By any measure, it's been an awful couple of years. While the recession—two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, according to economists' definition—may be behind us, its painful effects will linger for years to come.
Perhaps no group has suffered more than the airlines. No group, that is, except their customers.
To an uncommon degree, the fortunes of travelers rise and fall with the fortunes of the airlines that serve them. And the fortunes of the airlines have been dismal indeed.