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SCOTT JAGOW: It’s another tough day at Europe’s busiest airport. About 70 percent of flights at London’s Heathrow are going out. But the lines are long and some flights to the US are canceled. Here in the states, airport dumpsters are filled with cosmetics, sunscreen and shampoo. People have to throw away their liquids or stuff them into checked luggage before boarding. The new security measures might be necessary, but they’re still inconvenient for travelers. Lisa Napoli looks at the impact on the airlines.
LISA NAPOLI: Trying to predict what’s going to happen in the airline business is just plain guesswork.
So says John Infanger of Airline Business magazine. But he says tightened security measures are likely to have a cascading effect on the airlines’ bottom line.
JOHN INFANGER:“I think this is going to force them to change their schedules, and that’s going to directly affect their profitability.”
Airline consultant Bob Mann wonders what stricter security might do to business travel.
BOB MANN:“That’s likely to result in people thinking twice as to whether that trip’s necessary or if so how they choose to travel.”
If new restrictions on what you can bring on board stick, he says the airline business might make a lot of cash eventually with in-flight concessions. But he says we have our priorities misplaced:
MANN:“Do we really care if anyone has a keychain penknife? We have this fixation on object detection as opposed to terrorist detection.”
In Los Angeles, I’m Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.
JAGOW: The airline stocks really weren’t hit that hard on Wall Street. United and Continental each lost a percent or so. American was unchanged.
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