'wrong' Amendment Back In The News

ngneer

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There's more spin in that letter as well.
Therefore, if you are contacted, I would suggest that you let Southwest Airlines know that you would like to have the airline serve your city, if that is the case, but that you would like to see Southwest provide that service from DFW Airport, not Love Field, as originally agreed to by all parties.
Better notify Gary Kelly, because I don't think he's aware that Southwest has agreed to serve DFW. :lol:
 

JS

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Sigh... more failing grades for reading comprehension.

All parties originally agreed to fly out of DFW, period. That agreement has since been codified into federal law while modified to say that flights out of Love Field are limited to the surrounding states.
 

luver41

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"All parties" didn't include Southwest since they weren't even flying when the agreement was signed in 1969.
 

ngneer

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The point is that this letter is written to airport directors in distant states who don't know the history of DFW and the Wright and Shelby Amendments. The wording in the letter is slanted to imply that Southwest is reneging on an agreement when they made no such agreement.
 

JS

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Southwest didn't agree to the TSA taking over airport security and pushing people back to their cars for short-haul travel. While I would personally applaud Southwest if they kicked out the TSA thugs at DAL and HOU and installed their own efficient security personnel, the fact of the matter is they cannot legally do that.

Southwest didn't agree to LGB slots. Shall they start flying from LAS, PHX and MDW to LGB, and simply announce their arrival to ATC?

Southwest didn't agree to the LGA perimeter rule. Shall they instruct ATA to start flying non-stop from LGA to SEA, SFO and LAX?

Need any more examples?
 

KCFlyer

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JS said:
Southwest didn't agree to the TSA taking over airport security and pushing people back to their cars for short-haul travel. While I would personally applaud Southwest if they kicked out the TSA thugs at DAL and HOU and installed their own efficient security personnel, the fact of the matter is they cannot legally do that.

Southwest didn't agree to LGB slots. Shall they start flying from LAS, PHX and MDW to LGB, and simply announce their arrival to ATC?

Southwest didn't agree to the LGA perimeter rule. Shall they instruct ATA to start flying non-stop from LGA to SEA, SFO and LAX?

Need any more examples?
[post="246996"][/post]​

JS...the Wright Amendment was a quick fix to a legal loophole that SWA used. They wouldn't have needed to use it if an international airline (Braniff) didn't feel threatened by a 3 jet startup enough to keep them out of the air. As a result, Southwest was not an operating airline when the other airlines signed the agreement. Furthermore, the routes they served were not subject to the CAB guidelines, which was pointed out in subsequent court cases. Yes...Southwest used a "loophole" to maintain operations out of Love Field. Once the airline industry was deregulated, and Southwest availed themselves of the new LAW that encouraged competition, Jim Wright went in and passed another law to "regulate" a "deregulated" environment.

Braniff couldn't up and serve 31 different cities prior to 1978 without CAB approval. But once the deregulation act passed, they could and pretty much did start service to 31 new cities practically overnight. Their hope was that deregulation wouldn't last and that any routes added would be "grandfathered" back to them when the industry was reregulated. There wasn't any hue and cry to Congress to prevent Braniff from doing that, but when Southwest tried serving New Orleans, the Wright Amendment suddenly appears.

FWIW, in checking the Southwest Website last night, it appears that I can book a flight from LAX into LGA. And....get this....they are doing it under the restrictions imposed by the LGA perimeter rule.

I guess all I'm wonder is - I can understand the LGA perimeter rule as it involves aircraft into the largest city into the USA. LGA might need limitations to handle the flow of air traffic...but DFW/DAL, even today, don't have near the number of flights that the NYC Airports see. So the perimeter rule is almost understandable. But the Wright Amendment protects what? Even way back when....what did it protect? In the late 70's when the WA was enacted, both Braniff and American had HUGE operations at the new DFW airport...their operations, even then, could not have been handled at Love Field, so that was no fear of them moving back and abandoning DFW...If they had, AA would be a fraction of it's current size. So just what was the WA designed to protect?

DFW wants to be such a "real big city" kind of place, yet they apparently don't have any problems about feeling that their metroplex just can't support two airports without some sort of government intervention.
 

mweiss

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JS said:
Need any more examples?
[post="246996"][/post]​
Hmmm...I don't recall anyone suggesting that WN start flying outside of the Wright/Shelby areas. They're just trying to get the law changed. What's wrong with that???
 

