MINNEAPOLIS -- Just six days after announcing its new lower-priced business fares, Northwest Airlines reduced the markets where it offers the BizFlex pricing.
''We're taking it out of competitors' hubs,'' said Kathy Peach, spokeswoman for the nation's fourth-largest airline. The decision was made in response to ''competitive reaction'' to the new fares, she said Wednesday.
That means the fares -- which are 40 percent cheaper than unrestricted full coach walkup fares and do not require a Saturday night stay -- are not available to business travelers out of Chicago; Denver; Newark, N.J.; Dallas; Atlanta; and other airline hubs unless the traveler is headed to one of Northwest's hubs in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit or Memphis, Tenn.
Travelers between Chicago and Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco, or Washington and Denver, for example, will not be able to obtain BizFlex fares, said consumer advocate Terry Trippler, an airline expert with 1travel.com.
''They were getting killed in some markets because some airlines matched the fares and took away the advance purchase requirement. My contention is, it doesn't matter. Then you match the no advance purchase,'' Trippler said.
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