Southwest Attracts Business Travelers

DALLAS - Southwest got more aggressive Aug. 22 in efforts to attract business travelers, lowering its maximum one-way fare to $299. It had been $399.
Of Southwest`s approximately 1,360 city-pairs, about 480 had previously published fares between $300 and $399, JP Morgan aviation analysts said.

In the headline for its press release, Southwest called the move “a stand against high business fares.” Then, in the release, it made a business traveler pitch. “We serve 58 U.S. cities—centers for big business and small—and we`re saying that if you pay more than $300 each way, you`re paying too much,” Southwest said.

The major network carriers aren`t going to take it lying down: by 5 p.m. Aug. 22, American, United, Delta, Continental, Northwest and America West had matched in markets where they compete with Southwest, Travelocity`s fare watcher said.