air travel as an expensive luxury
That's an interesting and tempting thought. How do we manage the mechanics of it? Left alone, the airline industry will recover over time and grow again to the size it was last year, and bigger.
That implies some form of intervention. Traditionally, governments use taxation as a mechanism to reduce anti-social and unwelcome behaviour - taxes on booze, fags and fuel f'rinstance.
So how can we tax air-travel? Should there be some sort of tax-allowance so that we can all have one short-haul flight a year? Some sort of reverse air-miles system? 2000 miles free per year, after that there's an extra 10p/mile tax? 25p/mile in First/Business class?
Or would it be better to tax the aircraft rather than the passenger?