It’s been a messy summer for U.S. airlines and their passengers, with half the Big Four carriers suffering technology meltdowns over the past month. July and August are peak season for airlines in terms of passenger loads, making the type of systemwide glitches that befell Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines all the tougher to navigate because almost every flight is full.

The IT woes caused Dallas-based Southwest to scrub more than 2,000 flights from July 20 to 24, and Atlanta-based Delta had just over 1,500 canceled flights as of Tuesday midday, with more possible, along with delays.

In Southwest’s case, the partial failure of a router on July 20 will cost tens of millions of dollars, according to a company executive. Delta has yet to provide an estimate of what its outage will cost, although it’s likely to exceed the damage done to Southwest.

In a client note Tuesday, Buckingham Research Group said the power system failures were “a one-off event beyond management’s control, in our view. Consequently, it’s possible (that) insurance could be involved to foot some or maybe all of the bill,” analyst Dan McKenzie wrote. The firm didn’t adjust its estimates of the airline’s third-quarter results.

So, in the end, despite days of media coverage and proclamations of global calamity, the financial damage to the carriers is likely to be minimal. As for the powerlessness and rage experienced by thousands of stranded passengers, and the vows of “I’ll never fly this airline again,” the reality is they will. Neither airline is likely to suffer a long-term hit to sales or its passenger counts.

“The traveling public has a short collective memory, and unless Delta makes this a habit, the company should emerge unscathed,” said David Primo, an associate professor of business administration at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. Jim Corridore, an analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence, agreed: “We think that, as long as there are no repeat occurrences of the issue, Delta should not see major customer defections or investors adding an extra risk premium to the shares.”

So get it out of your system now. This is why your desire for consumer retribution will be short-lived:

 Airlines own their own hubs.

When suitably dominated by an airline, a modern air hub is a cash cow, a fortress that no interloper dare encroach lest the beast be aroused. Consider Dallas-Fort Worth, a metropolis that American Airlines Group virtually “owns.” In the same vein, if you live in Atlanta, Detroit, Utah, Minnesota, or anywhere near Georgia, you likely belong to Delta. And if you’re aiming to avoid the behemoth airports in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, or Los Angeles, you likely are claimed by Southwest, which focuses on the smaller airports in those cities.

 Consolidation is king.

The U.S. airline industry is effectively an oligopoly with four carriers controlling almost 90 percent of the market. While competition does exist and fares haven’t soared uniformly thanks to ultra low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines, U.S. travelers have fewer airline choices than they did a decade ago. Is switching airlines an option? Not really.

 The technology isn’t a total disaster.

Whatever losses these periodic events cause – and they happen to every airline at some point – it’s not enough to cause a radical, industrywide overhaul of the basic information technology systems. The IT paradigm is set, and it generally works. Any major quibbles concerning airline technology habits generally revolve around redundancy, testing and other safeguards to critical systems.

 Southwest offers two free checked bags.

If you are financially pinched or have children, this is huge. Even when Southwest can obtain the $15 or $25 bag fee others charge as part of their base fare, the walk-up hit of $50 or $100 at the airport counter is a sticker shock for many. So be mad – but, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’ll be back.

Besides, Southwest extended a fare sale after its router flub and allowed customers to rebook plans at the original fare they paid.

“We will emerge from this event stronger and better,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told employees in a July 29 memo. “We aren’t perfect – nobody is and no company is. When things like this happen, we have to own up to it, seek the truth and face the facts. We are doing this, and we won’t stop in our constant pursuit of improvement.”