Airlines: Bargain Season

Air fares over the North Atlantic are so jumbled that Italian airline officials sardonically refer to them as "spaghetti," the Germans call them "sauerkraut" and the Americans say that they are "for the birds." Yet, after three weeks of wrangling in the usually placid Swiss town of Lausanne, representatives of the 22 scheduled lines that fly the Atlantic were unable to agree on new, uniform rates. The result last week was that the Atlantic lines began operating under an anarchy called the "open rate." That means that until they agree on rates they can charge almost any fare that...

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