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American's Passengers Happy -- For Now

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RALEIGH — Sixty days may well pass in the twinkling ofan eye, but for today, American Airlines' passengers around the world arehappy. Happy there is no strike, that their travel plans can go forward.

It was estimated that a strike would have cost American $30 million aday, and the ensuing ripple effect would have cost the country as a wholefrom $100 million to $200 million per day.

President Clinton's directive was activated 24 minutes into the pilots'walkout.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, passenger Winfield Payne toldWRAL-TV5 News that as a rule he prefers that the government not getinvolved in disputes between labor and management.

Many other passengers, however, were just thankful to be able to get onboard.

But the ban on the pilots' walkout ends in 60 days, and unless issuesof pay and staffing are resolved, passengers and American's employees willgo through all the uncertainty again.

Pilot Scott McKinney said from his point of view, the company has beenletting the issues drag on for two years.

To woo passengers back to their airline, American's management isoffering half price fares on many U.S. and international flights fortickets purchased by March 3.

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