America's airlines are beginning to right themselves, but for passengers, air travel is becoming much worse. The two things are not unrelated, according to Knowledge@Wharton (know ledge.wharton.upenn.edu), the online journal of the Wharton School of Business. Overcapacity was a major reason for the industry's recent troubles, sending several airlines into bankruptcy and causing huge layoffs. Now that airlines have reduced capacity, according to Knowledge@Wharton's unsigned article, "there are not enough seats to go around, particularly when weather or other problems disrupt schedules." For the first five months of this year, the on-time arrival rate of the big airlines was 73.5 percent, the lowest in seven years. Complaints about service were up 49 percent from May 2006. This summer, flights are booked at about 90 percent, a historic high. That means that if a flight is delayed, it is much more difficult for a passenger to get a seat on a later flight. Airlines make a simple calculation, comparing the loss from flying with an empty seat against the risk of bumping passengers.
These young stars are driving business
The most striking aspect of Inc.'s "30 Under 30" ranking of "America's Coolest Young Entrepreneurs" is not the notion of Inc. magazine, or even its Web site, inc.com, setting itself up as the arbiter of cool. It is the refreshing (relative) lack of Web 2.0 companies on the list. To be sure, there are a few Web businesses, like bestparking.com, owned by Benjamin Samm, 19, who helps users track rates of parking garages in New York, Philadelphia and Boston. But there is also Seth Berkowitz, the owner of Insomnia Cookies, which delivers fresh-baked cookies during the wee hours from seven locations. At the top of the list is Ben Kaufman, founder of Mophie, which makes accessories for the iPod.
Here's how a Model T beat a Hummer
A 70-year-old man driving a 1921 Model T beat a 2003 Hummer in a short uphill race in Evansville, Ind. Sure, this was no ordinary Model T: It was souped up, with five times the horsepower of a standard model. Still, most of its parts were original or built in the '20s or '30s. The Model T made it up a 475-foot-high hill in 9.96 seconds. The Hummer's time was 10.74 seconds. "How? Why? Weight has much to do with it," according to Forbes' Emily Lambert (forbes.com). Though it had 316 horsepower compared with the Model T's enhanced 100, the Hummer weighed twice as much per unit of power.