10/6/2008

Southwest Airlines expects an increase in bookings following the Thanksgiving holiday, when many travelers on other carriers get hit with high fees for the first time. "We don't think the bulk of the traveling public has been hit between the eyes with the new reality," says Dave Ridley, Southwest's senior vice president of marketing and revenue management. "We used to talk about nickel-and-diming," he says. "Now we're talking about some real money." Ridley questions whether the new revenues generated by such fees will cover the revenues lost by passengers defecting to other airlines, like Southwest, that don't charge fees. "The market will determine over time who wins this strategic gambit," he says.

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