Airlines Woo High-end Passengers

The luxury trans-Atlantic flier is being treated to even more pampering at the same time the airlines, faced with rising labor and fuel costs and intense price competition, are cutting such things as food and pillows for passengers in the domestic economy...

If you ask Leroy Hobson, who lives in Kensworth 35 miles north of London and travels frequently for his job at Chubb Group of Insurance Cos., the United Kingdom's biggest carrier has nothing to worry about.

He considers himself loyal to British Airways. He needs its flexibility in times and destinations, because he flies often through Europe and to the United States. He prefers Heathrow. And as a frequent flier, he enjoys perks and attention from the airline.

"Saving that amount of money is interesting," he said as he waited at Dulles for a flight to London.

"But I'm a gold card member on British Airways, and they look after me pretty well," he said. "And to be brutally honest, I'm a business traveler and it's not my money. Someone would have to offer me something else really good besides savings."


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