Not every comeback story has a happy ending, however, particularly when it comes to airline names.

With the notable exception of Frontier, most attempts to revive the names of dead airlines (names like Pan Am, National and Braniff) have ended quickly or badly or both. Thus we were a little taken aback by reports that a new airline taking shape in Virginia is using the name PeoplExpress, an airline that, like most new entrants of the 1980s, flourished for a while, expanded quickly and went bust.

The old PeoplExpress virtually invented ancillary fees, being the first airline to charge for checked baggage and snack service. It was also a laboratory for management theory, as its founder Donald Burr did away with "secretaries" and required employees to own stock and take their turns answering the phone or schlepping baggage on the ramp.

Unlike the Pan Am brand, the PeoplExpress brand doesn't seem to have a big nostalgia factor, though the revival of the name appears to have created some buzz in the media. But new entrant airlines do not live on buzz alone. That was true of the first People, and it will be true of this one, too.
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