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Wright Amendment Nuances


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Poll: Should the Wright Amendment Be Kept? (71 member(s) have cast votes)

Should the Wright Amendment Be Kept?

  1. Yes (28 votes [39.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 39.44%

  2. No (43 votes [60.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.56%

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#51 JBB

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 06:16 PM

I've always referred to it as BWI without ever really thinking much about the entire name.

#52 360texas

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 08:46 AM

We used to live in the Middle East, and traveled over 20 times back and forth between Dhahran/Riyadh and Texas. I would route us from Dhahran/Bahrain through JFK or Dullas to DFW. One time I made the error of saying Dhahran - New York - Dallas (shutter).

The agent wrote the tickets Dhahran - Rome - JFk - Dullas (and return). After proof reading the ticket routing... The agent rewrote the ticket set Dhahran - Rome - Dullas (dislike JFK) - DFW (and return). Dallas/Dullas definately was not correct. From that point on - I always specified Dullas Intl and DFW Intl.

For mid flight 1 night stop overs were either Beirut, Rome, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Zurich, Amsterdam or London. We tried to vary each trip by stoping at one of these. Rome and Amsterdam were our favorites.

And Baltimore - was just Baltimore, I never confused it with DC/NYC area ports of entry.

Just a thought.

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#53 tcole

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 04:24 PM

360:

Too bad that Braniff went "7" on you in that they had designs at one time to petition for a DFW-Jeddah non stop.

#54 360texas

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 07:35 AM

Hmmm, that would have been an 19 hour one way ride. At one time Saudia Airlines had a 13 hour red eye special Dhahran - JFK. No thanks. We enjoyed our American/European airlines and stop overs.

On one of our annual company paid for round trips we went -> Dharan, Bharain, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Hawaii, San Francisco - TEXAS - Dullas - Rome, Dharan.

It was almost just as far that way to Texas and going back through Dullas to Texas. I think we only added a couple hundred dollars for the around the world trip.

Still did not recognize Baltimore as a port of entry.

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#55 ghughes

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 08:28 PM

Today's story about the diverted Greek airliner in The Scotsman included the following:
"The incident is the latest in a series in which aircraft have been escorted by military jets. These include an American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Boston, which was diverted to Nashville in May after a note containing a bomb threat was found in one of the aircraft’s toilets. "

So, the Scots know we're here!

#56 tcole

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 08:49 AM

Rename, your initial thoughts seem to have been dead on target. From today's Startlegram:


Southwest eyes Dallas airport as Delta pulls out

Associated Press


DALLAS - Delta Air Lines Inc.'s planned losses at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport could be Southwest Airlines Co.'s gain, as the low-fare carrier reportedly considers expanding beyond its Dallas Love Field hub.

Delta's announced plans to cut daily flights at DFW and shift jets to Salt Lake City and Cincinnati has prompted Dallas-based Southwest to take another look at possible opportunities, the discounter's chief executive said Thursday.

"It is definitely a situation that we are monitoring," CEO Gary Kelly told The Dallas Morning News in an interview for Friday's editions.

However, Kelly said Love Field remains the airline's focus in the region.

"The airline landscape is changing, and it's something we're going to continue to monitor," said Kelly, who was named Southwest's CEO in July. "We're watching closely to see what service is added and by whom."

Legal limitations on how far Southwest's planes can fly from Love Field would not apply at DFW. The airline could easily fill dozens of flights to top cities on either coast if it started service from DFW, analysts say.

Congress passed the Wright Amendment in 1979 to protect business at DFW, restricting flights of more than 56 passengers out of Love Field to adjacent states, and later to Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi. The U.S. Supreme Court later upheld a federal appeals court decision that planes reconfigured to 56 or fewer seats could launch long-haul flights from Love.

Atlanta-based Delta, which has been DFW's No. 2 carrier behind Fort Worth-based American Airlines Inc., plans in February to pull its hub as part of a restructuring plan. That would cut Delta's daily flights at DFW by more than 90 percent, from 254 in September to 21 by Jan. 31, with the airline likely keeping only about 4 of its 19 exclusive-rights jet gates in Terminal E of the nation's third busiest airport.

Southwest may exploit such a vacuum soon, observers predict.

"I wouldn't be that surprised if Southwest did," said Robert Mann, an airline consultant. "The markets out of DFW are the kind that interest Southwest. It's not as if there's not any revenue there for them - there's plenty."

Ray Neidl, an analyst for Caylon Securities USA Inc., said at DFW, "there's a real void that's opened there that they could step into."

Other potential competitors include Orlando, Fla.-based AirTran Airways Inc., which now serves five cities from DFW, and Denver-based Frontier Airlines Inc.

"We would very much like to have Southwest Airlines out at DFW Airport, not in place of Love Field, but as a complement," said Kevin Cox, the airport's chief operating officer.

#57 tamtagon

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Posted 14 November 2004 - 08:20 PM

What is the maximum volume Love Field could handle? Seems that the best case scenerio for both airports would start with Love Field operating at capacity. The opening of the International terminal at DFW is the perfect time to sunset the Wright Ammd. so the finite drain from Love Field would be balanced by spike of international activity at DFW.

"Full Service" airlines like American, Delta and United operate a precarious domestic product with profits coming from a marketing strategy that's hypnotized business travel purchasers that short notice flights must be expensive. Perceptions of value may change in the future and force full service airlines through a nasty business platform restructuring. I do think legislative intervention will be necessary to protect consumers and from the repurcussions of business decisions based on outdated approaches to making a reasonable profit.

The fundamentals of a supply/demand economy are absent from the product delivery in metroplex airports in the first place. Love Field provides the convenience of location, DFW provides the convenience of volume, and it's absolutely backward and artificially created for the discount carrier to operate from the location which would normally justify a premium product price. However, this counterintuitive situation has been necessary and exists as a direct result from 1) the astronomical operating costs of a commercial airline, and 2) the decades required to secure the profitability of a new airport. I believe we are safely at the point in which a purposeful correction will benefit consumers and service providers. The site limitations of Love Field will now provide all the necessary protection for DFW Airport to sustain profitability.

The release of Love Field is also needed to futher justify and [federally] fund a DART rail station. With three bucks per ticket, doubling transactions at Love Field would more that contribute the entire cost of the station and will give Washington politicians the cost effective path and career securing motive to approve funding a plan which includes an on location station at Love Field. Additional "protection" for activity at DFW would be provided by the value equity from the convenience of DART stations.

#58 tcole

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 08:33 AM

"What is the maximum volume Love Field could handle? "

Tamtagon: you really need to read all posts in a thread proir to posting.

#59 tamtagon

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 09:53 AM

This information is dated, but 10 years ago when there was some rumbling over the Wright amendment and Sen. Shelby from AL was putting forth his proposal for limited expansion of the fed. legislation, the FAA indicated to the airlines that DAL could really only accommodate 400 flights per day (commercial traffic).  WN currently flies 250+/- flights per day.  These restrictions were due to airspace as opposed to gate space issues.  Also, a sliding scale was assumed up to about 600 flights per day by restricting lighter GA traffic.  So WN's abilities for expansion at Love are somewhat contained (DFW has airspace priority) and other players interest in DAL is somewhat limited as well.



Yes, I noticed this, tcole, when I was searching through all the mentions of Love Field and/or the Wright Amendment on this forum. My post from yesterday was copy/pasted from a similar discussion at the Dallas forum:

http://forum.dallasm...41975#post41975

and I apologize that I didnt spend the time to fully edit my post and that the 'shortcut' brought annoyance along with my questions and opinions. Oversights like this are common among new participants to any conversation.

Additionally, the FAA's volume assessment would certainly be revised if the legislative restrictions are lifted from Love Field. A more appropriate question in this discussion would be, what is the maximum volume allowed by the physical limitiations of Love Field if all potential gate space is made available through structural redevelopment and the FAA tweeks the airspace rules?

Anyway

Even if the number of commercial flights at Love Field is able to exceed 400 per day, the drain from DFW would deliver an insignificnat impact. As the population of Tarrant County continues it's dramatic increase, commercial service out of Mecham Field must be explored. I could see a situation in which Love and Mecham are primarily single destination airports - with very few connecting flights, while DFW is where people switch planes.

#60 renamerusk

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 11:52 AM

[quote name='tamtagon' date='Nov 14 2004, 09:20 PM']
Love Field provides the convenience of location

tamtagon,

To whom are you referring to when you suggest that Love Field is more conveniently located than DFW. Please demonstrate, if possible, how driving to Love Field is a more convenient drive for air travellers that live in Greater Fort Worth and Southern Denton County. It may come as a surprise to you that people in Tarrant County do fly on occasions.

#61 tamtagon

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 12:54 PM

[/QUOTE][quote name='renamerusk' date='Nov 15 2004, 12:52 PM']
[quote name='tamtagon' date='Nov 14 2004, 09:20 PM']
Love Field provides the convenience of location

tamtagon,

To whom are you referring to when you suggest that Love Field is more conveniently located than DFW. Please demonstrate, if possible, how driving to Love Field is a more convenient drive for air travellers that live in Greater Fort Worth and Southern Denton County. It may come as a surprise to you that people in Tarrant County do fly on occasions.[QUOTE]

It is obvious that Love Field's location is more convenient for those with a final destination in the eastern one third of the metroplex - that probably includes close to two thirds of the current traffic at DFW airport. My comments refer to the universe of travelers through DFW airport, not just those living in Dallas County or Tarrant County.


[/QUOTE]As the population of Tarrant County continues it's dramatic increase, commercial service out of Mecham Field must be explored. I could see a situation in which Love and Mecham are primarily single destination airports[QUOTE]

This comment should be a clue that I am not surprised that people in Tarrant County are also air travelers. As the residential population of Tarrant county and business activity in DTFW and Alliance Airport job centers increase in during the coming decades, then Mecham will probably resume commercial service, but only when a large enough potential customer base demands it.

I can understand why you may assume a general pro-Dallas disposition shapes my comments in this matter, but that would be inaccurate. The impact of long-haul traffic through Love Field would no doubt benefit the city of Dallas most, but the entire region would benefit, and that's the motivation for my point of view. I certainly didnt enter this discussion to pick fight between municipal pep squads. I want to develop an understanding of the valid reasons to keep the restrictions on Love Field. What's good for Dallas is good for Fort Worth, and what's good for Fort Worth is good for Dallas.

#62 360texas

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 01:40 PM

Drive and Fly?

Hmm we live in Southwest Fort Worth and would much rather:

1. drive to and fly from Meacham than DFW. But no service
2. drive to and fly from Austin than DFW. Considerably less expensive
3. never drive to nor fly from Love Field.
4. Wish Alliance would go commercial passenger traffic instead of just industrial air. But I know Alliance is cargo and DFW is passenger service.

Ever ask yourself why is it so expensive to fly from DFW when it is less expensive to fly from Austin or Houston? If the airline ticket is the same cost.. the extra cost must be going to DFW Airport Authority?


