Is SW ever going to offer service from DFW?

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Eeyoreluver, May 13, 2005.

  1. Eeyoreluver

    Eeyoreluver DS and DD CP Alumni

    Aug 6, 2003
    We are going to Disneyworld for Night of Joy in September. My question is has anyone heard rumors of Southwest ever beginning service out of Dallas to Orlando? I am trying to decide if I should wait to buy tickets or go with AirTran. I really need cheap airline tickets to DisneyWorld this year.
    Looking for cheap fares.
  2. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2002
    No, not from DFW. However, if the Wright Amendment is repealed they will offer non-stop service to MCO from Love Field very quickly. As it is now, you still can fly SWA, but you can't fly directly from Love; you have to make a stop somewhere first, booking it as two separate trips so that you don't show a final destination beyond the Wright territorial limits. You can change in Houston or New Orleans, for instance.

    If you want to help get the Wright Amendment repealed, go to for all the info you could possibly want about who to write, etc.
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  4. Eeyoreluver

    Eeyoreluver DS and DD CP Alumni

    Aug 6, 2003
    NotUrsula, thanks.
    I will check out the page and hope for a brighter future. Doing seperate flights cost way too much, so I will wait and keep my fingers crossed.
  5. malibuconlee

    malibuconlee <font color=red>OOH - I think I've finally figured

    May 12, 2005
    It's kind of a pain, but I do understand why they do it.

    We used to live in Dallas, and I had a Rapid Rewards ticket to use. I live in Iowa now, so to use it, I had to drive to St. Louis, get a plane from there to Houston Hobby, then on to Dallas. Can't complain because it's free tho, huh?
  6. JamieW

    JamieW Mouseketeer

    Oct 25, 2004
    Just FYI DFW folks, AA has a couple of NetSAAver deals through Nov. It's not quite as good as flying SW for $39 like other people on the board do, but it's the best we can do (even though SW is based in Dallas, but that's another rant for another day).
  7. CarolA

    CarolA <a href="

    Aug 21, 1999

    They do it because the law makes them.... Basically the law is designed to protect the airlines at DFW (American) and it keeps your prices in there high. My suggestion would be to contact your Senator and Congerssperson!
  8. tracy51

    tracy51 Mouseketeer

    Sep 10, 2004
    Ever time I see the posts about $39 fares on SW I just cringe :mad: And not just the fares to Orlando. My boyfriend has family in PA and some of the fares to there would make it easier to visit more often.

    I was really hoping when Delta pulled out of some of the terminals we'd get something like Ted or Jetblue or one of those, but no such luck.

    To the OP - be sure to check AA's flights too. I know they are usually more than AirTran, but when we booked our flights on AA they were within +\- $10 of AirTrans and our flights are direct and at better times that what we could get on AirTran. :goodvibes
  9. branv

    branv <font color=blue>The safety feature in my parents

    May 20, 2005
    *sigh* if there's one thing dem's and repub's agree on in TX, it's that the current State Govt. can't seem to get anything done. :rolleyes1

    Can't wait for this Wright thing to hit the dust. I can fly out of Austin, but it being smaller, it's not very good in the way of deals. If we could get the amazing hub rates that would occur from flying to FL from Love Field, we'd definitely make the drive!
  10. Nebsky

    Nebsky <font color=blue>Kelly is a Goddess!<font color=gr

    Aug 6, 2003
    It is not to protect the airlines. It was designed to protect the agreement between Dallas and Fort Worth. An Amendment that Southwest agreed to back in 79.

    For the record, I work for AA.

    Here is the author of the Wright Ammendment and his outlook on this.

    Requires registration, but below is the copied and pasted version.

    A deal is a deal

    By Jim Wright

    Special to the Star-Telegram

    After spending 35 years in Congress, I long ago lost count of the number of sundry amendments I offered to various bills. Surely more than 100 of them became law. But these days, whenever people in Texas ask me to explain "the Wright Amendment," I know the one they mean.

    That law was a 1979 effort to keep faith with the people of Fort Worth and Dallas, whose cities had acted in unison to build -- with the help of some $96 million from the federal government -- a truly world-class airport.

