AVIATION: Pay as You Fly

The new jets cruise at 550 m.p.h., but the queues of passengers at airport ticket counters still creep at the old snail's pace. To bring ticketing up to jet-age standards, Denver's Continental Air Lines last month began selling tickets aloft instead of at airports on its Boeing 707 flights between Chicago and Los Angeles. Continental's competitors at first scoffed that the commuterlike service would produce only confusion, but last week they banked steeply onto Continental's course. The innovation proved so successful in eliminating nagging airport waits (it also helped boost Continental's revenue passenger miles 61% last month) that American...

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