings down the cost of things for everybody.

Here is hoping that this was simply an ill-formed thought on the part of the mayor and not an indication of true desire for an unsustainable policy of using taxpayer funds to attempt overrides of market pricing.

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