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Photographer's Note

Recent gasoline prices in the US has impacted the airline industry a lot. As of June 2008, the price of one US gallon of Gasoline costs about USD 4.00. 11 years ago when I stepped in to this country, the price was 88 cents. gas price is affecting every walks of life and changes the lifestyle of many in this country. tabloids and magazines are giving out tips to save on gas consumption. there is a 4 month wait to buy or lease hybrid vehicles. the reason I'm pointing out is having raised in India, the ideas given in the magazines are pretty much followed on a day to day basis and it still continues in India.

In the US, the airline industry is the hardest hit sector because of the raising oil price. for past several years, they have been down sizing yet, for the sake of customer conveniences, they continue to serve the way they are serving and thats been huring them quite hard. Inspite of emerging from bankruptcy, many of the airline company still struggles to show commanding profits. they tried all options of flying light with less fuel, to cutting the little perks they offer on board to reducing work force. nothing seems to helping them in big way. Southwest Airlines is the only one seems immune to the ballooning crude oil price.

On the other hand, some argue that the price of gasoline in the US is lot cheaper compared to what some of the countries are paying. I think one of the european country is paying about 12 dollars per gallon of gasoline. since I know the price in India and the US, let me show a little math.

11 years ago, the price of 1 litre in India is about 40 rupees. Given the then conversion rate of 37 rupees per one US dollar, India paid more than 1 USD per litre.

On the contrast, the US paid only 88 cents per US gallon. US Gallon is approximately 3.5 litres. which means the price of gasoline in the US is about 1/3 of what people in India paid.

Fast forward to today, I recently returned from India and I paid 54 rupees per litre, which comes to approximately 1.25 USD per litre, where as the US Gallon is costing about 4.05 USD today in Michigan. With this calculation I guess the price of gasoline in the US has levelled the price I paid in India.

So, the claim made by some of the experts seems to be true. US paid less in past years for gasoline.

For argument's sake if the price of gasoline is so cheap in the US and the commodity prices were equal or higher than the world market, then where did all the money go? The price I paid for an airplane ticket 2 or 3 years ago is not the real price then! May be that equated to the free pretzels on board?

I think, the price of gasoline few years ago changed the attitude of people of United states about the usage of this fuel. Even today, I see many cars been driven with only driver in it. had the price been kept like today over past years, we would have spent the fuel more efficiently and mass transit would have picked up matching the personal transport in the US. Places like Michigan lacks public transport and its is hard to look for an alternate travel when you want to make a difference. I can always car pool with my neighbours. Like I said earlier, the commuting habit has been injected into our blood because of the deflated price that now we struggle to cope with the reality.

Picture is taken in Northwest World Gateway (Ed McNamara terminal) in Michigan while I was waiting to board that plane.
It was a rainly day and I used my phone camera to intentionally blur the background.

Cheers
Rajesh

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Additional Photos by Rajesh Srinivasan (rajhema) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 634 W: 39 N: 287] (1871)
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