Airlines: Dumping the Discounts

The battle began in 1963, when American Airlines offered half-price seats to servicemen on a standby basis. Ever since, U.S. airlines have been competing for traffic with an ever proliferating and vastly confusing array of cut-rate fares. As a result, more passengers than ever are crowding aboard planes. But the cheap promotional fares are putting such a squeeze on profit margins that last week four major trunk carriers agreed that the time had come to dump some of the discounts.

In separate petitions to the Civil Aeronautics Board, United, TWA, American and...

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