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#63 cjyoung

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 07:16 AM

Drive and Fly?

Hmm we live in Southwest Fort Worth and would much rather:

1. drive to and fly from Meacham than DFW.  But no service
2. drive to and fly from  Austin than DFW.  Considerably less expensive
3. never drive to nor fly from Love Field.
4. Wish Alliance would go commercial passenger traffic instead of just industrial air.  But I know Alliance is cargo and DFW is passenger service.

Ever ask yourself why is it so expensive to fly from DFW when it is less expensive to fly from Austin or Houston?  If the airline ticket is the same cost.. the extra cost must be going to DFW Airport Authority?


Dave

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I'm right there with ya!

The Wright Amendment is a double-edged sword.

Personally, I would like national flights out of Alliance. I'm not concerned with flights being diverted to Love.

The Fort Worth business community needs get off there generic cowboy @#$ and start competing! :ph34r:

#64 redhead

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 03:37 PM

I've weighed in on this before, but here goes again: WRIGHT IS WRONG!!! Only because of the WA are DFW originating flights so bloody expensive. You can fly out of Austin or Houston for much less than DFW---bound for the exact same location. The irony is that it's the same exact flight---minus one segment. I know this is true, because I do this for some places where I fly. I will book one round trip to Houston, and then a trip to say Cleveland FROM Houston---instead of $1300 when the trip originates at DFW, it's $300 out of Houston. I fly the front leg of the Houston round trip and then back to Dallas to take the exact flight. Stupid, but true. I save a grand and earn two extra segments which helps me keep platinum status with American...Wright's duty is done and I think it needs to be repealed.

#65 Wildcard

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 02:06 AM

It's true that the landing fees are higher at DFW than Love Field, but the main reason the airfares are higher at DFW is because of American Airlines. It does not have to compete with Southwest to/from the metroplex because of the Wright Amendment (WA) restrictions on Love Field, and this results in higher airfares. AA also does not allow any other discount carriers to operate from D/FW through their predatory pricing practices which I'll address in a moment, so they are able to maintain around 70% of the total flights at D/FW each day.

Southwest routinely offers $99. one way coast to coast fares but folks in Dallas and Fort Worth cannot take advantage of these fares due to the WA. For example, if you wish to fly to Los Angeles you must first fly to Houston, which costs you another $49. one way. Round trip airfare ends up being $300. since you're buying two round trip tickets, DAL-HOU and HOU-LAX. Meanwhile, folks who live in say, Tampa (or any other city in the nation for that matter) can do the round trip to LAX for $200 since they are not burdened by the WA. Isn't that a crock that anybody else in the country can travel double the distance for 50% less airfare? Here's a link that aptly illustrates my point: http://www.phl.org/news/031028b.html

AA has a history of "predatory pricing", attempting to run any potential competitors right out of business before they can get a foothold in the D/FW market. They attempted to interfere with the competetion's new service to Kansas City, Wichita, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Long Beach...the list goes on and on and on. Please see: http://jhunix.hcf.jh...ell/predprc.pdf and http://www.webguild....tory_prices.htm

I'm sure everybody remembers all the lawsuits that were flying around in 2001 when startup Legend Airlines attempted to fly reconfigured aircraft from Love Field to Wash DC, Los Angeles and New York. What was AA's strategy in dealing with what they perceived as a potential erosion of the WA? They buried Legend with legal challenges which ended up costing the startup millions of dollars in legal fees before they could launch a single aircraft. AA knows that if the WA were repealed they would lose literally billions of dollars in the long run because they would have to compete with Southwest directly, and of course they don't want to lose their "competetive advantage" on their home turf.

There was a time when the WA served a purpose, but that time has long since passed! How can Fort Worth effectively compete for convention business if the attendees must either pay 50% higher airfares into either D/FW or Love compared with Houston, San Antonio or other competing cities? I'm all for fair competition in the metroplex, and that means doing away with the WA dinosaur.

#66 John T Roberts

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 10:12 AM

S-T Columnist Mitchell Schnurman and Rep. Kay Granger have written columns in the paper from both viewpoints on the Wright Amendment. Here are their opinions:

The Wright Time? Scrap It by Mitchell Schnurman
The Wright Time? Keep It by Kay Granger

#67 tamtagon

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 11:11 AM

I wonder if the roll-back of flight restrictions on Love Field would hasten the eventual return of commercial service to Mecham. It is vital to the metroplex that DFW airport itself remains a profitable enterprise; DFW already very effectively provides a platform for the profitable operation of commercial and cargo air transportation, and the new International terminal should end up paying for itself as well as the people mover. That AA domestic service profitability depends so heavily on its DFW operation is bad for airline, airport and consumers - consumer perceptions being the wild card which has the potential to make the best economic decision politically impossible.

To coordinate domestic commercial travel from three airports, DFW, Love and Mecham could give the region's economy the maximum benefit. The current restrictions on Love Field were necessary (flight time and plane size restrictions must continue until engine efficiency successfully meets air and noise pollution abaitment standards), but no longer addresses the best interest of consumers who have been left with unreasonable prices. There needs to exist operational parameters to ensure that all levels of the air transportation industry are able to provide a reasonablly priced product, but the management focus must not lose sight of the consumer. We will always have a federally imposed plan managing traffic at the airports, but it's time to either force on the metroplex one airport, just as exists in Atlanta, or relax the 'start-up' regulations which protect DFW so the region operates three airports.

Nevertheless, rail service from DFW to both metroplex centers of population (via TRE and DART, one day hopefully The T, and Cotton Belt route) provides the most compelling counter-balance to the more convenient location of Love and Mecham.

One compromise for the future (10+ years) would give operation to as many Love and Mecham gates as allowable by site limitations and consumer demand while DFW houses the metroplex intrastate rail station. At some point, the best case scenerio for increased economic success of Texas, the big cities - Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, RGV and Monteray must include rail service.

IMO, the region would be best served by three commercial airports, and modifications to the WA should allow for this.

#68 Sam Stone

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 01:00 PM

I've been following along on this for awhile, and I'm fairly certain I understand most of the issues. There is one that I'm not understanding, though. Why is it Southwest cannot offer service from both airports? Does the Wright Amendment prohibit airlines from operating out of both airports? Does DFW's lease agreement prohibit this?

I ask this because if it is the Wright Amendment that prohibits this, then that portion of Wright could be repealed, but the other limitations could remain intact keeping Love Field as a regional airport, but permitting Southwest long-haul flights out of DFW. Or, if it is DFW's lease policy that prohibits this, then they could change that and let Southwest in. If this is not part of either Wright or DFW, then the question becomes: Why doesn't Southwest just offer service from both airports?

These aren't rhetorical questions. I'm trying to understand this and neither Schnurman nor Granger address it.

#69 ghughes

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 03:57 PM

SW Airlines chooses not to serve DFW primarily on the basis of turnaround time on the ground. Their business model is based on the Kelleher observation that the planes are only making money when they are flying. So everything in their operations is dedicated to minimizing ground time. They shoot for a 20 minute turnaround from landing to next takeoff. It is by far the shortest in the industry.

At DFW one turn can easily involve 10-15 minutes of taxiing. Add in the overloads that happen at peak times for AA and Delta operating their hub-and-spokes and there is a lot of potential for delay. Of course with Delta's departure that last issue is reduced somewhat. But American can still fill all the landing & takeoff slots for a big chunk of the day.

American's history of price-matching, along with their extensive cities-served list from DFW, means that SW would have to weather a huge battle to establish itself at DFW. Frankly, I suspect they've been busy with lower-hanging fruit around the country.

#70 Buck

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 09:13 PM

Southwest could easily fly from DFW but so far, doesn't want to.

The bit about turnaround time is an excuse. Southwest flies from Bush IAH in Houston and other airports, including LAX, with long turnaround times.

#71 ghughes

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 10:40 PM

Soutwest pretty much chooses to go where it can make money. That's the duty to shareholders. If DFW doesn't look as good as other options... so what? SW can arrange to fly out of Love to a lot of places? Yep... increase shareholder value. All the local politics and strutting about is entertaining, but the business of business is business. Even in the airline business.

SW may fly from other places with longer than optimal turns, but I'll bet it doesn't do it without considering some distinct benefits. For example, LAX and IAH are both pretty good international feeds and are major destinations. LAX is not a fortress hub like DFW. And Continental (at IAH) doesn't have the reputation for the cut-throat competition that AA has displayed.

Entry into DFW is an expensive proposition for anyone. The inefficiency of operation might be an excuse, but coupled with the costs and the limited potential for gain, what's the inducement to fly there? Between American's past behavior and every politician around trying to see how much they can protect the status quo, why would we expect any airline to expand at DFW?

The Wright Amendment is a symptom, not the cause.

#72 lobster

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 01:03 AM

Tally ho.. Just wanted to chime in on two points ..

Wright Amendment is outdated and suffocates competitive fares.. DFW will not drown if all of a sudden SWA flew direct to Boise or anywhere beyond the magic five-state area. It is ONLY a FEDERAL LAW because it was enacted by a local who happened to be Speaker and was able to pull strings for the region. .. Hats off to the guy for looking out for us and making the DFW area what it is, but Love Field is hardly a threat to DFW's existence nowadays..

Having said that, I personally have found that flying out of DFW is VERY cheap and reasonable... With AA's "net-saavers" deals they publish every week, I've flown roundtrip direct to JFK and Miami both for $179 many many times. Perhaps when you purchase a ticket for same day of travel you'll pay those ridiculous $1000 fares, but if you can plan a week in advance, some great fares are to be found out of DFW if you know where to look .

Driving to Houston or Austin to catch a flight?? Seriously? The last thing I want to do after a 3 hr flight from Vegas/NYC/Florida is to hop in the car and go on a full-on ROAD TRIP just to get home from the airport! ;) Plus, Austin cannot possibly have anywhere near the number of cities you can fly direct to on AA over DFW. As for Houston, AA has a presence, but it looks like Continental pretty much runs that joint. (and since we're on an architect forum, may I add IAH is sterile and dull, so much like Atlanta Hartsfield.. both are very unwelcoming and bland ) ;)

#73 normanfd

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 01:12 AM

Also, remember the business models that is Sothwest's success. Using Love and Hobby, they can fly you from Dallas to Houston while the Big Boys fly you from Grapevine to Humble. When you're a businessman who needs to travel for a meeting, be home the same day, and not deal with local transportation issues, their plan really works.

#74 redhead

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 10:43 AM

Yes, but when you do business in area's that only AA flies, you are subject to their predatory prices. Sure Lobster, netsaavers are great for a weekend getaway, but do I really want to leave on a Fri-Sat for a Monday meeting?? How many extra nights away from home do I have to spend to save a thousand bucks on airfare??? I've flown to MSP for the last ten years and never had to pay more than $300---try that today with no Saturday stay or connection through Chicago. AA's direct flights mid-week even with advance purchase run around $800...that's not only ridiculous, I think it's just short of criminal.

