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Hot Topic Lesson: The US Airline Industry…Fight or Flight!?


By Greg Caskey,  January 2018

“It’s time to level the flying field. Spread the word to help enforce Open Skies trade agreements and protect the future of US aviation and American Jobs.” #OurFutureOurFight 

Have you ever been in a situation in which you complained that a good or service has been offered too cheaply? Yes, too cheaply?  Indeed, the question is difficult to understand.  After all, one of the hallmark pillars of a market economy is business competition.  That is, businesses should be able to freely compete with one another through a process of entrepreneurial discovery to see who can best serve the consumer with quality goods and services at a low price.  While this complaint may not be something you’d hear from a consumer, it is certainly an accusation levied by competitors.  In a word, welcome to the airline industry!


  • Opportunity Cost
  • Incentives
  • Institutions
  • Concentrated Benefits & Diffuse Costs
  • Subsidies


Download The US Airline Industry…Fight or Flight!?  classroom materials.

  • Essay (Student Reading)
  • Student Handout
  • Teacher Guide