Sky-High Pain at the Pump: Airlines Lower Fuel Usage at Any Cost

Airline CEOs Plead With Public

Thursday's aviation news comes just after 12 airline CEOS released a joint letter to their customers on Wednesday, pleading with American travelers to write Congress in an effort to prevent oil speculators from trading oil futures that raise the price of fuel.

Peters also blamed Congress for not taking action to increase oil production in the U.S.

"American aviation is struggling with one of the greatest challenges in its history," Peters said. "It is important to recognize we are dealing with a supply and demand equation. There are several options we could pursue -- and should have been pursuing -- to lower the price of fuel by increasing domestic oil production here in the United States."

In the meantime, some say the crisis runs so deep that the carriers' slew of piecemeal changes, like eliminating in-flight movies, won't do nearly enough to resuscitate the airline business.

"To be honest, you could take everything off the airplane," Field said. "You're still talking about uneconomic business models."

ABC News' Randy Gyllenhaal contributed to this report.

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