#75 lobster

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 11:41 AM

Indeed it is.. I've always thought of next-day or same-day fares to be outrageously insane .. Especially when you're trying to travel for family emergency purposes -- which I have had to do very recently .. their "Grievance Fares" is simply a 10% discount off of their $900 walk-up fare.. Then you get on the plane and see about 20 seats open.

Good point about the NetSaavers -- I guess I was strictly speaking from a vacationing standpoint ;) (For which, if you have the ability to book in advance, even without netSaavers , you should pretty much be able to go anywhere on the continent for under $300 out of DFW) .. Business meetings are a different story of course: Unfortunately, business meetings are sometimes spur-of-the-moment and therefore the ability to book in advance isn't an option.. But I get the impression the airlines' attitude is "well, if they can't book in advance, more than likely they're on business, so $950 to fly to Cincinnati must be pocket change -- and can be written off!" ... scoundrels..

I was hoping with the advent of Priceline (when they first started in '98 or so) the concept of letting the remaining open seats go for bargain prices at the last minute to fill the plane to capacity would revolutionize fares across the board and the airlines themselves would perhaps develop a system to embrace that idea.. Didn't happen.. where's the vision? ;)

#76 renamerusk

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 02:48 PM

Renamerusk, I am quite curious why you are a fan of the Wright Amendment...I am personally quite opposed to it! 


Psychological..Perception can and often does become reality!

When I reignited this issue by posting it, I fully expected the heated debate which always seems to center around the economics and sexy cheaper air fares which is the favorite and hard to defend against argument of the Anti- Wright Admendment group.

So far, AA ,DFW and to a subliminal extent Fort Worth are being villanized as supporting predatorial air fares. It is reasonable to assume that AA is not at all
that displeased with higher air fares; but to associate that with DFW and FW is wrong headed.

Earlier, I offered my take on who they are and why they continue to support the Wright Admendment and that Fort Worth, AA, DFW and yes Dallas and Southwest Airlines all preferred the status quo. Yes, FW, AA and DFW have been upfront about their support for the admendment and more honest than either the closeted Dallas or SWA.

Air fares are easily quantifiable; their prices are widely published. However, how does one quantify or put a price upon a community's psyche? Allow me to share two recent cellphone conversations that I unwittingly overhead: "Hi, I'm in Dallas right now." ;) [location: the traffic light at University, Bailey and W 7th St near the FWMOA] and "I'm back home in Dallas, now." [Hulen @ Bellaire] ;)

The pro-Wright Admendment is behind in the poll 2-1; popular opinion does not look favorable. I am not discourage. I am proud to be associated with the hard core "33-percenters" who fervently believe that this admendment is good for Fort Worth which seems to stand alone in the region and refuses to be "dallasized"; "We ain't no Southflake; we ain't nobody's dang suburb..why do you think they call this a FORT?

I believe in the free market. I also believe that it does not always work to the betterment of all. The anti-Wright group appears to believe that airlines operate like 7-11's; open 24/7 at every corner; the Wal-martization of the economy. How do you expect for any airline in these trouble economic times to duplicate service at both DFW and Love Field? Would or should you expect AA to land and depart from the region simultaneously at two separate airports just for your personal convenience? How would operating at two airport in this region be efficient; one airport would eventually prevail. If it were Love Field, then where does Fort Worth come in? Since Love Field is sorely outdated for todays bigger jets and a much greater air market; then Love Field is not the answer.

"WHY WON'T SOUTHWEST AIRLINES COME TO DFW? They would be welcomed;
and true competition and lower airfares would surely follow.

So to those who wonder why this battle is so personal to the 1/3 of us who think that the Wright Admendment should stay in place, I say tell everybody about our town, I say be sure to mention Fort Worth in the air and on the ground; its good for business and it good for self esteem. The "dallasized" people and communities in this region will never understand us; so be it - we have an uncurable psychological scar when it comes to D v. FW in many circumstances, this one in particular. If FW does not hold on to the gains that it has painstakingly won, then perception shall become reality; and Fort Worth and this Forum could cease to be relevant.

"KEEP FORT WORTH FOLKSY!" AND "Don't mess with Fort Worth!"

#77 lobster

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 03:23 PM

Fort Worth will not lose its identity if Love Field started offering direct flights to Birmingham. It's not like DFW is all we have in TC to set us apart from the evil and nearby Dallas, and if DFW loses a foothold on having the only gates where you can fly beyond Little Rock directly in the metroplex, Fort Worth will crumble to oblivion.

Let Love Field have their 32 lil' gates send people wherever they want to go.. The competition would invite better fares at DFW, the people in E. Dallas can stop whining about the drive to DFW, everyone in the metroplex has more choices, big gate-side pizza party for all, everyone wins.

When Legend Airlines fired up their 5-flights-per-day DAL-LAX nonstop service, 4 flights-per-day DAL-IAD nonstop service, and sporatic nonstops from DAL-LAS in April of 2000 did DFW even flinch? Nope, and it turns out Fort Worth didn't melt in a sea of lava afterall ;)

#78 ghughes

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 07:00 PM

Love field competition? Where is thy sting?

Currently AA flies from DFW to Houston 19 times a day: IAH 10 times, Hobby 9.
San Antonio 13 times a day. New Orleans 8 times a day. And that's in Southwest's back yard.

LA is an interesting destination because you can land at so many airports there. American flies DFW to Los Angeles 38 flights a day: LAX 14, Orange County 9, Long Beach 5, Burbank 4, Ontario 6.

Chicago's two airport arrangement might be an indicator of what would happen here. American flies DFW to O'Hare with 17 flights; Midway gets 5.

All numbers are for non-stop flights using AA's on line timetable.

#79 lobster

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 07:16 PM

Righto.. all those flights prove that DFW would barely notice the difference if Love Field were allowed to fly to those destinations as well.. I think the whole argument that DFW needs this "protection" is about as 1970s as the orange and yellow Braniff International plastic ceiling tiles still found on the jetways of select Terminal 2W (or as they now say, "B" ;) ) gates.

LObs

#80 tamtagon

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 10:12 AM

As long as the population of the metroplex continues to grow, airport activity will continue to grow. The physical limitations of Love Field (and eventually Mecham) will be all the protection DFW will need. There will be more than enough domestic growth to justify commercial opertions from the three airports.

The only valid reason I can come up with to continue the unnatural routing of metroplex passengers through DFW would be to ensure the success of train service between the airport and population centers. I would prefer shifting the impact of the WA to support mass transit between Fort Worth and Dallas, but that's probably the most unlikely scenerio.

#81 ghughes

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 11:14 AM

It appears that any change will originate from the outside DFW (i.e. Tennessee or whatever even though the real markets for new Love flights will be NYC, Chicago, and LA).

Whenever the battle begins, those within the metroplex that support the elimination of the WA should contact allied congressional Reps & Senators from other states. Ask that they rescue North Texans from the unholy alliance of AA and our local politicians.

#82 renamerusk

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 04:32 PM

... the unholy alliance of AA and our local politicians.

View Post


When referring to our local politicians, are you suggesting that the politicians are irrationally aligning themselve in "locked-step" in the pursuit to protect one company, American Airlines from competition; and doing this in spite of their quite different and often opposing constituencies?

Two questions:

First, where are the "unholy alliance" meetings with all the local "pols" being held?; surely Southwest Airlines might like to be in attendance.

Second, why can't Southwest Airlines operate at DFW Airport?


"Keep Fort Worth Folksy!"

Edited by renamerusk, 01 December 2004 - 08:29 PM.


#83 LoneStarMike

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 12:49 AM

Second, why can't Southwest Airlines operate at DFW Airport?


In addition to longer turn times, another reason Southwest doesn't want to go to DFW is because they'd be operating long haul flights without the benefit of connecting passengers from the feeder service they already have in place at Love Field. And if they moved all the feeder service they have at Love Field to DFW, it wouldn't be as successful. That's why they never wanted to go to DFW in the first place.

Remember, when Southwest first started operations they flew from Love Field to San Antonio and Houston's Intercontinental Airport. The Dallas to Houston flights performed very poorly, and that's why, by 1972, they had moved over to Hobby and ceased operations at Intercontinental altogether. They didn't return to Intercontinental until 1980 and even today, they only operate 6 daily flights from there to Love Field. The bulk of their Houston operations are still at Hobby, Houston's secondary airport and that's they way they'd like to be in Dallas.

Nothing against Fort Worth, but it's my belief that the majority of travelers flying into and out of the Metroplex would prefer to do so out of Love Field and here's why.

Consider that from Love Field Southwest flies (either nonstop or via driect or connecting service) to Albuquerque, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Harlingen, Houston (both Hobby and IAH), Little Rock, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Tulsa.

American also serves these destinations from DFW with similar frequencies and similar pricing. In most cases they are charging the exact same fares as Southwest, although American's total ticket prices including taxes are usually a few dollars more because I believe DFW has a higher Passenger Facility Charge than does Love Field.

Now let's look at the O&D statistics, courtesy of the Department of Transportation's Consumer Airfare Report for these city pairs from Quarter 1, 2004, keeping in mind that the Dallas Fort Worth market includes travelers arriving and departing from both DFW and Love Field.

(Note: the report doesn't show the market share for every airline. It just shows the market share leader on the route along with their market share and the low fare leader on the route and their market share. Sometimes, the market share leader is the low fare leader.)

Dallas/Ft. Worth to:

Albuquerque - 710 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 68.23 meaning 68 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW 1n this market.

Amarillo - 549 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 83.21 meaning 83 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Austin - 1,291 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 77.73 meaning nearly 78 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Birmingham - 250 passengers fly this route daily. American Airlines is listed as both the market share leader and the low fare leader on this route. Their market share was 41.46, so at least 41 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into DFW versus Love field in this market. From the info provided, I am unable to know Southwest's (or the other airlines) market share on this route.

Corpus Christi - 320 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 65.62 meaning 65 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

El Paso - 712 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 65.71 meaning nearly 66 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Harlingen - 303 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 97.49 meaning 97 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Houston (Both Intercontinental & Hobby
- 4118 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 73.32 meaning 73 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Jackson, MS - 151 passengers fly this route daily. American Airlines was the market share leader with a 46.15% share. Delta was the low fare leader on this route with 34.90% of the market. Between the two of them they control 81.05% of the market, meaning that atleast 81 passengers out of every 10 are choosing to fly into DFW versus Love Field in this market.

Little Rock - 662 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 71.98 meaning nearly 72 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Lubbock - 712 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 86.85 meaning nearly 87 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Midland/Odessa - 471 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 88.85 meaning nearly 89 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

New Orleans - 1186 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 61.29 meaning 61 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Oklahoma City - 360 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 69.78 meaning nearly 70 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

San Antonio - 1738 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 76.11 meaning 76 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

Tulsa - 678 passengers fly this route daily. Southwest's market share is 66.00 meaning 66 out of every 100 passengers are choosing to fly into Love Field versus DFW in this market.

