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Continental Advances in Battle of the Baggage

April 01, 2001|ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ordered United Airlines to stop using baggage-sizing templates at security checkpoints in Dulles International Airport in suburban Virginia.

The ruling was in response to a federal antitrust lawsuit brought by Continental Airlines and its subsidiary, Continental Express. Continental said the templates made it difficult for its customers, who are allowed to bring larger carry-on bags than are United's customers, to get their bags through security at Dulles.

"Our customers should not be penalized because other airlines offer poor service or unfriendly carry-on policies," said David Messing, a Continental spokesman. "These sizers were designed to defeat competition."

United officials made it clear they would appeal the ruling. A spokeswoman said the templates were responsible for a 70% drop in delays caused by cabin-checked baggage that slowed boarding.

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