The NY Times has a good column about the status of the Wright Amendment, which prohibits airlines from flying from Dallas Love Airport to beyond one of 5 nearby states. It’s looking like this ridiculous piece of legislation may finally see its end this year. Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who should be ashamed of herself, has ensured that the rule has stayed alive, protecting American Airlines and causing her constituents to pay more for air travel. Bravo. Anyway, the senator is changing her mind, suggesting that the rule may be gradually phased out. She added, "I think fares have been too high in Dallas. I do think that…I would welcome more discount carriers." She is an idiot.
Category Archives: Wright Amendment
The Wright Amendment, the ridiculous piece of legislation that forbids airlines from flying from Dallas Love to states that do not touch Texas (?), is about to change. A bit. President Bush will sign a bill into law today that will allow airlines to fly from Love Field to Missouri. With this, American Airlines is expected to add service to Love Field for the first time since 2001, when they drove upstart Legend Airlines out of business.
I know I said I wouldn’t post before I left, but there were 2 good stories today:
1) Song Airlines is launching a record label. So ridiculous that I love it. Actually, I think it’s a great idea. Seems like little risk for them, and adds a nice brand association. Well done.
2) Not so well done is American Airlines’ ridiculous (or pathologically ridiculous) press release denouncing a House of Representatives bill that would repeal the Wright Amendment and allow full access rights to flights from Dallas’ Love Field (ie, Southwest’s home in Dallas):
"This is a double-whammy for North Texas. If Southwest gets their way
again, both the economy and the environment will surely suffer. First,
repealing the Wright Amendment will be a setback to the region’s growth.
Second, the inevitable and dramatic rise in air traffic at Love Field will
harm the environment in the neighborhoods around the airport. Make no
mistake, the number of flights from Love Field will increase to levels never
"This push by Southwest reflects the understandably selfish intentions of
a company that today is roaming the halls of Congress seeking special favors.
If Southwest were sincere about growing and competing, they would be flying
from DFW Airport — and they wouldn’t need an act of Congress. We’re
confident the community will not let Southwest risk the quality of life for
North Texans just to preserve and expand their monopoly at Love Field."
Frankly, it’s so stupid that it’s not worth commenting on. OK, one part is worth commenting on…the line about how if Southwest were sincere about competition it wouldn’t need an act of Congress. Hasn’t American benefitted from the Wright Amendment (an act of Congress) for 30 years? Am I crazy?
For years, Southwest Airlines kept their mouth shut about the incredibly anti-competitive Wright Amendment situation (the Wright Amendment was created to protect the then-new Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, and forbid flights from Dallas Love to go anywhere other than states that touched Texas). The world is changing, however, and Southwest is now calling on customers to become active in the fight to repeal the amendment. Southwest has created a website called Set Love Free (setlovefree.com), which tells customers about the amendment and will soon ask them to start a bit of lobbying on behalf of Southwest. It’s a smart move to get customers involved, and it’s a smart move to get this atrocious bit of protectionism off the books. You can only imagine the whining if Continental were only allowed to fly to New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana from its Houston hub. So why is it fair that Southwest is so hindered from Dallas Love?