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Southwest Airlines Community

Winging It: Airlines react to global pressures

Frequent Flyer A

By Tom Belden

Southwest Airlines chairman Gary Kelly tried to flatter me last week during the company's quarterly conference call with analysts and the media by saying it was my idea for the carrier to start nonstop flights between Philadelphia and Boston.

I'm happy to take credit for such a logical and lucrative extension of the airline's route network.

But Kelly was joking (I hope) because the credit really goes to you, the customer, for pleading with Southwest for relief from the high fares that other airlines were charging on the Philadelphia-Boston route. All I did was hound Southwest officials for nearly a year, asking when it would enter a market we all knew it would someday.

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