Airlines have tried to combat the rise in fuel costs in a variety of ways, including adding fees, raising fares, and finally cutting back flights. The cutback tactic is now beginning to take its toll on more than 400 airports across the country, with the number of scheduled flights in the U.S. dropping 3 percent in May, for a total of 22,900 fewer flights since this time last year.
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, more than 30 cities including Hagerstown, Maryland; New Haven, Connecticut; Wilmington, Delaware; Boulder City, Nevada; and Havasu City, Arizona have watched as regularly scheduled flights have come to a halt.
The high fuel prices are only part of the problem, as it's predicted that two million fewer people will fly this summer than last year, adding to the airlines eliminating even more flights. This is a vicious cycle, and the decline in service seems far from over, meaning passengers' options will continue to diminish as small cities lose carriers.