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The Tribune's Julie Johnson predicts the demise of cheap airfare, and explains the business behind lower prices at Southwest and Virgin. At Salon, the always-wonderful Patrick Smith has been writing about the ongoing drop in the real cost of air travel for awhile now, which has been declining despite rising gas prices; he also points out that crappy economy seating can be better without taking up more room. The airlines at O'Hare would be well-advised to follow the lead of Alaska Airlines' new check-in system, which borrows from Disneyland to reduce wait time.
Update: United is cutting 1,100 jobs.