What After Wright?

TechBoy said:
No, it*s called offering up a compromise that you can live with, rather than risking losing everything. There is no doubt that Wright would have continued to try to close Love through legislative means and he probably would have succeeded eventually. So the compromise allowed Southwest to keep their operation running intact.

It's really kind of ironic if you think about it. In the editorial that started this thread, he wrote:

Legislative initiatives can move quickly or glacially, and Wright initially looked like a long fight. But it picked up powerful support last week. And if it gets to the floor of the Senate and House, a repeal could be immediate.

It's starting to look to me like the shoe's on the other foot and Ft. Worth, DFW, and AA might be the ones to have to offer up a compromise or risk and all or nothing fight and hope for the best.

So will DFW, Ft. Worth & AA and Dallas & WN try to compromise? (I think the City of Dallas and WN are willing) If so, what would be acceptable to both parties?

Some of the questions the editorial raised were:

How do we cap traffic at Love Field, which is limited by nearby neighborhoods and a scarcity of gates and runways?

Seems like the master plan would do that by limiting the overall number of gates, but I'm certainly open to hearing other ideas.

How do we divvy up Love's gates, which are largely controlled by Southwest?

Unless things have changed, all of Southwest's leases on both the West and North Concourses expire in December 2006. This info is mentioned somewhere in the Dallas Love Field Master Plan in the section where they inventoried all the space.

Should Southwest be allowed to keep the 14 operational gates it has now but give up it's 6 gates in the North Concourse to be divided amongst the other carriers? This option would mean that AA and CoEX would also get to keep their existing gates.

If this option is chosen I don't think any carrier should have gates if they're not using them, meaning that if AA wants to keep the three gates they have now, they'd need to start using them. WN AA CoEX and any other interested parties could bid on the remaining six gates and or Legend's gates.

Or should Southwest, AA, and CoEX all have to give up their respective gates and be forced to re-bid for them along with anyone else who wnated them?

Should they be awarded by a lottery?

Highest Bdder?

Should there be a departure level per gate requirement? (i.e you have to have at least 8 turns per gate or face the possibility of having to share.)

What about the Legend Terminal?

Should it stay as it is offering six gates? Should it be torn down or converted to another use and the master plan reduced to 26 gates as Mayor Miller has suggested?

Should it be torn/ down or converted to another use and the six gates be added somewhere else in the main terminal? (That's possible now under the current master plan and if you end up keeping the 32 gate restriction, I think it would be more efficient to have all the gates in the Main Terminal)

Maybe Legend's terminal could be used for corporate jets. It's luxurious inside and big enough to handle corporate jets. Big wigs and celebrities could fly into there far away from the "common folk."

I'm sure there's other options I haven't thought of.

WN folks, what would you want?

AA guys, what would be your choice?

Is there a way to reduce the negative effects on D/FW Airport and its primary tenant, American Airlines?

Here I think we'd have to look at how much time we should allow for the complete elimination of the Wright Amendment and how many phases we'd have to go through to get from where we are today to complete repeal at the end.

For Phase 1, do we start by adding a few more states, but keeping the maketing restrictions in place that prohibit through-ticketing? Or do we lift the through-ticketing market restrictions and allow through-ticketing system wide, but during Phase 1 the connections would still have to be made in existing Wright Amendment cities with no new states added during Phase 1?

Taking AA's side (for once) if it's a true compromise, I don't think Southwest should get both in Phase 1.

So my question to WN would be which do you want first? No marketing restrictions but no new states would get nonstop service yet, or a few new states can have nonstop service but through ticketing would stil be prohibited? My guess is that they'd go for no marketing restrictions but I don't know. I'm sure WN could live with either one.

AA, if you got to decide, which of those two options would have less of a negative impact on you?

And then how would we proceed from there? How many aditional phases should there be until we get to total repeal? Personally I don't think it should take more than four phases from start to finish, but that's just me.

How do we get to Phase 2? Do we just pick a certain amount of time and go by that (i.e. each phase lasts a year?)

Or could we tie it to DFW's success and by that I mean suppose during the first year during Phase 1, DFW's traffic dropped. I'd say if that happened, we'd have to allow more time to pass before proceeding to Phase 2.

Conversely, if traffic rose sharply at DFW like some predict it will, we'd get to proceed more quickly to Phase 2. That way, we'd be slowly opening up and expanding our secondary airport based on the success or failure of our primary airport. It seems like that would force the two cities and airports to work together.

As the editorial noted:

If we can address some of these issues, a road map and a calendar for repeal might emerge. And if North Texas leaders can agree on a plan that ultimately deregulates air service, it's likely that Congress would give its blessing, too.

The alternative is an all-or-nothing fight.

I sure would think long and hard about a compromise. I think it would be in both cities and DFW/Love Field's best interest.

What do you all think?

Without a doubt, the ticketing restrictions are the worst part of the Wright Amendment. Being able to issue tickets beyond the W/A perimeter would be extremely beneficial and the most consumer-friendly first step.

For example, for me to get from Sacramento to Dallas Love Field on SWA I have to buy two tickets:
(walk-up unrestricted, refundable fares good for travel tomorrow, 8/3.)

1) SMF -> ABQ ($243)
2) ABQ -> DAL ($150)
total cost: $393

Compare that to SWA's published maximum one-way unrestricted fare anywhere else of $299 and I'm immediately at a disadvantage of $94.00 because of the inability to offer a single ticket from SMF to DAL. (Not to mention the inconvenience and time needed to claim my checked luggage at ABQ and recheck it to DAL!)

By contrast, AA offers a restricted nonrefundable non-stop SMF -> DFW for $384. (The unrestricted fare on AA is $599!) By repealing the ticketing restrictions only, there would be pricing competition on the SMF -> DAL/DFW market and, while I'd still have to make at least one stop on SWA to meet the W/A perimeter restrictions, I could make the flight without having to change aircraft, buy two tickets, etc. Plus, I'd get a second bag of peanuts! :up: