Southwest: The Street's Love Fades

Its earnings and stock are down while those of Continental and AMR are way up. Has the majors' reorganization erased the low-cost carrier's edge?

Passengers were queued in three long rows to board the 5:05 p.m. Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight from Las Vegas to Burbank, Calif., on a recent Sunday as a gate agent tried to coax seven people into relinquishing their seats on the overbooked flight. He was offering an overnight hotel room, a flight in the morning, and $300 additional credit toward a future Southwest flight. "Come on, folks," the agent pleaded. "Somebody must want to leave Las Vegas with some money."

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