So if the fares are basically the same and there are multiple frequencies offered from both airports on these city-pairs, given the choice, why are 2 out of every 3 passengers choosing Love Field over DFW?

My guess is that the majority of the people flying to the Metroplex are going to Dallas (not Ft. Worth) and the majority of people flying out of the Metroplex are from Dallas (not Ft. Worth) and therefore Love Field is more convenient for the majority of both visitors to the Metroplex and residents of the Metroplex who actually travel by air.

That's always been the case. Dallas has always had more air travelers than Ft. Worth.

In the book From Prairie to Planes, it talks about how in November of 1954 -- a year and a half after Amon Carter Field opened -- it was losing money. To help improve traffic there, Ft. Worth decided to (1) offer to sell a half interest in the airport to the City of Dallas at the original cost to Ft. Worth; (2) change the name of the airport to include Dallas; and (3) explore the possible formation of a joint port authority with representtives from both cities. What was Dallas' response? (Page 84)

Dallas' unnofficial reaction , issued by the Chamber of Commerce, was quick and somewhat contemptuous. Chamber President Crossman and the chairman of the Chamber's aviation committee, Angus C. Wynne, Jr. declared in a joint statement that the offer amounted to an effort by Ft. Worth to bail itself out of financial problems. "What it boils down to is this: Ft. Worth is offering to sell Dallas a detour -- a detour which the air travelers and shippers of Dallas would then have to use."

The only thing new in the Ft. Worth letter, they claimed, was the offer to add Dallas' name to the airport. "We have been accused of having civic pride, and Dallas does have civic pride. But we don't think the citizens of Dallas have the kind of civic pride which would lead them to pay $4,000.000 for the right to change the name of another city's airport from 'Greater Fort Worth International Airport, Amon G. Carter Field' to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Carter Field" " they said.

In the joint statement, the two men pointed out that Ft. Worth had less than 125,000 originating and terminating air passengers a year compared to Dallas' 750,000. "The inconvenience and unnecessary expense involved in a Dallas passenger's use of the Ft. Worth Airport, multiplied by 750,000, amounts to staggering totals. These are the basic reasons Dallas insists on continuing the use of Love Field."


That's why Southwest doesn't want to go into DFW.

LoneStarMike

#84 LoneStarMike

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 01:23 AM

Can someone explain to me why, when it comes to wanting to "protect" DFW Airport from competition at other airports, Dallas and Ft. Worth city leaders are only concerned about competition from passenger carriers but not from cargo carriers? Both types of carriers provide revenue for the airport and contribute to its overall financial health.

An article from 2000 about some past Love Field litigation had noted:

The Dallas and Fort Worth city counsels constructed the bond covenants in question in 1968 to ensure that Love Field would no longer be improved and that resources would instead be concentrated on DFW in an attempt to make the airport a fiscally viable air facility.

The covenant says: "Neither the cities nor the board will undertake...any action, implement any policy, or enter into any agreement or contract which by its or their nature would be competitive with or in opposition to the optimum development of the Regional Airport (DFW)."


Link to full story

So what about Alliance Airport? It competes with DFW for cargo business.

There was a feature article about the Wright/Shelby Amendments and what part they played in AA's battle with Legend -- written by the Dallas Observer back on
October 16, 1997 called The (W)right to Fly

Although lengthy, it's a good read for someone wanting to get some background info. Regarding the issue of Alliance Airport, here is the relevant quote:

"A close reading of the bond ordinance reveals that, technically, Fort Worth's Alliance Airport violates the bond covenant. Alliance is the main Southwest hub for Federal Express, which is a certificated carrier, according to FAA guidelines. And the covenant specifically protects D/FW airport from competition by certificated carriers at other regional airports--unless otherwise permitted by law or voted for by a majority of the D/FW board.

The board did not vote on Alliance, according to D/FW spokesman Joe Dealey. He argues--incorrectly--that the covenant refers to passenger service.


A bit further down in the article it notes:

The lawsuit also claims that the agreement called for the two cities to close their respective airports, but a copy of the agreement obtained by the Observer says no such thing.

Interestingly, Fort Worth is being represented in the suit by the law firm of Kelly, Hart and Hallman, whose name partner Dee Kelly sits on the board of AMR Corp.


Link to Story

Fort Worth is always arguing that the original plan was to close Love Field and that is not the case. The plan was to close Love Field to all commercial traffic, but leave it open for general aviation and business jets.

The problem was, that in the mid 1970's the courts ruled that as long as Love Field remained open that Southwest could fly there. The only way to force Southwest out would have been to shut down Love Field entirely and I don't think it's fair for Fort Worth to have expected Dallas to do that considering Fort Worth was keeping Meacham open and would later build Alliance.

About three weeks after The Dallas Observer ran that feature article, they published another article about Alliance Airport.

November 6, 1997
Hypocritic oath
Minutes of a power brokers' meeting show that Fort Worth is guilty of what it accuses Dallas of doing--breaking an agreement over D/FW airport

Here's the first half of the story with a link to rest.

Explosive" and "heartbreaking" are what former Dallas City Council member Jerry Bartos calls a secret meeting Fort Worth power brokers held several years ago to discuss strategies in combating Dallas on issues regarding the Wright Amendment.

The meeting's five-page transcript, a copy of which was obtained by the Dallas Observer, shows three Fort Worth former mayors, the head of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, plus several heads of large corporations and an American Airlines vice president discussing Fort Worth's potential legal exposure from the construction of Alliance Airport.

Alliance arguably is in violation of the 1968 bond agreement that Dallas and Fort Worth entered into in order to build D/FW Airport.

The transcript also indicates that Ray Hutchison, Dallas' bond counsel, advised Fort Worth on their position regarding Alliance Airport--a possible conflict of interest. In addition, the transcript shows that former Dallas Mayor Jack Evans was advising Fort Worth power brokers about potentially privileged Dallas information while the two cities were embroiled in a lawsuit.

The meeting took place in May 1992, shortly after Fort Worth filed a lawsuit against Dallas to prevent Dallas from holding hearings on repealing the Wright Amendment, which limits flights from Love Field to cities within Texas and its four adjoining states. The suit was similar to one Fort Worth filed against Dallas last month after Congress voted to exempt three additional states from the Wright Amendment and to allow unlimited long-distance flights to reconfigured jets with 56 or fewer seats ["The (W)right to fly," October 16].

Both suits claim that any changes to the Wright Amendment violate an agreement the two cities entered into in 1968 to issue bonds for building D/FW Airport. The 1968 bond covenant prevents certificated air service--both passenger and cargo--at Dallas and Fort Worth municipal airports and calls for both cities to do nothing that would impede the growth at D/FW.

But shortly after Fort Worth filed suit against Dallas in 1992, Fort Worth city fathers were highly nervous about Alliance Airport, located north of Fort Worth, which houses Federal Express' Southwest hub. They were worried that Dallas might sue Fort Worth, according to minutes of the May 11, 1992, meeting called by then-Fort Worth Mayor Kay Granger.

According to the minutes, Granger told the group that she had heard that Dallas was going to sue Fort Worth over Alliance. "Through meetings it has become obvious that Dallas sees they have an airport [Love Field] without development," Granger said. "We have development [at Alliance], they do not."

Former Fort Worth Mayor Bayard Friedman agreed, adding that Fort Worth has "taken a lot of risks through time in developing [Alliance]...I cannot conceive that Dallas would file a lawsuit over Alliance. That would be disastrous."

In fact, many Dallas City Council members wanted the city to countersue Fort Worth. Instead, then-Mayor Steve Bartlett retreated. Dallas passed a resolution reaffirming the city's support of the bond ordinance, and Fort Worth withdrew the suit.

"This transcript proves that Fort Worth was scared to death about their exposure on Alliance," says Bartos. "They knew they were in blatant violation of the bond ordinance and they didn't have a waiver from the D/FW board. And what does Mayor Bartlett do? [He] declares unconditional surrender.


Link to full story

Eleven months later, the Dallas Business Journal asks the same thing.

October 9, 1998
Alliance and D/FW: Do they really compete?

Fort Worth's arguments to the contrary, there's no question in Jeff Fegan's mind that Cow Town's Alliance Airport competes against Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

"We compete with everything that moves out there," said Fegan, executive director at D/FW.

Fegan made the comments Sept. 31 during a presentation about D/FW that he made to the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

His comments were especially interesting in light of the flurry of lawsuits between the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas over expanding passenger service out of Dallas Love Field.

Fort Worth claims that if Big D allows expanded passenger service out of Love, the city will violate the 1968 bond covenants that funded construction of the jointly owned airport.

In the covenants, the two cities agreed to protect D/FW from competition by prohibiting scheduled interstate flights from all other Metroplex airports in their control.

In the meantime, Fort Worth built Alliance Airport, which has already stolen one of D/FW's primary cargo customers.
That contradiction has had residents in Dallas scratching their heads for some time.

So, does "competition" refer only to passenger service, or to cargo service also?

Fort Worth, of course, claims it refers only to passenger service. But experts who helped write the original bond covenants have said "competition" refers to all competition.

Up to now, Fort Worth has been able to sidestep accusations that Alliance competes with D/FW for cargo. But the issue reached the limelight Oct. 1, when startup Legend Airlines Inc. filed a countersuit in Tarrant County State Court against the city of Fort Worth over the topic.

With the Fort Worth lawsuit percolating in Tarrant County for nearly a year, why did Legend wait til now?

Legend CEO and President T. Allan McArtor said he filed on the issue only after coming to the conclusion that Dallas never would.


Link to full story

So whatever became of this lawsuit? Was the matter decided in court? Was it dismissed? Was it dropped? My guess is that the case hadn't made it to court by the time Legend filed for bankruptcy and it was probably dropped. If it was dropped by McArtor, could Southwest file suit against Ft. Worth, demanding that all cargo flights be moved from Alliance back to DFW and use that as bargaining power to get the Wright Amendment repealed?

Why is it that the City of Dallas can't allow passengers already flying out of an airport that was built long before DFW was opened to travel further distances, but the City of Fort Worth can go out and build an ENTIRE NEW Airport whose primary function was to divert all the cargo and freight business away from DFW.

Does anyone know how much potential revenue Alliance Airport draws away from DFW? How does that compare to the amount of revenue that Love Field draws away from DFW? If it could be shown that Alliance is already diverting more revenue from DFW than Love Field, it would make Fort Worth's arguments about needing to protect DFW sound weaker than it already is..

Fort Worth had a whole series of pages on the Wright Amendment several years ago at fortworthgov.org. It's archived, but still accessible through the internet archives. This was the text on the page that talked about the 1968 Bond Ordinance the cities signed:

1968 Regional Airport
Concurrent Bond Ordinance

In Section 9.5 of the Bond Ordinance, the Cities of Dallas and Fort Worth agreed to phase out all Certificated Air Carrier Services from the airports operated by both cities and to transfer such services to the regional airport. "Certificated Air Carrier Services" means intrastate, interstate, or foreign air carrier services operating according to published flight schedules and holding operating certificates from the appropriate state or federal authorities.