    Our government had granted that money and its official sanction on the clearly stated condition that both cities pass legal ordinances permanently closing Dallas Love Field and Fort Worth's Meacham Field and Greater Southwest International Airport to all commercial passenger traffic.

    Both city councils had done precisely that. Wanting something far better, safer, more modern and more serviceable for everyone in the region, they formally shut down the two old nearby airports to all but private flights.

    Greater Southwest, an earlier attempt to popularize a midway airport for the two cities, would be subsumed as a sort of southerly appendage to the new Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and it of course would no longer independently originate any commercial passenger flights.

    The Federal Aviation Administration correctly foresaw the growth of long-distance and international travel, requiring larger and larger aircraft with longer radius-of-maneuver requirements that would create dangerously overlapping takeoff and landing patterns if both D/FW and Love were initializing passenger flights in large aircraft.

    Concerned for safety and fearful of aerial traffic jams, the FAA demanded wider separation than the close physical proximity of Love and D/FW runways.

    FAA spokesmen insisted, before signing off on the ambitious development plans for D/FW, that commercial passenger service at Love, Meacham and Greater Southwest be terminated altogether.

    Those conditions having been met by the closing of the two old commercial airports, bonds were sold, guaranteeing their purchasers -- in writing, on the good faith and credit of the two cities -- that there would be no commercial passenger flights at Love, Greater Southwest or Meacham.

    In 1974, residents of our two largest cities and other nearby towns celebrated the grand opening of D/FW Airport. It was a triumph of reason over greed, we told one another. It proved that we'd outgrown our childish feuds and finally buried our hatchets -- elsewhere than in one another's skulls.

    Progressive leadership in both towns hailed the dawn of cooperation to drive away the long night of feuding. That old rivalry had fed for more than a century on a colorful if flinty-hearted past.

    In the days when wagon trains were bringing settlers westward, Dallas merchants would regale westbound migrants with lurid tales of mortal danger and/or lethal boredom that lay in wait to devour them if they ventured as far as Fort Worth. They'd be scalped by Indians, eaten alive by wild animals or condemned to terminal stagnation.

    Fort Worth, aside from being dangerous, was described as already dead itself -- so sleepy, according to one warning, that a panther had been seen dozing languidly in the middle of a downtown street.

    To counter this verbal roadblock, Fort Worth organized teams of outriders to intercept the wagon trains east of Dallas and escort them to Fort Worth by a circuitous route that skirted any sight of the rival village.

    Both towns whetted their competitive skills and reveled overly long in the two-way surfeit of one-upmanship.

    When Dallas in 1936 hosted a yearlong exposition in honor of the Texas Centennial, Fort Worth countered with a gaudy Frontier Exposition of its own.

    "Come to Dallas for culture," Fort Worth sloganeered, "but come to Fort Worth for fun."

    An earlier attempt to operate a mutual airport had faltered in the late 1940s and early '50s. Runways had been located meticulously halfway between Fort Worth's Texas Hotel corner and the Adolphus Hotel corner in Dallas. Then Dallas discovered that the terminal building would face west from the centerline toward Fort Worth, and the deal was off!

    Legend says that Fort Worth's No. 1 booster, publishing icon Amon G. Carter, carried his lunch in a paper sack when going to Dallas to avoid patronizing any Dallas eatery. And Dallas' merchant prince, Stanley Marcus, refused to order merchandise from any company whose salesman had flown into the midway airport, known variously as "Greater Southwest Regional Airport" and "Amon Carter Field."

    But in 1974, we all mutually rejoiced that we were, at last, singing from the same hymn book and working together!

    In this euphoric spirit, things rested -- until the intercession of a state agency known as the Texas Aeronautics Commission. That now-defunct commission, on being petitioned by Southwest Airlines, ordered Dallas to reopen Love Field for use by Southwest, which then was headed by Lamar Muse.

    The state commission's edict had to be obeyed by the cited city, but it had no jurisdiction outside Texas.

