I’m now more-or-less packed for my trip to Laredo to find an apartment; all I have left to do is pack last-minute stuff way too early in the morning. For some reason Delta isn’t letting me check in for my flight online (I think the reservation is messed up in their computers because it was originally booked on a Northwest itinerary so I could use a credit voucher), but I figure that’s not particularly important since I have a seat assignment already and have to check a bag anyway, so it’s not like checking in online will save me much time.
Robert Lawson writes in passing:
Memphis’s Interstate BBQ is the best airport joint in America btw. It’s near gate B14—look for the long line of NWA pilots!
The real reason to fly through Memphis is the Lenny’s in the main part of the B concourse (near gate B3 I think). Either way, most of the guys in line in Memphis are probably Pinnacle pilots, not Northwest folks.
As for the “goner” status of the Memphis hub for Northwest, first Delta will have to figure out how to ditch all their regional jet contracts and find a way to continue Northwest’s tradition of soaking Memphis consumers without keeping the same availability of nonstop flights and rolling out the red carpet for Southwest—all those Shelby plates on cars at airport lots in LIT and BNA are just a hint of the level of business they could do out of Memphis against a retreating Delta.
Vance of Begging to Differ thinks airline bankruptcy reform is needed to fix the problem of legacy carriers hanging around on life support (and dragging the other legacy carriers along with them); The Economist suggests that pending bankruptcy law changes may do the trick, even if short-term that means more legacy carriers filing to beat the deadline.
The Wright Amendment is back in the news, as Southwest Airlines (my new favorite carrier—$220 round-trip tickets from JAN to RDU will give you the warm fuzzies, as will non-stop flights to my favorite city in North America) is stepping up its lobbying effort to get the flight restrictions on Dallas’ Love Field repealed.
Vance of Begging to Differ links a study that shows Dallas has the highest airfares of any major U.S. city, and the lack of competition with American Airlines at DFW, particularly now that Delta has shut down its Dallas hub due to its financial problems, is pretty clearly the cause.
American may have also dug itself a bit of a hole in trying to protect its fortress hub at DFW: the Kansas City Star reports that American reneged on promises it made Missouri lawmakers when it took over TWA, and the new chairman of the Transportation Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee is none other than Kit Bond of Missouri.