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Fliers May See Savings From 'Southwest Effect'

Travel agent Diane Miller knows some Hampton Roads residents who will drive the four hours to Baltimore/Washington International Airport just to take advantage of cheaper flights there.

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Nike Lebron Soldier X Ebay

Starting in October, those travelers might save themselves the drive. Dallas based Southwest Airlines announced Thursday that it would begin service from Norfolk, bringing its revered "Southwest effect" with it.

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The "Southwest effect" refers to the tendency of other major airlines to drop their prices once that discount carrier comes into an area. Southwest officials say they target markets where travelers grapple with higher fares. The airline keeps costs down with tight staffing, quick turnaround time at the gate and seating on a first come, first served basis instead of seat assignments.

"If they are very, very cost conscious they will do that not only to take Southwest but all the other airlines that have matched their price," she said.

Local travel agents acknowledge Southwest's influence on prices. But they won't Nike Lebron Soldier X Ebay necessarily book more passengers on Southwest, particularly if other airlines offer similar prices.

inclusion in the computer systems, the agents said.

At Albany International Airport in upstate New York, where Southwest began service in May 2000, passengers could see the difference in prices within a day of the discount airline announcing its first nonstop flights there. The three Southwest direct destinations from Albany to Baltimore, Orlando and Las Vegas gave Southwest travelers access to 30 more cities on connecting flights.

which has no Southwest service to Chicago started at $287. The current price to Chicago from Norfolk International is $440. Airways from Raleigh to Baltimore was $92 round trip. For passengers from Charlotte, the fare to Baltimore ran $268 on the same airline. A US Airways trip from Norfolk to Baltimore costs $238.

Southwest Airlines, which serves BWI, has made the price differences between Baltimore and Norfolk International Airport drastic, particularly for people traveling to the West Coast, said Miller, who owns Uniglobe Travel World in Hampton.

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Nike Lebron Soldier X Ebay

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In early 2000, American Airlines charged $602 to fly from Albany to Las Vegas.

May 26, 2001By CAROLYN SHAPIRO Daily Press

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Southwest doesn't include its flight data in the standard computer ticketing systems used by most travel agencies, according to Miller and Connie Capurro West, an agent for Warwick Travel Service in Newport News. Airlines have to pay a fee for Nike Lebron 14 Images

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A trip from Raleigh Durham International Airport to Chicago cost as low as $160. Nike Zoom Air Pegasus

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Hampton Roads consumers won't learn until July which destinations Southwest plans to serve nonstop from Norfolk. But Southwest's initial direct flight lists at other East Coast cities offer some clues to the places Norfolk passengers might see. Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 32 Flash

Airline Could Induce Others To Trim Fares

Its average airfare was 10.8 cents per mile, according to the report, down from 19.1 cents a year earlier before Southwest arrived.

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