Topic of the Week: Should Delta Be Able to Fly to Dallas Love Field?

It’s been a heck of a fight between Southwest and Delta in Dallas. Once United gave up its gates to Southwest, Delta (which subleased from United) had nowhere to go. Yet Delta says the feds require that all airlines at Love be allowed to continue to fly. Southwest says it has no room for Delta to use its gate (nor does the holder of the other two gates, Virgin America). Lawsuits have been flying and a temporary solution allows Delta to keep using a Southwest gate for its 5 flights to Atlanta until everything makes it through the courts.

But let’s forget all that. Should Delta be allowed to fly to Love? Or should Southwest be able to use its gates as it pleases, freezing Delta out?

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63 Comments on "Topic of the Week: Should Delta Be Able to Fly to Dallas Love Field?"

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Jumpseats
Guest

Yes Delta should be allowed to continue to operate at Love Field. Imagine if this took place in another industry. Consumers would riot. No consumer choice? Their request is reasonable. If not left the courts decide. I think in the end Delta is allowed to operate from one of the gates and we see a new amendment in the works. Long term Delta opens a new hub at Love Field to battle Southwest dominance.

Xnuiem
Member
? Delta will never have a hub at DAL. It is gate limited and WN has a strangle hold on it. As a very frequent WN flyer, and I live near Flower Mound, I am fine with WN having 18 of the 20 gates. United is crap, so I am happy to see them get out of the way. Delta has never been a good choice for me, mostly because I never really started flying until after their mini-hub at DFW was shuttered. Overall, nothing really lost here. Delta can fly to Atlanta and several other of their hubs from… Read more »
Neil S.
Guest
the irony here is incredibly rich. Texas prides itself on being in favor of small government and the absence of regulations. Don’t mess with Texas. In fact, didn’t Rick Perry want to abolish three departments of the federal government during his last run for President? (Yes, yes, oops – he couldn’t name all three…) But now those lovers of tiny government and no regulation changed one set of rules – Wright – for another – no more than 20 gates, we choose who gets them vs. a bidding war, and well, DL is mean and from Georgia, so let’s let… Read more »
Realist
Guest

Neil, you’re showing your ass. This has nothing to do with Rick Perry or really even with TX State Politics.

Realist
Guest

PS, I share your sentiments regarding Rick Perry.

MDawg
Guest

It was golden when he looked at Ron Paul for help during that brainfart. Almost as if he was thinking, “I say this stuff, but you actually BELIEVE it!”

Pilotaaron1
Guest

Yes and eliminate the extremely stupid gate restriction and let the market and Dallas dictate the direction of Love field.

Gary Leff
Guest

Bingo. There shouldn’t be legal restrictions which prevent the airport at operating at a size and scale that meets demand from airlines and consumers. Heck, just bring the airport back up to 32 gates.

Frank
Guest

Unless Southwest gets all those news gates, it’s not gonna happen.

Len
Guest

im not a lawyer, but it seems to me that Delta’s beef should be with United. Once United “gave” the gates to WN, Delta is gone as far as WN is concerned. They were United’s gates after all. Unless contracts stipulate, why would WN be forced to honor an agreement it was not a party to?
Don’t even get me started on the insanity that is the Love Field situation.

noahkimmel
Member

the 5 party agreement said that airlines would voluntarily accommodate any existing or new entrant. Southwest having most gates and being the one expanding would likely be the one who has to give in. Delta feels by being pushed out, it is a violation. Whether it is or not is the question.

ANCJason
Guest

Problem Solved:

http://www.flytki.com/index.aspx?nid=99

McKinney and Frisco are the fastest growing Dallas suburbs so it might be prudent to start exploring the feasability now instead of worrying about an airport with a definite and achieved growth cap.

greg
Member

Agree McKinney National (KTKI) is the solution for Delta. However currently that would require an amendment to WA2. If I were Delta I would push for that amendment and have northeast Dallas, Collin and eastern Collin counties (where a majority of the wealth in Dallas lives) all to themselves.

Kilroy
Guest
This is interesting, because it becomes a situation similar to DAY vs CVG in the Cincinnati area. A more convenient, non-hub, cheaper airport is available near the wealthier suburbanites in the north of the metro area, who would prefer not to have to drive though the traffic close to and around the big city and deal with the headaches associated with the big hub airport. Slap some flights down to leisure destinations and a few to Chicago, NYC, LAX, DC, etc, to cover business travel, and you have a proposition that can potentially be very interesting for many people.
PF
Guest

No, start packing. Delta was part of the brigade to have one airport, DFW, and abandoned DAL Now that SWA was successful in overthrowing the the Wright Amendment, built the new DAL facility into a glorious venue, marketed and make DAL desirable and successful, DL wants a piece of the pie they tried to sabotage. Delta – march back to DFW.

