Air Travel Gets A New Model

Going broke fast, the major airlines will have to change the way they operate. Here's what it means for you

You might think, after seeing the barrage of bad news about the major airlines, that the entire industry is going to be stuck on the tarmac by Thanksgiving. But far from all the chatter about bankruptcies and cutbacks, a few enterprising carriers are quietly soaring. Discount pioneer Southwest is readying its first transcontinental flights, from Baltimore, Md., to Los Angeles, starting this fall, while New York City-based upstart JetBlue is adding more flights on the West Coast and in Florida. These and other discount carriers today account for 20% of domestic air travel, up from 10% in 1992.

So why haven't...

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