Intrusive new security measures could cost U.S. airlines hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue, experts warn. "A 1% drop in demand would be equal to a revenue hit of more than $1 billion," says airline analyst Vaughn Cordle, who was predicting slim profits for the airlines even before the botched attack on Christmas Day. Still, Cordle and others point out that travel demand typically recovers quickly from such an event, and an economic recovery in 2010 could boost demand still further.

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