TRAVEL: Austerity in the Air

This week begins what may be the 1970s' last extravaganza of American air travel: a record 8,000,000 vacationers taking off on 12,800 flights a day to spend the holidays with family and friends or at sun-warmed resorts. By Jan. 7, the splurge will end, and so will a 28-year era of soaring expansion for U.S. airlines. That day, new federal fuel allocations will start forcing flight cancellations and crew layoffs on a vastly greater scale than anything the industry has ever before experienced. Airline stockholders, oddly, could benefit by the profits of forced efficiency, but almost everyone else will...

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