Six years ago this month, then Continental Airlines Chairman and CEO Gordon Bethune responded to a reporter's query about rising business fares by pointing out that higher prices weren't discouraging corporate travelers from buying tickets on his airline. Noting that Continental's load factor was up by more than a point on a 4% lift in capacity and a 9% gain in yield during the 2000 third quarter, he could not resist cracking: "Maybe fares aren't high enough." Turns out he was wrong. Fares ...

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