Passengers React To Airlines' Cutbacks

It's no secret that the nation's major airlines are in deep financial trouble. Just last week, US Air declared bankruptcy. United may do the same by the end of the year, and American cut back on flights and eliminated 7,000 jobs. What are passengers to make of this turmoil?

We asked a few at Gulfport-Biloxi International , including Donna Fulciniti. She is visiting the Coast from Florida. Donna, her husband, and a friend fly here about once a month. Donna says flying is becoming more of a hassle.

"I have noticed over the past few years, few direct flights anymore. You are constantly stopping in hubs to change planes. I don't like that inconvenience," says Fulciniti.

The nation's travelers may see fewer flights and longer layovers if the airlines keep losing big money. American has already cut back on its flights, and others may follow.

The executive director at Gulfport Biloxi points out, in the airline industry, you just never know what tomorrow will bring. According to Bruce Frallic, ''Anytime you have a shakeout in an industry, there is a temporary interruption of some sort, which will perhaps inconvenience somebody."

Frallic says he is relieved to see that none of the major airlines that fly here, have indicated they are in deep financial trouble.

"In our particular case, our carriers have been operating, and will continue to operate. We have no indication there is any situation they are even looking at," said Frallic.

But Frallic knows, as well as anyone, what really matters to the airline is the profit and loss statement at the end of the month.

"No question about it, all the carriers will tell us, 'We have got to continue the profitability of the company.' All of our service right now is profitable," says Frallic. "The question is, is someone else more profitable?"