The Airport Board was given the authority to review the effect and application of such covenant and, by a vote of not less than eight of its eleven members, the Board may determine the need for decentralization of Certificated Air Carrier Services in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

The Board may reasonably limit the scope and effect of the covenant and waive its application based on public safety and prudent and safe operations at D/FW Airport.

Additionally, the cities agreed that they would through every legal and reasonable means- promote the optimum development of the lands and facilities at the regional airport at the earliest practicable date.The City of Fort Worth immediately closed GISA. Love Field remained open.

Excerpt from the 1968 Regional Airport Concurrent Bond Ordinance Section 9.5. Competition, Optimum Airport Development

" Accordingly, the Cities, each with respect to its own individually owned airport facilities, as above named, hereby covenant and agree that from and after the effective date of this Ordinance, shall take such steps as may be necessary, appropriate, and legally permissible (without violating presently outstanding legal commitments or covenants prohibiting such action), to provide for the orderly, efficient and effective put at Love Field, Redbird, GSIA and Meacham Field, of any and all Certificated Air Carrier Services, and to transfer such activities to the Regional Airport effective upon the beginning of operations at the Regional Airport.

From time to time hereafter, the Board may review the effect and application of such covenant, and, by concurring action of not less than eight (8) of its members, the Board may reasonably limit its scope and effect and may waive its application in specific instances if it shall first determine that such action is necessary (1) in the interest of the public safety; (2) in the interest of prudent and efficient operations at the Regional Airport; or (3) in the interest of satisfying an overriding public need for decentralized Certificated Air Carrier Services in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan region considered as a whole."


Link to archived page

Now, keeping all that in mind, what does Fort Worth have to say about Alliance on their FAQ page?

QUESTION:

Doesn't Alliance Airport and the Mesa Airline service at Meacham Airport violate the 1968 agreement?

ANSWER:

No, on both counts. Certificated Air Passenger Service is not provided at Alliance Airport nor will the City of Fort Worth allow such service without the approval of the D/FW Airport Board. When the construction of Alliance Airport was being planned, the plans were shared with the D/FW Airport Board and the City of Dallas. Neither the Board nor Dallas opposed the construction of Alliance. The service that is being provided by Mesa at Meacham Airport is intrastate service. In the case City of Dallas v. Southwest Airlines (1973), the court ruled the intrastate service was not covered the 1968 Bond Ordinance.


Link to archived page


It doesn't matter that Alliance doesn't offer Certtificated Air Passenger Service. It does offer Certificated Air Freight Service. And the 1968 bond ordinance does not limit competition to Certificated Air Passenger Service only. It says ALL Certificated Air Carrier Services.

As far as Fort Worth sharing its plans for Alliance with the City of Dallas and the DFW Airport Board and then saying it's ok because no one opposed it -- that's not good enough. The fact is, no one approved it either. The matter was never brought to the Board for a vote at all, and that, in and of itself is a violation of the bond covenant, and considering that both cities have members on the DFW Airport Board, I hold both cities and the DFW Board responsible.

That may be why Dallas never sued Ft. Worth, because Dallas officials were partly to blame for not forcing a vote on the issue.

But none of that is Southwest's fault, and since, technically Alliance Airport does seem to be in violation of the bond covenant, maybe Southwest can sue, rather than waiting for the City of Dallas to do so. That would give Southwest (and the City of Dallas) some bargaining power for getting the Wright Amendment repealed.

(Sorry for the lengthy posts -- I just had a lot to say on this subject.)

LoneStar

#85 cjyoung

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 11:03 AM

Blah, Blah, Blah! :rolleyes:

I don't hesitate to fly Southwest because it's more convenient, they've never had a crash, and AA sucks! So, personally I don't care about protecting DFW or AA.

I want to see Fort Worth continue to build downtown and Alliance Airport and to the angst of you "region" folks, move as far as possible from Dallas' shadow.. :D

If wish we could have diverted our portion of the 1.3 billion spent on the international terminal at DFW to Alliance (making it ready for passenger traffic). I have no doubt that it would be successful. :devil:

#86 renamerusk

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 02:10 PM

Lonestar, you cite some interesting facts arguing on the whole from a marketplace viewpoint. If this was simply a marketplace issue, your viewpoint might be persuasive. However, I see this issue in slightly different terms: "as a relationship between two cities who by "Fate" and by the "Feds" are bound together forever". This relationship is always being tested by how these two cities can co-exist in one super region, the North Central Texas Metroplex. The future for a peaceful and effective regional approach to the Metroplex's many other regional issues is at stake here; Don't you believe otherwise.

A quick read of the History of the DFW Aiport will enlighten you to the long history which has brought the two cities to this point. It is more helpful if you understand that DFW Airport is not simply a Billion Dollar Plus investment but is a political compromise which has paved the way for so much more cooperation to happen between the two cities.
http://www.dfwairport.com/visitor/history.htm

I think that the atmosphere in recent days has become poisoned once again by Southwest Airlines for arguably obvious reasons. Southwest is not adverse to employing such tactics as it has been more than willing to do by poisoning an issue when its interests are threathened; I refer to their duplicitous actions in derailing the Texas Bullet Train initiative. Ironically, Southwest's newly found objection to the Wright Admendment has the potential to disrupt and jeopardize the fledgling talks of a regional mass transportation plan. I suspect our City Council will be loathed to discuss any regional issues as long as the Wright Admendment issue continues to be stirred by the corporate interests of a few.

Far before their was a Wright Admendment which some believe protects AA, there was a need to protect the environment, to reduce the noise from the increasing numbers of flights and protect the nearby neighborhoods, and enhance air traffic safety in the region by reducing the chances of an aircraft disaster and thereby protect a highly populated area from a disaster . I thought that these were the laudable and justifiable reasons that the Feds mandated a new single airport be developed to serve the North Central Texas region; and also to save tax dollars by operating one airport. All the airlines in existenance at that time saw the wisdom and efficiency of this mandate. Imagine had the two aircraft crashes that have occurred at DFW Airport been allowed to have happen in the surrounding Love Field neighbor; what would be the economic and human cost of such a disaster? Are convenience and cheaper fares ethically justifiable at Love Field when they can be provided with greater safety and convenience at DFW?
How does having more flights at Love Field change the fundamentals of these issues?

I will predict some things that you might want to consider should the Wright Admendment be overturned for the sole purpose of convenience, cheaper fares and the protection of Southwest Airlines' facilities at Love Field:

1. Many more airlines using Love Field and increasing not reducing congestions
and noise.
2. A reductions in air safety with a greater potential for a castatrosphic
event as the additional flight try to takeoff and land with ontime statistics
being a premium.
And the most pernicious impact being

3. A setback of unforseeable consequences for the spirit of regionalism which may
be unrecoverable.

I speculate that too those are some of the underlying reasons why past mayors of Dallas and the current mayor of Dallas support the Wright Admendment; and not a particular love for Fort Worth. To their credit, there are some in Dallas who understand the adverse ramifications of an "Open-skies" Love Field.

With so much at stake and the possibility of cheaper fares plus all the advantages that DFW Airport could offer, I humbly ask again:

"Why can't Southwest Airlines operate from and bring cheaper fares to DFW Airport?" What prevents them from doing so?

"Keep Fort Worth Follksy!"

#87 Buck

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 09:34 PM

Lonestar, thanks for all the links, misguided as they might be.

However, "certificated air carrier service" means passenger flights.

Check the definition that you quoted -- air carrier service operating from published flight schedules.

Some of those links quote Jerry Bartos, a vicious DFW critic who wants all flights returned to Love, and the Dallas Business Journal, which has blatantly reported from a pro-Love side.

At the same time, it's valid to say that Alliance competes with DFW for cargo service.

That simply doesn't violate the bond covenant.

#88 LoneStarMike

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 07:08 AM

I think that the atmosphere in recent days has become poisoned once again by Southwest Airlines for arguably obvious reasons.

View Post



I agree but you have to remember that Southwest's main responsiblilities are to its shareholders, not the City of Fort Worth or DFW Airport. Of course they're looking out for their best interests. They've always done that and that's one of the reasons they've been profitable for so long.

Far before their was a Wright Admendment which some believe protects AA, there was a need to protect the environment, to reduce the noise from the increasing numbers of flights and protect the nearby neighborhoods, and enhance air traffic safety in the region by reducing the chances of an aircraft disaster and thereby protect a highly populated area from a disaster

I agee that those are valid issues but I think most, if not all of them have been addressed in the Love Field Master Plan.

A March 27, 2001 Dallas Morning News Article reported

The plan to expand Love Field into a 32-gate regional airport cruised through a City Council committee Monday, with city officials and area residents complimenting the proposal as a reasonable approach to growth."

Source

The rest of the article talks about the residents around Love Field being relieved about both the 32 gate limit and that the proposed master plan called for upgraded air-quality monitors. It also quotes a Dallas City Council member as being surprised that the residents and city officials reached an agreement on what is needed at Love Field. It also mentions an enviromental impact study which concluded that a 32 gate airport would not pose an environmental threat to the surrounding neighborhoods with regards to air pollution, noise and traffic.

Are convenience and cheaper fares ethically justifiable at Love Field when they can be provided with greater safety and convenience at DFW?

Yes, they are. First of all, it doesn't matter whether these flights could be operated more safely from DFW. As long as they can be operated safely from Love Field, that's all that should matter. And I believe they could.

Secondly, when you say that these flights could be provided with greater convenience at DFW, my question is "with greater convenience for who?" Fort Worth? The Airlines?

I will predict some things that you might want to consider should the Wright Admendment be overturned for the sole purpose of convenience, cheaper fares and the protection of Southwest Airlines* facilities at Love Field:

1. Many more airlines using Love Field and increasing not reducing congestions
and noise.


I don't see how there could be that many more airlines that could fly into Love Field. Southwest operates out of 14 gates already. The other six gates in the North Concourse would have to be reconverted back to gates as it is being used for office space right now and that would take some time. Additionally, at the entrance to the North Concourse is another ground level gate that was used by Delta ASA Connection. That accounts for 21 of the 32 gates.

Continental Express operates out of 2 gates in the East Concourse, and American Airlines is still paying the lease on the three gates they refurbished, but never actually used. The rest of the East Concourse was torn down, as were the old Texas International satellite gates.

That accounts for 26 of of the airport's 32 gate maximum. That only leaves 6 other gates that could be used by other airlines, and if they were to be located in the main terminal they would have to be built first. All the rest of the airport's former gates have been torn down.

I'm not sure if this 32 gate limit includes the 6 gates over in Legend's terminal. Although Legend's terminal is adjacent to airport property, the land upon which it was built and the funds used to build it were purchased by and paid for by Legend and not the City of Dallas.

