Morning Brief: Cheap Flights To NY

Southwest Airlines is wading into the airfare wars between New York and the Washington area, with an announcement of new one-way flights from Baltimore for as little as $49.

The airline is introducing three daily nonstop flights between LaGuardia and Baltimore-Washington International Marshall airports beginning June 28, according to this story by Sholnn Freeman.

The airline's move follows a recent pricing war on the popular route.

On March 29, JetBlue Airways began offering one-way tickets between New York and Washington for as low as $39. Within days United Airlines, American Airlines and Northwest Airlines matched the deal, which had been scheduled to end Wednesday.

In other news:

Metro staff wirter Lisa Rein reports that the Maryland Public Service Commission has rejected a settlement proposed by Verizon to address thousands of complaints about poor service as not in the public interest -- but told the company what it could do to make amends to customers.

The state's largest phone provider should refund up to $1 million in credits to bills of customers who complained about missed appointments, poor service and lengthy waits for repairs, regulators said in an order. And Verizon should set aside millions of dollars to pay penalties if it fails to meet service targets in the next three years. If residential service improves, the company will be given more flexibility to increase some fees, regulators said. Verizon was ordered to appear before the PSC on May 5 to work out details.

The order stems from the commission's 18-month investigation into Verizon's business practices and service quality. In 2007, some customers said they waited more than four days for service to be restored after requesting a repair.

Elsewhere, a recently released report by the Government Accountability Office found that the Labor Department systematically ignored, improperly tracked or inadequately investigated dozens of cases involving the failure to pay overtime and other pay disputes across the country.

The nine-month investigation by the government's chief audit agency found that the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division mishandled serious cases nearly 20 percent of the time. The cases included failure by employers to pay employees wages they were owed and failure by the Labor Department to seek legal action against recalcitrant employers. Staff writer Chris L. Jenkins documents the mishandling of a local DC case. See the full story here.

Finally, Microstrategy reported last night that Jonathan F. Klein, th company's general counsel and executive vice president for law received a $150,000 bonus for his work in helping the technology firm sell its Alarm.com subsidiary.

By Dan Beyers  |  April 7, 2009; 8:55 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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Hoo-boy! Southwest's entry in these markets are going to make for some GREAT "hidden-city" fares on UA, AA, etc. http://AirFareIQ.com has some great tips and devious tricks for using Southwest's fares against the "competition".

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Posted by: Homeless-in-America | April 7, 2009 4:54 PM

A friend just let me know about a new tool called Optifly. (http://optifly.com) Optifly actually SHOWS you your route options using Google maps or even Google Earth.

Optifly also shows both commercial airlines and low cost carriers. You can even click through to view Expedia prices. This means you can use them together to make sure you get the best prices.

Optifly also shows helpful city information like government information and links to travel guides and lists of all flights and all budget flights out of a single airport. Check out http://optifly.com/fo-LAX-JFK.aspx for an example of Los Angeles to New York. It's a pretty cool tool for finding cheap flights and having some insight on your options. The url is optifly.com

Posted by: PamK82 | April 14, 2009 12:22 PM

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