American Airlines has jumped into the current Wright Amendment fray. Apparently, American is threatening to split their current hub operations at D/FW and send large numbers of planes to Love if the Wright Amendment is lifted. This is of course a not so subtle ploy to threaten and cajole lawmakers and policy makers into leaving the Wright Amendment in place. It”s little more than blackmail, if you ask me. Lots and lots of juicy tidbits and sound bites in the article but here are some of my favorite.
- “Were the Wright amendment to be repealed, we would have to build an operation at Love Field because that”s where the customers are going to want to go,” he told the Dallas Morning News editorial board.”
kills me. They say this like it”s a bad thing, this wanting to go to an airport close to home. God forbid we have consumer choice in the airlines we fly. Right now, if you want to go much of anywhere, Southwest is not an option because of the Wright Amendment. So customers are forced to fly out of DFW and by association, on one of the bigger carriers. This is ridiculous. Houston successfully handles two airports, one where Southwest originates out of, and another where larger carriers work. There”s no reason why that couldn”t happen here.
More good stuff:
- “But splitting American”s North Texas operations would hurt local travelers, he said, because D/FW would be a vastly less efficient hub if it had to compete against Love Field for passengers.”
Umm, how does more choice and an airport that is closer to most people”s homes involve hurting local travelers? It doesn”t. This is propaganda. Immediately before, Arpley was saying most customers would want to go to Love and now he”s claiming that it would hurt them? How? Oh wait, it wouldn”t.
This is a huge case of histrionics. American, like most major carriers, is having serious trouble making money. The last thing they need is competition from a smaller, short-haul type carrier like Southwest. And yet, they are the ones complaining about monopolies. It really doesn”t follow. In fact, little of their logic does. I can”t see how repealing the Wright Amendment can do anything but help consumers in North Texas. Even people in Fort Worth will benefit because American will be forced to cut fares to anywhere Southwest flies. I see nothing but good out of repealing the amendment. It doesn”t surprise me that American wants to fight this, but that doesn”t mean they ought to win.