This committee held its first meeting in late May and is comprised of airline and airport executives, aircraft manufacturers, employee representatives, analysts, academics and one consumer advocate.

The committee acknowledged that flying has turned into three very different experiences, with dissimilar prices, depending on where you are going:

If you live in a small city you are more likely to face higher fares to bigger hubs.  The impact of airlines reducing their number of flights has meant that travelers in smaller markets have fewer options to choose from and more unreliable service, since regional flights, usually flown by smaller planes, are subject to more cancellations and delays when storms interrupt travel.  Regional planes are operated by pilots earning much less than their counterparts at larger airlines which has prompted investigations into regional airlines inconsistent safety standards.
Competition among international airlines is diminishing because of the continued emergence of increasingly powerful global alliances, which allow domestic and foreign airlines to coordinate schedules and prices.  Higher prices are the end result.  Trans Atlantic airline ticket prices increased 46 percent between 2003 and 2008, vs. domestic fares only going up by 15 percent.
Prices for travel between large American cities remain at historic lows, especially if those markets are served by either JetBlue or Southwest.  As these carriers expand to other markets, lower prices will likely follow.

One committee member observed “The key to what the airline industry looks like in four to five years is what the low-cost carriers look like in four to five years.”