American Airlines’ pathetic campaign to protect its monopolistic practices in Dallas-Fort Worth has reached a new low with this jaw-droppingly asinine press release that actually accuses Southwest of monopolistic behavior.
On the heels of two Dallas-area congressmen introducing legislation to repeal the Wright Amendment and evidence that DFW Airport tried to cover up findings by its own consultant that ending Wright would lower air fares, DFW board members like Dallas’ mayor are even recognizing that Wright’s days are numbered—but American still isn’t budging. (þ: Xrlq and Vance of Begging to Differ)
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favorite city in North America) is stepping up its lobbying effort to get the flight restrictions on Dallas’ Love Field repealed.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.
Bryan at Arguing with Signposts talks about the asinine Wright Amendment, a provision of federal law that prohibits Southwest Airlines from serving most of the United States for passengers headed to or from Dallas’ Love Field. There’s more details on the back-and-forth lobbying here and here (registration required for both), and background on the Wright amendment in this Virginia Postrel op-ed; I have to say it’s downright odd (for me, at least) to be in the position of agreeing with Trent Lott’s position on an issue.