Southwest bans lemons from flights: Limes triumphant

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In a move that has surprised citrus aficionados from coast to coast, Southwest Airlines (LUV) recently announced its plans to stop carrying lemons on its flights.

Southwest, which used to offer its passengers both lemon and lime slices, has determined that lemons are far less popular, and its decision to banish the yellow-fleshed fruit should save it approximately $100,000 per year.

Southwest's dilemma and its painful, if Solomonic, decision draw an uncomfortable comparison to years past, when lemons and limes existed side-by-side, often working together like a pair of citric Wonder Twins, the green and the yellow blending in a gentle, if tart, harmony. Yes, Sprite and Seven Up still exist, with their popular lemon-lime balance, but it seems that, in recent years, the balkanization of the fruit section has reflected the divisions that fragment so much of the world.

On the bright side, while Southwest appears to be baiting the battle betwixt lemons and limes, it is notable that the carrier has found a way to lower costs that doesn't involve withholding peanuts, making customers pay for pillows, or charging extra for every checked bag. In this regard, the bargain carrier finds itself -- once again -- heads and shoulders above United, USAirways, American, and many of its other competitors.
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