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The Wrong Amendment

I just got an email from American Airlines wanting to give me their side on the issue of the Wright Amendment. Now, American is my preferred airline, but even I couldn't see their point of view.

For those of you not from the DFW area, back in 60's, the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex got together and decided to build a centrally located airport. Everyone agreed that was a good thing, and that all other regional airports would be shut down. This agreement happened in 1970, which was BEFORE Southwest started flying. When DFW airport opened in 1974, Southwest had begun flying...out of Love Field in Dallas, a regional airport. The great Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, signed an agreement called the Wright Amendment to allow them to continue doing business out of Love Field, as sort of a 'regional provider'. At first the agreement was just to fly within TX, but then expanded only to states in the immediate area. Herb agreed to that as long as he was in charge of the airline.

Guess what? Herb's not in charge anymore. People are trying to get the Wright Amendment repealed and American (mostly) is up in arms about it.

What is so different about DALLAS that they think DFW airport can't survive with a little competition? There isn't another area, that I know of, where regional airports were shut down so there would be no competition.

But let's get to American's argument for why we should vote AGAINST repeal of the Wright Amendment. They say that Southwest is more than welcome to fly out of DFW at any time they want, but if they insist on flying out of Love Field and the Wright Amendment is repealed, there will be DIRE consequences. What are those horrible consequences? Basically threats. See, if we people don't support their non-compete clause (which is how I view it), then they will have NO CHOICE but to move some of their flights to Love Field to compete with Southwest. This will have a negative impact on American Airline customers because there will be fewer flights out of DFW Airport, and thus fewer connecting flights possible. They stated several times in the email that they would have NO CHOICE and be FORCED to move some of their flights to Love Field.

Ok, maybe it's just me...but...why? WHY? Why would you have no choice but to move flights to Love Field? Why couldn't you stay at DFW and Southwest stay at Love and compete on that basis? Maybe I'm missing something, but American seems to have an advantage not because of LOCATION but but because of where they can fly to.

Like I said, maybe it's just me.


( 6 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
Sep. 26th, 2005 11:35 pm (UTC)
On my flight back from Germany, the letter from the president talked about the Wright Amendment and why its repeal would be a "bad thing." It was probably similar to what you received in email.

I'm with you. Poor American (who is also my preferred airline at the moment because of being able to easily get from here to there with them from DFW, usually). According to American's way of thinking, there is no way that Hobby and Intergalactic in Houston should be able to survive, or Midway and O'Hare in Chicago, or San Jose, San Fran, and Oakland airports in the Bay Area, etc etc etc. And there's no way American can afford to fly into one market in any given city. Riiiiiiiight.


And the people who live near Love who complain about the airport: well gee, aside from very few of them, that airport was there long before they bought a house in the general vicinity of it.

Repeal the Wright Amendment! Repeal the Wright Amendment!
Sep. 27th, 2005 01:14 am (UTC)
American Airlines' whole approach to this makes me want to avoid flying their airline.
Sep. 27th, 2005 06:11 am (UTC)
It's not just you...

But let me get this straight:
1) They will be FORCED to fly out of a different airport to compete
2) By doing this they will have to cut down on their flights from DFW which will hurt their customers
3) When customers are upset they choose to go with a different carrier
4) This looses money for American, which means they have to raise prices
5) This upsets customers...see #3
6) American will have NO CHOICE but to ask their friend the US Government for a bailout

Hmmm...that almost sounds like a win/win for American
Sep. 27th, 2005 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not quite sure how they got to their logic, or how I'm supposed to read their argument and think MY GOD! There is no way I could make American do that!
Sep. 27th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
the big NOT-SO-SECRET about why Southwest doesn't want to fly out of DFW is because it's a terribly inefficient airport for their kind of high-volume operation. They "discovered" long ago that planes don't make money when parked at the gate.

Southwest likes to turn their planes in 20 minutes (you land at 2pm and the next flight is boarded and in the air at 2:20pm). At DFW it takes 20 minutes just to taxi to your gate! This is the same reason they fly out of Chicago Midway instead of Chicago O'Hare ...

I recall flying out of DAL (Dallas Love Field) once when we were in the air exactly 2 minutes after pushing back from the gate. Granted, that was rare, but that would never work at DFW International. No way, no chance, no how.
Oct. 12th, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
AA's full of it!
I've seen AA's propaganda, as well, and it didn't make any sense to me, either.

American Airlines has a pretty sweet racket they're running against North Texas, so you can't blame them for wanting to keep the honey pot! According to the DOT, Dallas has some of the world's highest airfares on a per mile basis.

Our elected representatives have basically sold us out in return for contributions and favors from AA.
( 6 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )