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Travelers Mostly Unfazed by Bankruptcy Filing

Most travelers taking US Airways seemed confident Sunday that the carrier's bankruptcy filing wouldn't affect their travel plans.

Check-in lines at the US Airways counter at Pittsburgh International Airport were steady -- not a surprise as the airline announced it would continue operations uninterrupted and hoped to emerge from bankruptcy by 2003.

But even if that doesn't happen, travelers didn't seem concerned.

"My feeling is, if they go under, another airline will pick up the slack," said Fran Mossberg, 52, who frequently flies a U.S. Airways between her home in Providence, R.I., and Pittsburgh.

Like Mossberg, most travelers said they didn't think the bankruptcy would have an impact on them personally, and weren't surprised by the news in light of the Sept. 11 attacks and the economic slowdown that followed.

Although US Airways didn't lose any planes Sept. 11, its business was severely hurt when Reagan National Airport, the airline's main hub, was shut down for three weeks and reopened with only a limited schedule.

"Clearly, US Airways was impacted more than any other carrier after Sept. 11," said Chris Chiames, US Airways' vice president for corporate affairs. He said the carrier's primary business involves shorter flights along the East Coast, where many travelers have opted for trains or cars.

Passengers at Reagan National generally shrugged off the filing.

"They're still flying the flights ..." said Glenn Barkley of Orlando, Fla.

Jim Porter, 47, of Pittsburgh, who was flying to Columbia, S.C., said he had no idea what effect the filing would have on the number of flights or fare increases, but didn't sound worried.

"It's a very competitive industry -- can't raise fares too much," he said.