I'm thinking expectations in the airline industry have been lowered to the point where if the airline loses LESS money than expected its stock goes up.
The only ones making money right now are jetBlue and Southwest, and we don't know how long that's going to last, since Southwest only has so many oil hedges.
My understanding is that one of the major expenses of the large airlines (UAL, AMR, etc...) is pension benefits. JetBlue and Southwest don't have these expenses yet because they are so new. We'll see what happens down the road.