    If Southwest had wanted to establish out-of-state schedules, it could have done so by flying from D/FW, just as all the other airlines were doing. At the time, however, Southwest was principally interested in launching flights linking Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

    Meanwhile, freed from certain landing fees that helped pay off the D/FW bonds, Southwest adopted "no-frill" service, advertised low rates and began to flourish. Its owners began to dream of interstate flights.

    All its Love Field destinations were in Texas. Invited to use D/FW, the management expressed little interest.

    Then came 1978. A movement -- quietly supported by the economically dominant airlines and a group of laissez-faire economists -- to deregulate U.S. aviation was gathering steam.

    From the birth of the federally subsidized industry, scheduled passenger flights and fares had been approved and closely monitored in the interest of the flying public by the Civil Aeronautics Board, just as safety matters were monitored by the FAA. The CAB saw to it that all markets were served, that fares were reasonable and that no airline was allowed to monopolize service.

    President Carter, somewhat surprisingly, endorsed the concept of deregulation. A bill to effectively abolish the CAB's work swept through the House. Suddenly, prevailing aviation laws would expire, and we'd simply let any airline fly from and to wherever it wished and charge whatever fares it might choose.

    Civic leaders, frequent travelers, mayors and city council members from Fort Worth and Dallas saw this as a potential danger to D/FW's contractual agreements. If any company could fly anywhere it wanted out of a reopened Love Field, this could easily renew all the old cutthroat battles that the international airport had been created to settle.

    In 1979, this group of concerned citizens came to me for help.

    My original amendment, the one that initially passed the House, would have prohibited any interstate commercial passenger flights to or from any airport within a 20-mile radius of D/FW. It was enthusiastically supported by the official leadership of Fort Worth and Dallas.

    It set off, however, a massive lobbying effort in the Senate, which rejected the amendment as written and called for a conference committee to resolve differences.

    It was at this point that my office participated in discussions with every party at interest, seeking a solution that everyone would recognize as fair. Through these negotiations, we ultimately reached an agreement that all parties embraced.

    It allowed Love Field to serve interstate traffic limited to turnaround service between Love and the contiguous states: Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. This restriction applied equally to Southwest and all airlines.

    Southwest was not singled out in any way.

    Herb Kelleher -- founder, legal counsel and longtime leader of Southwest -- expressed satisfaction. He'd won a significant victory. And he was welcome, even overtly encouraged, to expand into other states with longer-range flights into and out of D/FW Airport.

    Southwest is still welcome there. That Southwest has chosen not to accept the invitation has been entirely of its own volition.

    That's about all there is to the "Wright Amendment." This compromise was designed to be in perpetuity, to settle once and for all this very divisive issue.

    Although I was not personally involved in all of the negotiations with the parties, which included the Dallas and Fort Worth city councils, affected airlines and federal agency representatives, my office was represented in all of them.

    It was well understood by each and every party, including Southwest Airlines, that this was an agreement that was to put this issue to rest once and for all, that all parties would abide by it and that none would attempt to unravel it.

    At least, this was my understanding. My friend Herb Kelleher remembers it somewhat differently.

    Herb, in my view, is a thoroughly honorable person. Who is to say that I am right and he is wrong?

    I have no hostility toward Southwest. It offers splendid services -- well-run, on time, reasonably priced.

    If its investors want to inaugurate long, cross-country flights from our market, that's fine with me. Just let them fly, like all the others, out of and into the airport that our region's taxpayers, and others, built for that precise purpose. Let them charge whatever fares they wish, be just as competitive as they can.

    But we shouldn't need to pay for two international airports, or have to compromise regional passenger safety by overlapping takeoff and landing patterns.

    Besides, a deal is a deal. And this one was a good deal.

    A guy named Jim Wright has no proprietary ownership of this agreement. It was a compromise hammered out by a lot of people. Equally fair to everyone, it treats all airline carriers alike.

    I don't have a current figure on just how much has been invested in D/FW Airport, but I'll assure you of this: It's well into the billions. And I can't tell you how exactly much it has brought to the economies of our neighboring counties, but this is certain: It's in the multiple billions!

