Southwest Airlines next year will list its flights on Worldspan as part of an effort to attract more business travelers. The airline has also increased its corporate sales force by 10 people since August. "We're going to go after the business traveler in a big way, and it will be obvious to all," CEO Gary Kelly said recently.
A few airports are testing a new screening device that allows travelers to keep their laptops and liquids and gels in their carry-on bags as they pass through security. The new machines cost about $350,000 each and produce sharp images of what is inside a bag.
Average air fares declined 4.5% in the second quarter, compared with the same period in 2006, according to DOT data. The report also showed that fares out of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport were the highest in the U.S.
Some airline executives are acknowledging that consolidation could help strengthen the industry if done properly. Airlines are the strongest they have been since before Sept. 11, 2001, but observers note that soaring oil prices will eventually affect profits and a new open-skies agreement will create more competition in the trans-Atlantic market.