GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 phased out the government's control over fares and service and allowed market forces to determine the price and level of domestic airline service in the United States. The intent was to increase competition and thereby lead to lower fares and improved service.
Since 2001 the U.S. airline industry has lost over $30 billion. Delta, Northwest, United, and US Airways have filed for bankruptcy, the latter two terminating and transferring their pension plans to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The net claim on PBGC from these terminations was $9.