It would never be suitable for more than regional service. Although DC-9's did use the terminal over at legend, I don't think anything larger would have enough room to use the gates. Add that to the fact that Legend's DC-9's were only configured for 56 passenger and the interior space of Legend's terminal reflects that. I think I read somwhere that the maximum occupany for the entire terminal was 800 people. While that would have been enough space to handle Legend's passengers, it's not enough space to handle a regulary configured DC-9 at each of the six gates.

At any rate, the growth wouldn't occur all at once. It would be gradual. And some of these new flights would be replaceing others that have been lost. Prior to 9-11, Southwest offered 139 daily departures out of Love Field. I believe they're down to 123 now. And this is after Dallas just completed a new parking garage in the past year and a half or so that has lots of empty spaces since trfic fell off after the September 11 attacks.

2. A reductions in air safety with a greater potential for a castatrosphic
event as the additional flight try to takeoff and land with ontime statistics
being a premium.


Again, Love Field may not be as safe as DFW, but as long as it is safe I don't see what the problem is.

3. A setback of unforseeable consequences for the spirit of regionalism which may be unrecoverable.

I think that's part of the problem, at least as far as Dallas goes. Dallas was perfectly happy to remain separate from Fort Worth and to compete with them, but the federal government forced us to "be friends" so to speak. and work together.

I suspect that most Dallasites feel they are responsible for the majority of growth that has taken place in North Texas over the last three decades because they were and have always been the larger of the two cities. I think the mindset (for Dallasites) is that Fort Worth needed Dallas more than Dallas needed Fort Worth and now they're upset because Dallas and Southwest
can't get their way.

And to some extent, others may feel that by not challenging Fort Worth over Alliance Airport, Dallas was doing Fort Worth a favor and now that Dallas wants a favor, Fort Worth isn't willing to compromise.

With so much at stake and the possibility of cheaper fares plus all the advantages that DFW Airport could offer, I humbly ask again:

"Why can*t Southwest Airlines operate from and bring cheaper fares to DFW Airport?" What prevents them from doing so?


When I first read your last question, this was my initial thought.

Because it would be too radical a change from their business plan and they'd be able to achieve a greater return on their investment if they operated those same flights from Love field rather than DFW.

Why should Southwest move to DFW, when the costs are lower at Love Field and Love Field provides them with everything they need? Why would they want to pay extra to fly out of a big airport that's further away from their core base of travelers and help finance that shiny new International Terminal, when Southwest doesn't offer international service itself? Why would they pay for something they don't need? And since Delta is leaving, doesn't that mean the fees for the other airlines will be going up? Why would they want to increase their costs, while cannibalizing traffic from Love Field?

Look what happened when AA spilt it's operations between DFW and Love Field when they were competing with Legend. AA was only "succesful" in that it ran Legend out of business. As far as being able to make a profit on those flights they weren't succesful at all. That's why they don't operate those flights any more.

Southwest rarely chooses to fly into a fortress hub, especially if there is a secondary airport in the area.

Remember, a fortress hub is defined as an airport where one airline controls 2/3 or more of the market.

Using that criteria, the only four fortress hubs I can think of that Southwest flies into are Philadelphia, Cleveland, Houston Intercontinental and Dallas Love Field itself.

I think they were willing to take a gamble with Philadelphia because it was overpriced, underserved, dominated by a financially weak carrier that is in much worse shape than American Airlines is, and there was no secondary airport in the area.

Although they fly into Cleveland, a fortress hub for Continental, they only operate 20 or so daily departures to a handfull of destinations.

As far as Houston Intercontinental goes, they only operate 6 daily flights from there to Love Field. It's one of the smallest stations in Southwes't System. The bulk of their operations are at Houson's secondary airport, and if Southwest were to follow it's true business plan that's the way things would be for them in Dallas. Most of the service would be from Love Field. DFW would have a lesser amount of flights -- say no more than 30-40.

And of course Love Field is Southwest's "fortress" hub.

That was my inital thought, but there has been a very interesting new development reagarding this whole debate and it has caused me to rethink my position.

Having said all that, I suspect that Southwest is working on a plan to bring some low fare service to DFW. I will explain why and propose a possible solution to this whole debate in a separate post.

LoneStarMike

#89 LoneStarMike

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 07:24 AM

Lonestar, thanks for all the links, misguided as they might be.

However, "certificated air carrier service" means passenger flights.

Check the definition that you quoted -- air carrier service operating from published flight schedules.

View Post


You're quite welcome for the links. Even though I haven't lived in the Metroplex for over 20 years, I still find this to be a fascinating debate.

Regarding the definition of what is meant by "Certificated Air Carrier," I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you.

From the Air Transport Organization

Certificated Air Carrier:

An air carrier holding a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct scheduled services interstate. These carriers may also conduct nonscheduled or charter operations. Certificated air carriers operate large aircraft (30 seats or more or a maximum load of 7,500 pounds or more) in accordance with FAR Part 121.


Source

And Forth Worth's definition was:

"Certificated Air Carrier Services" means intrastate, interstate, or foreign air carrier services operating according to published flight schedules and holding operating certificates from the appropriate state or federal authorities."

Federal Express is an interstate airline.
Federal Express operates according to published flight schedules. It holds an operating certificate from the approriate federal agency. It is an air transportation carrier because it transports freight by air

If certificated air carriers only refer to passenger carriers, why then, in a 1997 news report, was Atlas Air described in the following manner?

Atlas Air is a U.S. certificated air carrier that operates a fleet of 747 freighters under long-term contracts with commercial air carriers including British Airways, China Airlines, Cargolux, Emirates, FastAir, KLM, LAS, Lufthansa, SAS, Thai International Airways, and Varig, serving 62 cities in 38 countries.

Source

Obviously, this isn't the first time the two cities have disagreed on legal technicalities. But Forth Worth has been wrong in the past.

It was Fort Worth that said Dallas had to force Southwest to move to DFW because Dallas had agreed to close Love Field to all commeral service.

It was the courts who said that Dallas coudn't force Southwest to move so long as Love Field remained open to other traffic.

It was Fort Worth who insisted that the 56 seat limit in the Wright Amendment applied to planes with the capacity of 56 seats or less.

It was the Shelby Amendment that clarified the 56 seat clause referred to planes configured with 56 seats or less.

Now Fort Worth wants to tell us that certificated air services applies only to passenger carriers, while the evidence I've provided (biased as it may be) raises some questions as to whether or not it includes cargo carriers as well.

That's why I say let the courts decide the matter because Dallas and Fort Worth will never agree on this issue. The only way for the two cities to move forward is to start settling some of these differences and since we can't seem to do it on our own, the courts need to step in and settle these matters for us.

LoneStarMike

#90 LoneStarMike

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 08:06 AM

Could this be a possible solution?

As you may or may not have heard,

Southwest seeks control of ATA

As I was reading the article, this section kind of jumped out at me

Southwest's offer for six ATA gates at Midway startled industry analysts because it included a code-share provision -- for only the second time in Southwest's history.

This would allow ATA to sell Southwest tickets to travelers who use both airlines on one trip, such as a passenger going to Indianapolis from Fort Worth, Texas, flying the first leg on Southwest and changing at Midway to an ATA flight.

"This is part of a defensive move" by Southwest, Field said, noting Southwest is offering the arrangement on fewer than 10 routes out of Midway. "They saw it as the only way to match what AirTran was offering" in code-sharing.


First off, don't you Fort Worthians just LOVE the example in the article - "Fort Worth to Indianapolis." No mention at all of the evil sister in Dallas. <grin>

Anyway, I can't seem to get past that code sharing example that was used in the indystar article. It specifically stated:

This would allow ATA to sell Southwest tickets to travelers who use both airlines on one trip, such as a passenger going to Indianapolis from Fort Worth, Texas, flying the first leg on Southwest and changing at Midway to an ATA flight.

At first, I assumed they had it backwards. I assumed that the DFW - MDW leg would be on ATA, not Southwest (because Southwest doesn't fly DFW- MDW), and that the second MDW - IND leg would be on Southwest not ATA.

But now I'm starting to wonder if that example might have been a clue as to Southwest's plans.

There's been lots of screaming from Fort Worth and AA about why can't Southwest come to DFW and offer some low fare competition. "DFW airport needs the revenue. We have all those empty Delta gates."

They are trying to paint Southwest as the villain, saying that Southwest is looking out for its own best interests rather than that of the entire region at large (which I don't blame Southwest for doing -- after all their first responsibility is to their shareholders, not the City of Fort Worth or DFW)

So what if Southwest were to say "Fine, you want us to come to DFW, we'll come to DFW. Give us 4 gates." That would be enough for 40 daily departures.

Now initially, they would probably concentrate on DFW - MDW flights. See, if ATA operates the DFW-MDW flights, then once Southwest customers got to MDW, they'd only be able to connect to other cities that Southwest serves out of MDW. They wouldn't be able to connect to other ATA flights that served cities not currently in Southwest's system.

Well, actually they would be able to, but it wouldn't benefit Southwest as both flights would be on ATA so I don't see where Southwest would get any revenue out of that.

But if Southwest flew DFW - MDW themselves, then passengers could still connect to other cities that Southwest serves out of MDW. That would be just a Southwest to Southwest connection. But they could now ALSO connect to the other destinations out of MDW that ATA flies to but Southwest does not with the codesahre agreement.

Not only would it open DFW up to places like BWI, Chicago Midway, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Hartford, Manchester, Providence, and other cities currently in Southwest's system, but because of the codeshare agreement, It could also add additional destinations like Boston, La Guardia, Washington -- places Southwest doesn't fly to itself, but ones that are served by ATA. Not only would Dallas and Fort Worth benefit, so would Southwest customers in other cities as long as the connection was made in MDW.

Talk about puttin' a hurt on AA and the other legacy carriers. And then, as long as Southwest was at DFW, they could later add more nonstops to places like Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Tampa, Orlando, etc. -- places which wouldn't be logically served via a connection in Chicago.

So is this idea too farfetched? It seems like it would take care of a lot of things. It would get Southwest the gates it wants at MDW and would help to keep AirTran out of MDW. If Southwest and ATA were partners at MDW, Southwest could then focus it's expansion towards other areas, like HOU, BWI, ISP and other airports where new gates have been or will be completed.

Although it might not be in the best interests of the North Texas region at large, speaking from a Southwest business perpective, It would help keep AirTran in check at DFW, and it might be enough of a threat to deter others (like jetBlue) from coming into DFW.

It could also potentially add 9 new destinations to the ENTIRE Southwest system via the codeshare agreement with ATA.

And it would FINALLY provide low fare service to all the residents of North Texas and maybe Fort Worth and AA and Southwest and Dallas and DFW would stop all this bickering and whining all the time. Hopefully the lower fares would stimlate more demand and with more flyers, DFW would begin to see increased revenues from landing fees, parking, gate rentals, concessions, etc.

It seems like it could be a win/win situation for everyone involved. (except maybe for American Airlines, who would now have to compete in price on more routes.) And actually, since Southwest doesn't have assigned seating or first class or VIP clubs or offer international service, while AA does, AA might be able to justifiably charge a small premium for these services and the individual customer could make the decision as to whether or not the higher price was worth the extra value.

