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Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 10:41am

Southwest Closes On AirTran

Southwest Airlines Co. has closed its purchase of AirTran.

For travelers, nothing much changes right away.

Travelers will continue to deal with whichever airline sold them their ticket. And policies such as checked bag fees will stay the same for now. AirTran charges for checked baggage, while Southwest allows two bags for free.

Integrating the two airlines will take many months. Southwest plans to begin painting AirTran airplanes in Southwest colors next year.

Buying AirTran Holdings Inc. gives Southwest a presence in Atlanta for the first time, as well as Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington.

Southwest says the deal that closed on Monday values AirTran at $1 billion.

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