FWAAA

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LoneStarMike said:
Here's one possible reply to DFW I saw posted on another board,



I have an airport to run. I and our airport board are responsible to our region and its needs. This mandate does not extend to bailing out an airport in another state just because they gambled on increased air traffic and lost.


[post="246682"][/post]​

Exactly. I think DFW's letter is ludicrous.

And I disagree with AA's opposition to repeal of the Wright Amendment restrictions.

Competition is good, not bad. Let DFW and DAL compete.
 

Ch. 12

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FWAAA said:
Exactly. I think DFW's letter is ludicrous.

And I disagree with AA's opposition to repeal of the Wright Amendment restrictions.

Competition is good, not bad. Let DFW and DAL compete.
[post="247047"][/post]​

Couldn't agree more.

All of these WA arguements always get back to "but that's the law". Who cares? We are argueing how unethical the law is and not whether or not it exists.

For a mega-carrier to have that much protection at their fortress hub and STILL be in financial trouble...that says something there. Now if only they could get a perimiter on MDW as well...
 
OP
swflyer

swflyer

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:D Gotta love the political process. :D
"It's all about me" will get this law changed, no matter what Tim Wagner thinks.

Tennesseans lobby against Wright law
By Maria Recio
Star-Telegram Washington Bureau
February 10, 2005

WASHINGTON - In the opening salvo of what's shaping up as a fight over the Wright Amendment, leaders of 10 chambers of commerce in Tennessee lobbied Congress on Wednesday to change the law that they say limits cheap flights between the Volunteer State and North Texas.

"The chamber is advocating repeal or significant modification of current law," said Michael Neal, president of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, which is taking the lead on the issue. "The 10 chambers all agree that the Wright Amendment should be repealed."

The position goes further than a bill introduced late last year by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., which aimed to add Tennessee to the list of states that can be served from Dallas Love Field. The Wright Amendment, enacted in 1979 to protect the fledgling Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, limited service from Love Field to cities in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. The Shelby Amendment, passed in 1997, added Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas.

The Nashville chamber will formally announce its position today in the Tennessee capital as it unveils its 2005 legislative agenda.

"We're operating under an antiquated law that needs to be set aside for the sake of the public," said former Rep. Bob Clement, D-Tenn., the chamber's vice chairman for transportation.

Legislation has not been introduced and it is unclear whether a bill will call for outright repeal or modification of the Wright Amendment. But Neal said the chambers have gained commitments from nine members of the House and two senators -- including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. -- to introduce a bill that would increase service.

Clement said a bill could be introduced in the next 60 days. Blackburn's office said she had not announced her plans on the legislation. Asked whether he supported repeal of the Wright Amendment, Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., said: "I'm not opposed to it. It's something we should consider."

The Tennessee officials say they are working independently of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, which has also called for elimination of the Wright Amendment.

"What we're interested in is the ability to fly to Dallas at a low cost," said James Weaver, a Nashville lawyer who is the chamber's vice chairman for government relations. "It's not about one airport versus another airport or one airline versus another airline. It's about our need to get to Dallas."

Tennessee business executives have complained about the high cost of flights booked at the last minute on Fort Worth-based American Airlines to D/FW. A search on American's Web site showed a flight today from Nashville to D/FW priced at $322.20 for a one-way ticket. A Southwest fare from Nashville to Houston Hobby Airport was priced at $178 one way.

One factor prompting Nashville's activism on the issue, say chamber officials, was the opening of the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center on Lake Grapevine. The resort is owned by Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment.

However, Gaylord Entertainment spokesman Greg Rossiter said Wednesday that the hotel property is near D/FW Airport and that the company is not taking an active role in changing the Wright Amendment.

"This is not a top priority for the company," Rossiter said.

Southwest has rejected overtures to operate from D/FW, saying the airport does not fit with its business model.

American, which controls more than 80 percent of the traffic at D/FW, supports the Wright Amendment. "If the citizens of Tennessee want Southwest service, the quickest way to get it is to encourage Southwest to provide service from D/FW," spokesman Tim Wagner said.

Nashville was once an American hub city, but the airline scaled back service there in 1995. Still, Wagner said, the carrier serves Nashville with nonstop flights to D/FW, Chicago, New York LaGuardia, Miami, St. Louis and Los Angeles.
 

