Airport Economy and Health

By NANG KHAI

It wasn’t a brutal winter in New York. Yet, I managed, or rather, found an excuse to fly down to Florida for winter break. It’s hard to complain about the weather down there, and it’s easier to gossip about its conservative political environment with big pockets of liberalism. Of course, Florida has created a huge demand for airline services and airports.

Airports are essential for winter vacation when road trips aren’t as romantic as the summer ones. (Perhaps the winter scene gets a bad rep or is not romanticized much). Of course, being able to sleep on the ride there is a plus. Flights that require multiple transits or stops are often the most affordable option for consumers. They also introduce the concept of a layover, or the act of waiting for an airplane to connect you to the next airport. These sorts of flights are logistically efficient for the airline companies and great for airports because they increase the likelihood of fliers buying something during the long wait. So, here, we have a small economy or a system that benefits a long list of sectors or people.

However, it is all “supply and demand” as my professor used to say. Moreover, it is always the weak ones that get hurt the most. The lack of affordable food, the “closed” economy of the airport, and often, the monopoly of “fancy” overpriced restaurants initiated the demand for fast-food chains. It is the invisible hand that had forced or — to sound polite — encouraged travelers to consume cheap and unhealthy junks of this nation. It is the greed or the excessive and brutal nature of capitalism that had fostered the rise of cheap chains and well-informed consumers to reluctantly stand in line for the dollar menu.

There you go. Another rant from Khai, another vicious cycle of America’s economic system that favors the bourgeoisie and impoverishes the proletariat.

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