It's amazing that most airlines are perennial money-losers in spite of all their gimmicks to generate more income.
Last week, I looked up a round-trip fare from Orange County to Minneapolis on Southwest Airlines that left the same day. The fare was $301; a completely refundable senior fare was $352. By contrast, Bill Knauer, the 76-year-old traveler Lazarus profiled, paid $443 for his non-refundable ticket to Minneapolis on US Airways. He was charged $150 when he needed to cancel his trip.
I've had to change flights on Southwest. If it's a more expensive flight, I pay the difference in price. If it's less expensive, the difference is refunded to my account. And Southwest is profitable.
I don't own any Southwest stock, but I wish I did.
When Knauer was flying around the country in the 1960s, his coast-to-coast , round-trip, government-regulated ticket cost about $400. That's equivalent to about $3,000 today. And with a bit of planning and thanks to airline deregulation, he can still get across the country and back for that same $400. How's that for value?