All Business, No Class

AMERICAN AIRLINES is proudly touting its plush new coast-to-coast business- class service -- complete with extra-wide seats, free movies, restaurant- quality food and drinks on the house. But watch out when you get there. The supercarrier has been getting hammered in the busy California corridor by scrappy (and consistently profitable) Southwest Airlines. Now American is mulling plans to mimic some of Southwest's cattle-car tactics in order to match its low fares: open seating, no meals, no baggage transfers. Says an American executive: "Value isn't quality; it's getting what you pay for."

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