When crisis strikes, leaders often call for sacrifice. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and in these days before Hurricane Irma churns ashore in Florida, we've seen innumerable Americans volunteer, sacrifice and even risk their lives to help others.
It might be too easy to contrast that generous spirit with the strict practices of major air carriers. But airlines make it pretty much irresistible.
When Florida Gov. Rick Scott advised people who may be in the path of Hurricane Irma to "leave now," it posed a challenge for those who tried to fly out of airports in southern Florida. Many found the price of a single seat to fly, say, just from Miami to New York could cost more than $3,000. For a family of four, that is as much as their annual budget for groceries.
Complaints burst onto social media platforms: A man named Joseph Pep Nodarse tweeted, "Totally unacceptable, a $358 flight from Miami to NYC went up to $3578. Why should expect anything decent from these airlines???" That was followed by an abbreviated expletive in front of "RATS!" in all caps.