Ch. 12

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JS said:
Somebody forgot to add the security fee, segment tax and PFC to the BNA-HOU fare. :rolleyes:
[post="247151"][/post]​

Right...b/c those fees/taxes do add up to the $144 one way difference between WN and AA. I'm not sure why we pick on AA so much?! They are a victim to faulty journalism. :rolleyes:
 

LoneStarMike

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Wright amendment splits lawmakers
With some willing to side with Southwest, fight is likely to escalate
12:17 AM CST on Friday, February 11, 2005
By TODD J. GILLMAN / The Dallas Morning News


WASHINGTON – With the push to overturn flight restrictions at Dallas Love Field heating up, a schism has emerged among North Texas lawmakers.

Three of the region's eight House members – all from the Dallas side – say it's time to loosen or scrap the 25-year-old Wright amendment.

"I think it's outlived its usefulness," Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano, said Thursday. "That doesn't mean it's going to get repealed this year."

The willingness of Dallas-area lawmakers to openly side with Southwest Airlines Co. against American Airlines Inc. represents a fresh threat to American and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Both have been scrambling to tamp down calls for a new look at the law, which limited service from Love Field to Texas and surrounding states. Eight years ago, Congress added Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas.

American chief executive Gerard Arpey had breakfast Wednesday with eight Texas lawmakers. Southwest's top lobbyist, Ron Ricks, gets his shot next week, lawmakers said.

Civic leaders in Tennessee and other states eager for long-haul service to Love Field were working Capitol Hill this week, too.

But key members of the Texas delegation remain committed to the Wright amendment, including House energy and commerce Chairman Joe Barton, R-Ennis, who represents part of Fort Worth.

"I appreciate what's best for Southwest Airlines, but that doesn't mean that's what's best for the country," he said.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who also met with Mr. Arpey on Wednesday, is also reluctant to tamper with the law. She noted that Delta Air Lines Inc. has shut its hub at D/FW, leaving dozens of gates empty and American with an overwhelming market share.

"My responsibility is to make sure that we keep the commitments made to the two communities [Dallas and Fort Worth] for D/FW Airport to be the major airport and to stay economically healthy," she said.

Former Transportation Department official Patrick Murphy, an aviation lobbyist in Washington for airlines other than American and Southwest, said the fight is "all intramural at this point."

But any lack of unanimity among the North Texans marks a significant step in Southwest's quest, he said. "Dividing the delegation is important," he said. "The first step, and it is often the largest, is to get Congress engaged."

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, whose district stretches from East Dallas to East Texas, was also enthusiastic about repealing Love Field flight restrictions.
"Whatever rationale there was at one time for the Wright amendment, I think we have grown way beyond it," he said. "There's not one resident of the 5th Congressional District that doesn't have to drive past Love Field on the way to D/FW."

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, said that once Southwest began to oppose the amendment in November, it forced everyone to reconsider the status quo.
"We do have to look at it," Mr. Sessions said. "We need better fares. We need more competition."

Most other Dallas-area lawmakers say they're firmly behind the Wright amendment.

Several said they weren't sure how flight restrictions could legally be lifted. "A contract is a contract," said Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall.

But Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly has said "there's no written, oral, moral or ethical obligation by Southwest" to uphold the Wright amendment.

Lawmakers from beyond North Texas are staying on the sidelines, including the most powerful Texan of all, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land.

"All the activity on that is up in Dallas-Fort Worth. I'm from Houston," he said. "I'd just as soon not get into it right now, until they come to some understanding."
Tennessee's efforts

Officials with several Tennessee business groups were in Washington this week drumming up support for repeal.

Wright Amendment Letters

Letter from Nashville (pdf)

D/FW letter to Tampa (pdf)

Southwest letter to Tampa (pdf)

"The prices are entirely too high," said Bob Clement, a former Nashville congressman who is vice chairman of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce's transportation committee. "It's just not fair. It might have made sense years ago, but it's outdated and obsolete."

Mr. Clement expects to see a bill filed within a few months, and Tennesseans will use that time to find allies in other states. They're also hoping to enlist one of their own, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

But Mr. Frist remained noncommittal. "We are carefully listening to all sides and we want to make the best decision for Tennessee," said spokesman Nick Smith.

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Flower Mound, predicted that the efforts won't bear fruit: "What happens in Tennessee stays in Tennessee."

Kevin Cox, D/FW's chief operating officer, also said he doubts Congress will alter or repeal the Wright amendment.

"We feel sure Congress will see fit to allow this issue to be resolved locally, as it was 30 years ago," he said.

He criticized efforts by Tennessee airport and business leaders.