Then, if there was a large jump in passengers at DFW (and there should be -- that's what always happens when Southwest enters a high priced market) then perhaps the Wright Amendment could finally be repealed.

I think Southwest's codeshare opportunity with ATA (if their bid is approved) would provide Southwest the means to achieve a bigger return on their investment should they deide to begin serving DFW, whereas if they try to do it without ATA's help, I don't think they'd be as successful.

Look at it this way. Dallas and Fort Worth both have a joint interest in DFW, and then Fort Worth has it's airports (Meacham and Alliance) and Dallas has Love Field. Since Dallas has the larger population, why can't Love Field be more concentrated on serving passengers? Since Fort Wort has the better cargo facility at Alliance, they can remain the premier cargo airport for the region.

As Fort Worth grows, additional commercial flights could be added at either Alliance or Meacham or both as determined by the DFW Airport Board.

But for all of you on this thread who are dreaming of long haul service out of Meacham or Alliance, while I wish you the best of luck, it will never ever happen until the Wright Amendment is repealed. Although the Wright Amendment doesn't place any restrictions on passenger service at either Meacham or Alliance, the 1968 Bond Ordinance does.

If you think for one minute that Dallas would allow long haul commercial passenger service at Meacham/Alliance, while we remain boxed in at Love Field, you can guess again. Dallas may have let Fort Worth get away with building Alliance, but I'm sure that if Fort Worth tried to get long haul passenger service at its secondary airports, Dallas would insist upon the matter being voted upon by the DFW Board and I don't think it would pass unless the Wright Amendment was gone.

If Southwest is going to take the risk with the codeshare ageement they might as well get the most bang for the buck and they could do that if they (WN) operated the DFW - MDW flights themselves, rather than ATA.

Here's an additional option to the one mentioned. Suppose Ft. Worth and AA agreed to quit opposing the Wright Amendment and it was repealed. And suppose Southwest pledged to add one flight at DFW for every 4 flights it operated at Love Field. If Southwest went back up to 140 departures per day at Love Field, they'd also be required to operate 35 daily departures from DFW. The bigger they got at Love Field, the more flights they'd have to start at DFW.

Now I'm not saying that Southwest would agree to this or if it would even be possible from a legal standpoint, but if they did, would this be enough to satisfy Fort Worth on this issue?

What does everyone else think?

LoneStarMike

#91 tcole

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 10:38 AM

LS:

I am curious and you may know the answer to this question. When (if) the orriginal bonds (and I suppose subsequent debt directly tied to the orriginating debt) are retired on DFW, do the covenant restrictions still hold?

#92 LoneStarMike

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 11:42 AM

That's a good question. My gut feeling is that they would still apply, but I don't know for sure.

LoneStarMike

#93 tcole

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 02:37 PM

And I suppose that a a more in depth question would be whether or not the covenants would still be enforceable in that after the debt is paid off the covenants would assumably cease to be effective. Or not?

#94 360texas

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 02:44 PM

I was thinking the same thing.

The written conditions were sync'd with the financial need. If the debt has now been satisified.. then so should have been the original written conditions.

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#95 gcarey

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 02:55 PM

^ This is such a lively and colorful debate. To me, the saddest part about is that it appears to have nothing to do AA, DFW, or Southwest, but rather everything to do with Fort Worth vs. Dallas.

#96 cjyoung

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 03:28 PM

3. A setback of unforseeable consequences for the spirit of regionalism which may be unrecoverable.

I think that's part of the problem, at least as far as Dallas goes.  Dallas was perfectly happy to remain separate from Fort Worth and to compete with them, but the federal government forced us to "be friends" so to speak. and work together. 

I suspect that most Dallasites feel they are responsible for the majority of growth that has taken place in North Texas over the last three decades because they were and have always been the larger of the two cities.  I think the mindset (for Dallasites) is that Fort Worth needed Dallas more than Dallas needed Fort Worth and now they're upset because Dallas and Southwest
can't get their way. 

---------------------------
...Ah the good 'ol days. :D

Thirty years ago the fight wouldn't have been a fair one :ph34r: , but today Fort Worth is the one with the upper hand to crumbling :cheez: , "on the brink" Dallas.

#97 LoneStarMike

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 05:45 PM

Someone earlier had posted a link to the DFW history page on DFW's website that provided a somewhat tame version of events. I guess some might refer to it as the "Fort Worth" version of events.

And then there's the "Dallas" version of events (interestingly enough written by a person who lives in Fort Worth) that is on the history page at www.fightwright.org He writes:

In The Beginning

The two cities of Dallas and Fort Worth were growing up fast only about 35 miles apart. As with all large towns at the time, they each had their own airport. Dallas had Love Field Airport and Fort Worth had Meacham Airport. Love Field was very advanced for the time and was considered the finest airport in the Southwest. Fort Worth was always second fiddle to Dallas, but most airlines made stops at both Dallas and Fort Worth on their way to other large cities.

In walks Amon Carter, the patriarch of Fort Worth and majority shareholder of American Airlines. We should pause to introduce the eclectic Mr. Carter. He owned nearly every media outlet in Fort Worth including the newspaper, radio station, and television station. He also owned several oil investments which paid handsomly. You might say he had the Midas Touch and was the goodest of the good-ole-boys. He even dined with Presidents.

But no matter what anybody says about him, Amon Carter loved Fort Worth and wanted it to be king of the Dallas/Fort Worth region. One of Carter's associates once said of him, "That man wants the whole government of the United States to be run for the exclusive benefit of Fort Worth." (From Prairie To Planes, Page 49).

Fast-forward to the 1950's. To cut costs for airlines who made the double-stop at Love and Meacham, Amon Carter decided there should be one centrally located large airport. What Amon wanted, Amon got. Dallas was interested, but when it came out that Mr. Carter and associates where making backroom deals, Dallas didn't want any part of it. For example, Amon Carter secretly got the main airport terminal built on the far West edge of the airport. That made the trip to the airport very convenient for people from Fort Worth, but anybody from Dallas would have to drive all the way over the airport and the drive South adding extra miles to their trip. Dallas people were soon calling it the "19 mile airport" to describe how far they had to drive to get there. And besides, Love Field airport was booming so why bother?

Against the advice of Dallas, Fort Worth went ahead with building this large mid-cities airport just South of what is now Route 183. It had the curiously long name of "Greater Fort Worth International Airport At Amon Carter Field." It wasn't long before business at the new airport was bombing. The traffic at Love Field was an order of magnitude higher and Amon Carters new airport was heading for a fiscal disaster. Not good for an airport financed by Fort Worth. The people in charge of the new airport tucked their tails between their legs and asked Dallas to help them, even offering to sell them a large share of the airport. They even shortened the airport name to, "Greater Southwest International Airport." Dallas said, "Thanks, but no thanks."


Note: I have a copy of the book he refers to - From Prairie to Planes. It also tells how, in 1954, about a year and a half after Amon Carter Field opened, Fort Worth, in an affort to increase traffic at its own airport, wanted to sell Dallas a share in their airport, change the name of the airport to add Dallas and they proposed that a joint airport authority be formed with representatives from both cities. Dallas said the offer was nothing more than an effort by Fort Worth to bail itself out of financial problems.

www.fightwright.org contines the story:

Economic disaster seemed unavoidable. To save Fort Worth's dignity and economy, the head of the FAA, Najeeb Halaby, inserted himself and said that both airports had to play nice, stop their city-to-city bickering, and develop a long-term solution to the current airport crisis that Fort Worth had caused with its ambitious and unnecessary mid-cities airport.

The two cities had representatives meet and after a few months they decided to replace the mid-cities airport with a new gargantuan co-developed Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport just north of the mid-cities airport, which would soon be bull-dozed. The abbreviation for the new airport would be D/FW.


I think Dallasites might feel that it wasn't so much a case of the two cities fighting and bickering, it was more of a case of Forth Worth constantly nagging Dallas to come join them at their new airport because Ft. Worth needed Dallas' strong travel market to make its own airport viable.

And in the end, Ft. Worth basically got everything they had wanted from Dallas back in 1954. Remember, they wanted Dallas to own a half share of "their" airport even though Dallas was perfectly happy with its own.

That's why it's always amusing to me to hear Fort Worth say"We tore down our airport. Dallas did not." Well of course Fort Worth tore down their airport. Since the new airport was being built right next door it was basically replacing Fort Worth's old one. Isn't part of the land that DFW now occupies land that formerly made up part of Greater Southwest?

Since DFW was built very near the site of GSW, it's just as convenient to Fort Worth as GSW was, but meanwhile, Dallasites, who make up the lion's share of all travellers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex are the ones facing a longer drive.

In return, Dallas was added to the name of the new airport, and as Ft. Worth had proposed in 1954, the airport is now run by a joint authority with representatives from both cities.

That's why I made the comment about some Dallasites having the mindset that Fort Worth needed them more than they needed Fort Worth and I think it might be one of the reasons there's still so much arguing between the two cities today.

And if all this bickering wasn't bad enough, Dallas had salt rubbed in its wounds when Dallas-based Braniff International filed for bankruptcy and Fort Worth-based American Arlines became the dominant player in the DFW market. Now not only did Dallasites have to use "Fort Worth's" Airport, they now had to fly on "Fort Worth's airline.

Which city's version of events is more accurate? Who knows. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between.

At any rate, I do think the Wright Amendment will be repealed sooner rather than later. Southwest seems to want it pretty bad. Herb Kelleher is one fine lawyer and Southwest has deep pockets. And American Airlines, while improving, is nowhere near as financially healthy as it was in 1997-98 when they sued Legend over this same issue.

No matter who "wins" it's gonna be one heck of a fight.

LoneStarMike

#98 renamerusk

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 08:49 PM

Economic disaster seemed unavoidable. To save Fort Worth's dignity and economy, the head of the FAA, Najeeb Halaby, inserted himself and said that both airports had to play nice, stop their city-to-city bickering, and develop a long-term solution to the current airport crisis that Fort Worth had caused with its ambitious and unnecessary mid-cities airport.

The two cities had representatives meet and after a few months they decided to replace the mid-cities airport with a new gargantuan co-developed Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport just north of the mid-cities airport, which would soon be bull-dozed. The abbreviation for the new airport would be D/FW.


No matter who "wins" it's gonna be one heck of a fight.

