Friday, December 02, 2005

Coming Soon: Love to Missouri

A significant pillar of the Wright Amendment toppled Wednesday when President Bush signed a bill opening Dallas' Love Field to passenger flights to and from Missouri. Southwest plans to begin nonstops from Love to St. Louis and Kansas City as soon as they can reposition the aircraft.

In response, American has already slashed fares between its D/FW Airport fortress hub and Missouri. They will also be reactivating three Love Field gates to go head-to-head with Southwest. American last competed against Southwest from Love in 2001 on the Dallas-Austin run, but 9/11 put an end to that. The coming dogfight is particularly welcome news for beleaguered St. Louis, a former hub that has seen significant service reductions since TWA was absorbed into American.

Ultimately, the key to dismantling the anti-competitive Wright Amendment is eliminating the restriction on through-ticketing from Love Field. Although you can now fly from Love to St. Louis, Southwest still can't ticket you through to Chicago.

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