As with most things, you can blame Wall Street for this one. At least, as far as the (internationally notoriously terrible) US-based airlines go.1

Incidentally, conventional Business School Wisdom is that airlines are both inherently unprofitable Because Reasons and perfect to leech money out of because they’ll always be propped up by governments (countries “have” to be seen to have at least one airline as some kind of… weird international status thing, I dunno).

  1. Seriously. If you’ve either never flown on a US airline or never not flown on a US airline you very likely don’t realize just how awful they are. Like, economy air travel is never great, but basically everything in the US–from the stupid boarding system to the way no-one will just check their freakin’ luggage ohmigod–is designed as a special torture to remind you, I guess, what a peasant you are for not flying chartered. Like, even First class travel in the US sucks. []