LoneStarMike

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I would be interested to read Mr. Najeeb Halaby's precise comments; especially the part where he is credited for saying "...the current airport crisis that Fort Worth had caused with its ambitious and unnecessary mid-cities airport". It would appear that Fort Worth was dead-on about a centrally located airport; an airport that is capable of handling both the national and local air transportation needs then, now and in the future and at once. For all the convenience that you suggest Love Field has, I would suggest that DFW Airport is unarguably closer to the geopgraphical and population center of the region than Love Field. Further more, are you suggesting that Love Field in its wildest dreams could accomodate 50ml. plus air travelers; that the need for a regional airport was nothing but pure folly; that the Fed should be asked to pour more money into a outdated Love Field for surely you don't believe that Dallas has the wherewithall to modernized Love Field alone when it could not come up with the money to modernized the Cotton Bowl or to build a new stadium for the Cowboys? So whose tax dollars are you proposing be used to breath new life into Love Field when one of the best airports in the entire world can easily accomodate new carriers at pennies on the dollar?
You cited statistics that Dallas generates the bulk of the air traffic in the region, that may be true; however the fundamentals are against Love Field as they were against the Cotton Bowl. In fact there was a rumor going around that Dallas was seeking Fort Worth's help, all in the spirit of regionalism, to build a stadium for the Cowboys, and in all places Dallas which caused quite a few snickers here in the West-o-plex. The fundamentals are that should the Wright Admendment be repealed, Dallas would have to find the money to accomodate not only American Airlines but any and all other carriers wanted to operate from there. Can you see why Dallas knows better. With American Airlines Arena suffering because of the hockey strike; with Reunion Arena virtually unused; with the environment around Love Field still the issue that it has always been; with the roads around Love Field sorely inadequate to handle millions of additional air travelers; with Dallas tonight bussing its homeless to Fort Worth because of the cold and because they are unable open a shelter; for so many reasons, I suggest that Dallas needed Fort Worth then as it does today to fight a battle against Southwest Airlines to save itself from getting in over its head as it is so prong to do.

Southwest Airlines stirred the pot because it saw the writing on the wall. AirTran and other lower fare carriers were coming to DFW and it had to act to scare them away; so it did by suggesting that it would seek to repeal the Wright Admendment; an tactful but an irrational ploy; does Southwest seriously believe that they would have Love Field all to themselves, with the prime take-offs and landings set aside exclusively for themselves. To that tactic, I hope that DFW will give some incentives to the current carriers at the airport and to other airlines considering operations at DFW; maybe free rent for 1 year.

The big secret that Dallas does not want known is that they would rather Southwest operate from DFW or at least maintain the status quo. Your Mayor Miller said as much weeks ago. How could Dallas convince taxpayers to foot the bill for modernizing Love Field and surrounding when its southern sector is so economically depressed; what a "purse fight" that will be!

With all the things on Dallas' agenda, an expanded Love Field is not one of them. I suspect the real fight and the solution will be found in Dallas when Dallas' leaders put an end to the Southwest's foolishness.

"Keep Fort Worth Folks!" and by the way "Give thanks for Fort Worth"

#99 Wildcard

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 04:19 AM

LoneStarMike,

I appreciate all the time and effort you have obviously spent in reseaching this topic so that everybody will have a clearer understanding about the Wright Amendment. I encourage everybody to peruse the website noted in the last posting: http://www.fightwright.org/ It explains very precisely how the amendment was created and why is it is now counterproductive for lower airfares in the Metroplex.

My desire is to have lower airfares at D/FW airport so that we can see a substantial increase in the number of tourists and conventioneers to downtown Fort Worth. We already have a newly remodeled convention center and plans for brand new hotels at the southern edge of downtown, now we just need a bit of competition at D/FW airport to bring fares down and entice people to come and visit! :cheez:

#100 LoneStarMike

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 09:14 AM

I would be interested to read Mr. Najeeb Halaby's precise comments; especially the part where he is credited for saying "...the current airport crisis that Fort Worth had caused with its ambitious and unnecessary mid-cities airport".

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Halaby was credited with saying Dallas and Fort Worth needed to work together. It was the the administrator of fightwright.org who interjected his opinion that the crisis had been caused by Fort Worth building a bigger airport than they needed.

If you ever get the chance, read the book From Prairie to Plains. Read the chapter "Parters at last." It pretty much backs up his opinion, although the story is related in more diplomatic terms.

For all the convenience that you suggest Love Field has, I would suggest that DFW Airport is unarguably closer to the geopgraphical and population center of the region than Love Field.

Convenience refers to more than just location. Love Field is more convenient to use from a passenger standpoint.

You land at DFW and taxi forever and finally get to a gate, You get off, get your bag, and head to the rent car desk. One hour from wheels down to rent car is a good day.

Wheels down at Love Field to being in your rent car and on Mockingbird Lane is 20 minutes.

Travelers changing planes at Love Field never have very far to walk to their connecting gate. If you're flying AA, that's not always the case. And while DFW is convenient in that you can park your car near your departure gate, if you're flying AA, you have no guarantee that your return flight will even arrive at the same terminal as you left from, so it might take a bit longer to get back to your car.

If you're traveling on business to or from downtown Dallas, a 3 mile cab ride from Love Field is a lot quicker and cheaper than a 20 mile cab ride from DFW.

Southwest's check-in lines at Love Field move way faster than AA's at DFW, especially with their new self service check-in kiosks that prints out both your boarding pass and your luggage tags. I can walk into Love Field, check my bags and be back outside for one last cigarette in a period of 5 minutes.

These are just some of the reasons I say Love Field is more convenient. A 32 gate airport on a relatively small piece of land will always be more convenient than a 140 gate airport with mutiple terminals spread over an area the size of Manhattan.

When you have a 32 gate airport and a 140 gate airport in the same region, the 140 gate airport will always be the primary airport for the region, which was what the Wright Amendment wanted to ensure. I would say its goal has been achieved and it's time for it to go.

Further more, are you suggesting that Love Field in its wildest dreams could accomodate 50ml. plus air travelers

No. What I am suggesting is that Love Field can handle twice the number of passengers it does now. Why can't Dallas be allowed to use it's own airport to its maximum benefit taking into consideration its physical limitations?

And keep in mind Love Field suffered more than most after the 9/11 attacks because so much of it's flights are short haul and more passengers had the option to drive to their destination. And many chose to do just that.

I fly Austin - Dallas frequently. Back in Q1 2001, 2063 passengers flew between the two cities on a daily basis. By Q1 2004, that number had dropped to 1291 daily passengers.

Similar drops have occurred in other city-pairs. If the Wright Amendment were dropped and Southwest could offer low fares to the rest of the nation instead of just the rest of the region, their existing short haul flights would begin to fill up again with passengers who could now fly to Love and make connections to additional cities. And American would be forced to match their fares at DFW.

that the need for a regional airport was nothing but pure folly;

It may not have been pure folly, but then again, if it's such a great idea, why don't Miami and Fort Lauderdale have a regional airport? Why don't Baltimore and Washington have a regional airport?

that the Fed should be asked to pour more money into a outdated Love Field for surely you don*t believe that Dallas has the wherewithall to modernized Love Field alone when it could not come up with the money to modernized the Cotton Bowl or to build a new stadium for the Cowboys?

That's exactly why the Wright Amendment should be repealed. If more travelers could fly through Love Field, the airport would see increased revenues from landing fees, parking and concessions, and Passenger Facility Charges. And if lower fares brought in more tourism and convention business to Dallas and helped stiumlate the local economy maybe Dallas could finally take care of some of these other problems you addressed.

With increased tourism and convention business maybe the American Airlines Center and Reunion Arena and the other venues would get more use. And Fort Worth would benefit, too, because the entire region would enjoy lower fares to more destinations.

So whose tax dollars are you proposing be used to breath new life into Love Field when one of the best airports in the entire world can easily accomodate new carriers at pennies on the dollar?

The tax dollars of more air travelers who would use Love Love Field if the restrictions were lifted. Increased revenues from landing fees, parking and concessions would also go a long way towards financing additional the additional expansion.

And then there's Southwest itself. If Southwest wanted to convert it's office space back to gates, it could do so, but it would be Southwest's responsibiity to pay for it, not the City of Dallas. And unlike American Airlines, Southwest has the money to do it.

Already, most of the East Concourse has been torn down and a new cargo facility is being built in its place. It was American Airlines, not the City of Dallas who paid for the demolition, and it is Southwest Airlines, not the City of Dallas who is building the new cargo facility.

Also in some cases, Southwest itself has paid for expanding an airport. They recently did something along those lines in Islip, NY. If they could do something like that in Islip, I'm sure they could do something similar at Love Field, especially considering that Dallas is its headquarters.

The Love Field Master Plan says that the new improvements will be paid for by federal grants, passengers, and airport tenants.

The fundamentals are that should the Wright Admendment be repealed, Dallas would have to find the money to accomodate not only American Airlines but any and all other carriers wanted to operate from there.

Is there some law or regulation you could point me to that backs up your claim?

It's my undertanding that as long as an airline holds the lease on a gate and is actually using them, they can't be forced to share their gate with another airline. That's why Southwest didn't have to share any of its gates with American at Love Field when AA was there to compete with Legend. And once the airport is full, it's full.

With American Airlines Arena suffering because of the hockey strike; with Reunion Arena virtually unused; with the environment around Love Field still the issue that it has always been; with the roads around Love Field sorely inadequate to handle millions of additional air travelers; with Dallas tonight bussing its homeless to Fort Worth because of the cold and because they are unable open a shelter; for so many reasons, I suggest that Dallas needed Fort Worth then as it does today to fight a battle against Southwest Airlines to save itself from getting in over its head as it is so prong to do.

And I would suggest that Dallas needs Southwest Airlines more than Fort Worth because Southwest can bring lower fares to the region, whereas Fort Worth can't and American Airlines won't.

Southwest Airlines stirred the pot because it saw the writing on the wall. AirTran and other lower fare carriers were coming to DFW and it had to act to scare them away

I thought that was American Airlines' job to scare away the other low fare carriers. God knows they've been doing it for years and they've been quite successful. North Texas needs lower airfares. Southwest wants to bring lower fares to the region and could achieve this goal more cost effectively from Love Field. American Airlines, with its anti-competetive nature does everything in its power to prevent low fares from coming to the region.

The Wright Amendment doesn't regulate safety, or noise levels, or the number of take offs and landings. It just regulates the passenger's choice of desinations that can be served from Love Field and is nothing more than a means to control the market.

Southwest is stirring the pot, all right, because the pot is full of AA's caca. And it stinks.

does Southwest seriously believe that they would have Love Field all to themselves, with the prime take-offs and landings set aside exclusively for themselves.

No. Southwest only holds the lease on the West Concoure (14 gates) and the North Concourse (6 gates that have been converted to office space) so they could only expand to 20 gates. That would still leave 12 potential gates for other carriers to use.

With all the things on Dallas* agenda, an expanded Love Field is not one of them. I suspect the real fight and the solution will be found in Dallas when Dallas* leaders put an end to the Southwest*s foolishness.

If Southwest were as sucessful as they were in Baltimore and have been in Philadelphia, there would be a huge increase in traffic -- more than Love Field could ever possibly hope to handle. The overflow traffic would then have to go to DFW and if the increase in travelers was big enough over the entire region, some of those flights might even go to Alliance and/or Meacham. I don't consider Southwest wanting to bring lower fares to North Texas "foolishness."

LoneStarMike




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