    Every resident of North Texas has a big investment in D/FW Airport and both a financial and civic interest in its future.

    Sometimes I wish I were as wise as Solomon. Then maybe I'd know how to make everybody happy with our human efforts to compromise and get along. Unfortunately, Solomon was not on the faculty at Weatherford College or the University of Texas when I was a student at those institutions.

    Who knows? Even if I had enrolled in his course, I might have flunked it.
  11. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="

    May 23, 2000
    The original purpose was to protect the new DFW airport but airlines like AA are lobbying to retain the amendment to protect their business. Nothing wrong with reviewing a 25 year old law.

    I don't understand the safety issue. NY has LGA and JFK airports just a few miles apart.

    I don't understand how the safety and cost of operating Love Airport will change if SW is allowed to book a passenger on a connecting flight from Love to MCO via New Orleans. Sounds like a politician parroting what an industry lobbyist drafted for him to write.

    Most major cities have multiple airports. New York, Chicago, Washington, LA, SF Bay area.

  12. chipscinderelly

    chipscinderelly <font color=3399cc>Victim of a drive-by tag attack

    Aug 11, 2000
    I've been watching airfare for months for the week you are going. We leave on the 3rd and return on the 11th and booked for $205 per person. While I would love for SWA to fly out of DFW when and if the Wright amendment is repealed (and I honestly think it will be) we'll drive to Love Field to fly out.

    No I don't work for American - I just flew 64 flights on their airline last year and am tired of paying the prices when the rest of the country pays less than $100 round trip.
  13. CarolA

    CarolA <a href="

    Aug 21, 1999
    Well.... American Airlines spends LOTS AND LOTS of money lobbying against the repeal of the amendment. They know that all it does it allow them to overcharge you....
  14. Beca

    Beca Apparently, we all have more money than brains!!!

    Mar 5, 2004
    I was a flight attendant for SWA for 8 years (I retired to stay home with my dd in 2002). It is/was my understanding that SWA did not want the Wright Amendment to be repealled. Maybe someone in TX can tell me if this has changed (I would LOVE it, as we are considering a move back to Dallas....I'm ready to go home!!!). But, it is my understanding that in the mid-90's when SWA was really lobbying for this change, they were told, "Sure....but, understand that you cannot keep your 'monopoly' at Love will have to relinquish a large percentage of your gates to other airlines if we repeal the Wright Amendment." Since SWA has NO plans to go into DFW EVER, they totally backed off on this. It is also my understanding that American and many other airlines have already put in "bids" to take over the gates that SWA would have to relinquish.

    It sounds to me that the airlines were playing a big game of "chicken" with each other.

    In either case, SWA would rather keep its stronghold on Love field, than have to share its gates with other airlines...especially since they would NOT want to go to DFW....they might actually end up with LESS service to Dallas if they did.

    I would LOVE to see the Wright amendment repealled....but, I am just not so sure it will ever happen.

  15. chipscinderelly

    chipscinderelly <font color=3399cc>Victim of a drive-by tag attack

    Aug 11, 2000
    SWA is campaigning for it to be repealled. Check their website out.
  16. gw_lit

    gw_lit DIS Veteran

    Nov 19, 2003
    For what I recall SWA was kind of non-commital on the Wright Amendment in the past. They didn't push to have it repealed, but they didn't really take a "public" position on it one way or another. I guess with the rapidly changing climate in the airline industry, they've decided that it would be in their best (business) interests to have the Wright Amendment repealed. (Or is it due to a new corporate outlook with Herb's retirement from the CEO position, even though he still remains chair of the board?)

    As others have mentioned, look at their website Makes it pretty obvious what their position is now!
  17. Beca

    Beca Apparently, we all have more money than brains!!!

    Mar 5, 2004
    Wow!!! That's really cool!!! When someone posted the website earlier, I figured is was a "grassroots" campaign, and not an official SWA stance. I'm really glad to see this!!!!

    I hope it does happen for SWA. But, I hope for all of us who travel to Dallas that they don't have to relinquish too many gates.

    Thanks for the info!!!



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