The iPad Will Not Make Air Fares Cheaper, Folks

Nathanael Arnold, in a post over at Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

Besides using the iPad as a piloting accessory, the airline is also initiating its use as an informational customer service device for flight attendants. It remains to be seen if the airline will be passing its new iPad fuel savings on to the passengers.

Arnold's post notes that American Airlines will save a nice bundle of cash in the form of fuel savings by using the iPad as an Electronic Flight Bag for its pilots instead of a traditional paper-based flight bag. The above quote is something that I often see in aviation reporting...the implication being that everywhere an airline saves money is an opportunity to pass those savings on to consumers.

Folks, that just isn't realistic. Airlines in the USA are having difficulties in being profitable (and quite often have been losing money). Airfares are, oddly enough, actually very inexpensive compared to fares in the past (adjusted for inflation). Every bit of cost savings that an airline can manage in today's market will be used to maintain the health and well-being of that airline, not used to save Joe Traveler a couple of bucks on airfare.