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Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2000

Alaska Airlines spokesmen say that their ticket-change fee - at $35, one of the very lowest in the industry - isn't changing just yet.

But an industry analyst says it's only a matter of time.

``Never say never'' about a rate hike, said Alaska Airlines spokesman Lou Cancelmi recently. ``Certainly we've reviewed it from time to time.''

``Everybody in this industry is charging a minimum of $75,'' said Tom Parsons, editor of the Texas-based magazine and Web site Bestfares.com. ``They have not budged while the other guys have been creeping up.

``If they change it, you guys got two years' worth of reprieve, I'd say. They haven't tried to give you the shaft as much as the other guys.''

Parsons praised Alaska Airlines for its clean airplanes and smooth operations. But its low rate on changing tickets probably is giving the company no competitive edge, he said.

``I don't know if John Q. Public cares,'' Parsons said. ``I don't know if John Q. Public even knows.''



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