"American has slashed their fares substantially and provided an excellent level of service at Nashville," Mr. Cox said. "If they want additional options, then they should suggest Southwest come to D/FW."

Letter campaigns

A quiet campaign has been under way for several months. In December, Southwest and D/FW wrote to several major U.S. airports seeking support.

In one letter, Mr. Ricks, a Southwest senior vice president, called the restrictions "burdensome and outdated. ... All markets currently served by Southwest Airlines have a stake in the outcome."

D/FW chief executive Jeff Fegan urged officials at other airports to stay out.
"As I would never seek to alter how your airport is operated or managed, I respectfully ask that you resist any efforts to involve your airport in the repeal of the Wright amendment," he wrote.

The president of Nashville's airport authority, Raul Regalado, replied in a letter that he could not support the "continued and individual protection" of D/FW and American.

Airport officials in Phoenix, Houston and Oakland, Calif., said Thursday that they would stay neutral. Others in Baltimore and in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., are considering the matter.

"What I have to do is what is in the best interest of our community, and that is to get as many nonstop markets as we can get, and to get as much low fare service as possible," said Louis Miller, Tampa's airport director.

Southwest spokesman Ed Stewart declined to discuss the airline's lobbying efforts Thursday. American spokesman Tim Wagner said the airline will continue to press its case in Washington.

Staff writers Suzanne Marta and Vikas Bajaj in Dallas contributed to this report.
E-mail tgillman@dallasnews.com

A WRIGHT TIMELINE

Here are key events in the recent debate over the Wright amendment:

2004

September: Delta Air Lines Inc. announces it will close its hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, reducing its daily schedule here from 254 nonstop flights to 21.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduces a proposal that would allow flights between Dallas Love Field and Tennessee. The bill expires at the end of the session.

November: Southwest Airlines Co. CEO Gary Kelly says the carrier considered filling some of Delta's void at D/FW, but decided against it.

Instead, Mr. Kelly calls for repeal of the Wright amendment, which restricts the carrier to serving only nearby states from its home airport, Love Field.

D/FW and American Airlines Inc. express strong support for continuing the limits.

Some members of the Texas Congressional delegation agree, while others say they're open to hearing more before deciding.

The mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth send letters to the Texas congressional delegation, expressing concern over attempts to change the Wright amendment.

December: D/FW Airport releases a study showing the North Texas economy will lose $782 million annually as a result of Delta's move.

Dallas Mayor Laura Miller meets with Southwest chairman Herb Kelleher, and says she could envision some day lifting the Wright amendment if it wouldn't hurt D/FW Airport.

2005

January: D/FW Airport offers free rent and other incentives to lure airlines to fill the 24 gates that Delta will vacate at the end of the month.

Southwest declines to accept the package, saying it's still not interested in flying from D/FW. Multiple airlines express interest in the gates, D/FW says. A source says one of them is AirTran Airways Inc.

Mayor Miller meets with American CEO Gerard Arpey. Later, she and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief ask Southwest to reconsider flying from D/FW.

February: Pace of lobbying efforts appears to pick up on Capitol Hill.

SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research

Link to story
 

JS

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Ch. 12 said:
Right...b/c those fees/taxes do add up to the $144 one way difference between WN and AA.  I'm not sure why we pick on AA so much?!  They are a victim to faulty journalism.  :rolleyes:
[post="247206"][/post]​

My point is that the article compared the total fare on AA with the pre-tax fare on WN. I don't think they did that on purpose; I suspect they're just stupid and don't realize that aa.com will give you the total fare while southwest.com initially quotes the pre-tax fare, and you have to go to the next screen to get the total.

It's already sort of an apples/oranges comparison in that the AA fare was to DFW while the WN fare was to HOU, 240 miles away. Adding the taxes to the AA fare but not the WN fare makes the two even less comparable.
 

Ch. 12

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JS said:
My point is that the article compared the total fare on AA with the pre-tax fare on WN. I don't think they did that on purpose; I suspect they're just stupid and don't realize that aa.com will give you the total fare while southwest.com initially quotes the pre-tax fare, and you have to go to the next screen to get the total.

It's already sort of an apples/oranges comparison in that the AA fare was to DFW while the WN fare was to HOU, 240 miles away. Adding the taxes to the AA fare but not the WN fare makes the two even less comparable.
[post="247270"][/post]​

While you've got a point with HOU vs DFW, you're stretching on the taxes.
 

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