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Airlines Increase Stand-By Prices

By Deborah B. Johnson

Air fares were raised slightly on October 1 and the youth fare discount percentage was cut.

The 50 per cent student stand-by fare was raised to 60 per cent, and the reserved seat youth fare-formerly two-thirds-was changed to a 20 per cent discount.

In September, the Civil Aeronauties Board changed the formula for determining air fares to a system based on rate per miles travelled, which went into effect October 1. The rate per mile goes down as the number of miles covered rises. Therefore, under the new system, it costs two dollars less than under the previous system to fly from Boston to San Francisco, but five dollars more to fly from Boston to Washington.

All of the youth fare prices have risen, however, because of the cut in student discounts. (See box on page Eight.)

Henry M. Switkay, Special Counsel for the CAB. said recently that the airlines asked for fare changes "because their costs have been increasing and their profits going down." The airlines were granted a fare increase in February, 1969, so the CAB made up the new rate per miles travelled formula instead of raising prices across the board again.

Switkay said that the change in youth fares was not due to pressure from the major bus companies, who earlier had pe-titioned to eliminate youth fares completely.

The CAB decided tentatively in August that the fares were not "unjust or unreasonable," as had been charged earlier, but remanded the case for further hearings before an examiner. This was considered a major victory for the proponents of youth fare.

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