The Ever Shrinking Skies

Fewer airlines--not better service, lower prices, or higher profits

As the top two gorillas in the airline industry, American Airlines Inc. and United Airlines Inc. have a long-running rivalry. When American sought government approval a year ago to fly from Chicago to Shanghai, United demanded and won the route instead. When United expanded legroom in the first few rows of coach seats for high-paying passengers, American struck back last year by offering more room throughout the cabin. That's pretty much the way it goes with these two: jab and counter-jab.

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