Good Southwest, bad Southwest!

I’m pleased to bring you a new feature called “The Final Word” in the 6 p.m. time slot. It does exactly what it says: It lets whoever is writing it have the final word of the day. I’ll go first.

No good deed goes unpunished in the advocacy world. So when Andrew Der’s story about Southwest Airlines going the extra mile to help a grieving mother went live this morning, it was interrupted by a chorus of critics, of course.
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It’s time to re-regulate airlines

Merging and antitrust exemptions have brought the airline industry to a crossroads: One path leads to removing barriers to competition and reasonable regulation; the other to cartels with government-sanctioned price fixing, high taxes, debasement of customer service and flight reductions.
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Should airlines be re-regulated?

The days of a freewheeling, lightly regulated airline industry, in which a carrier can charge whatever fees and fares it pleases, may be nearing an end.

A confluence of events is pressuring government regulators to take action that, depending on your point of view, will make air travel less expensive or interfere with a free market, driving ticket prices higher.
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