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Southwest Airlines fights no-frills image

17 March 2007

After decades of being known by air travelers for serving peanuts and little else, has Southwest Airlines Co. become the frills carrier?

The Dallas-based discounter hasn’t added amenities. But legacy carriers are taking freebies away, cutting costs by eliminating pillows, selling snacks and even experimenting with charging for soft drinks.

Southwest has started to poke fun at its traditional rivals in national television ads. In one spot, a customer is asked to insert coins to use an overhead bin, open a window shade and even recline his seat. In another, a flight attendant ticks off a list of charges for such basics as visiting the restroom and pushing the call button.


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