Date

6-2010

Degree Name

BS in Journalism

Department

Journalism Department

Advisor(s)

Douglas Swanson

Abstract

Traveling within the United States is extremely costly. Low-cost airlines such as Southwest Airlines do exist but they do not provide the prices and efficiency that Ryanair, a United Kingdom based airline, does. Traveling throughout Europe is cheap and easy, jet setting to an Italian villa, when one lives in the middle of London would be considered completely normal. The United States is an enormous country, and unfortunately airline companies and airports do not provide easy, cheap methods of flying around the country. As a student or middle-class citizen, travel throughout the United States should be accessible and viable. If airline companies could lower their prices, or create competition amongst low-cost carriers, U.S. citizens would be able to travel more frequently.

Traveling is essential to the prosperity, well-being, and overall knowledge of any individual. In addition, it would eliminate the stigma that comes with being an American, of being unworldly and uneducated. According to the World Economic Forum’s (W.E.F.) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, “{Travel} also has significant social and cultural benefits because of its potential to promote understanding and international relationships. These socioeconomic dimensions make tourism a vital component of globalization.” According to the Social Identity Theory, “a person has not one ‘personal self,” but rather several selves that correspond to widening circles of group membership. Different social contexts may trigger an individual to think, feel, and act on basis of his personal, family, or national ‘level of self.’” Which means that different people are directly affected by their surroundings whether it is people or places. It is extremely important to travel and explore different surroundings in order to improve oneself.

Travel boosts the economy and creates awareness, “As the global economy enters deeper into a climate of uncertainty in 2009 with reduced investment and declining consumer spending, coupled with an increasing focus on fiscal policy to stimulate economic activity, it becomes more important than ever for countries to sustain and maximize the benefits of tourism,” according to W.E.F. Companies such as Ryanair and EasyJet, who have created airlines that follow the Southwest Airlines Low Cost Leadership model, have made travel within the United Kingdom easy and user-friendly. Through eliminating “free” services such as snacks and drinks, minimizing baggage allowances, removing seat assignments, allowing for quick flight turnarounds, choosing airports with lower terminal fees, advertising within the airplane, and using one standard jet for all flights, airlines can lower their costs and increase travel within the United States.