Realist
Guest
A lot of you don’t seem to remember the history behind all this. It was the DFW cities (Dallas, Ft. Worth, Irving, Grapevine, etc) that decided to have one regional airport (DFW). In order to justify the massive investment it would take to create this new airport, they all agreed to close their smaller airports and support the new regional airport. Then Dallas reneged on the deal at the last minute; thus the Wright Amendment was born to try and force Dallas to live up to the original deal. Sure AA fought to keep the Wright Amendment in place (especially… Read more »
Kilroy
Guest

How is it a mess for Dallas? The way they did it, they have a small, convenient airport now that is much closer than DFW.

The controversy around Love doesn’t hurt Dallas much, still have better service than they would have had otherwise.

Frank
Guest

That’s a lot of land not paying property taxes…

Kilroy
Guest
It’s also a lot of surrounding & supporting businesses that do pay property taxes, however, plus a lot of jobs, plus the hotel and car rental taxes, plus a lot of execs in unrelated industries who are happy to have convenient nonstop service to NYC now (never underestimate the importance of the boss’ commute to home and to the airport when understanding where companies put their offices and facilities). Net net, I say DAL’s existence is a positive for the City of Dallas. Might there be a time where DAL is eventually handed over to developers, in some type of… Read more »
Spirit FF
Member

You say”…much closer than DFW.” Much closer than what? Love Field is over an hour away from me, I’ll continue to use DFW!

BTW, it’s a mess for Dallas, because they and WN are restricting interstate commerce, which is governed by Federal Law. The City of Dallas, if not careful, could lose control of the airport with this issue over Delta’s gates.

Spirit FF
Member

Exactly right. And the only thing that didn’t keep DAL from more restrictions was that one entity (such as JFK/EWR/LGA or DCA/IAD). Had DFW/DAL been owned by the same entity, the restrictions could have been kept. That’s why AUS closed Mueller and DEN closed Stapleton – to avoid these types of problems!

noahkimmel
Member
The move to DFW was agreed to before Southwest ever had a single plane. They exploited a loophole to get into LUV then changed the rules. DAL was always desirable and successful and that was the very reason the DFW move was agreed to by existing carriers. It is not that there was an airline brigade to get DFW, but a government one. It sounds like you want to punish Delta for abiding by the city’s plans 30 years ago. I believe today’s market is different from back then. I am ok with keeping love and even expanding it, we… Read more »
bb
Member

that was a very long time ago…times have changed and so has flying….it’s a new game now and the playing field is heavily tilted toward Southwest….they should have just closed DAL when DFW opened….

noahkimmel
Member
I find it interesting because the whole thing started by the government trying to increase competition. The question that was not answered was is this for the whole Dallas market, at which point DAL and DFW can be considered one place or not. Gotta hand it to UA though, they made a brilliant move to make money and screw everyone else. VX just constrained their own growth and chose to battle Southwest instead of AA which I find really interesting (leisure over business). Delta and Southwest likely both are posturing and fighting not because either really cares about these 5… Read more »
DFWDude
Guest
Great perspective! As mentioned in other articles, Southwest needs Delta (and Virgin) to fight and complain as right now they are the only ones that can propose to remove the remaining gate restrictions imposed by the wright amendment. The members of the 5 party agreement from 9 years ago (AA, WN, DFW Airport, Dallas, Ft. Worth) are not allowed to try and request any additional changes. Could all these lawsuits by Southwest, City of Dallas and Delta just be part of a backroom agreement to try and remove the gate restricitons at Love Field? If Delta fights enough and eventually… Read more »
Spirit FF
Member

How a carrier control 18 gates of a 20 gate airport and then try to keep the competition out…right! Remember when Long Beach took a slot away from Alaska at LGB and what happened for the next 20 years! Having lived in in LB, and now Dallas, this DAL situation will become the next Long Beach Airport.

The reason why LGB became such a huge deal is that judge stated by taking away a slot from Alaska was restricting interstate commerce which is governed by Federal Law. We are stepping into the same situation at DAL!

mandel.jerry1
Member

If you feel in an investigating mood…….
1. Who got paid off to prevent foreign flights from Love Field.
2. Who got paid off to limit Love gates to 20?
3. Who got paid off to give Southwest almost exclusive use of Love?

David SF eastbay
Member

The whole thing is stupid anyway, has IAH/HOU hurt each other or LGA/JFK DCA/IAD SFO/OAK/SJC MDW/ORD? No, so there should be no restrictions on DAL/DFW. If DAL has the space it should be allowed to grow and increase gates and permit more airlines.

If they can’t do that, then just say airlines can fly to either DAL or DFW but not both. That would put DL out of DAL since it uses DFW more.

southbay flier
Guest

Does anyone think that it’s ironic that WN is pushing out its competition at DAL when they have successfully pushed the government to get slots at LGA, EWR, and DCA stating that more competition is a good thing?

Realist
Guest

Exactly. They have taken positions on opposite sides of the same argument at different times depending on which side benefited them; whining one way in their pursuit of gates at DCA and then giving the exact opposite argument to support their position at DAL. WN is so duplicitous it’s ridiculous.

Cricket
Guest

Funny Delta wasn’t willing to share any of their gates in ATL when Southwest wanted to go there. They had to buy AirTran.

green747
Member

Delta should absolutely allowed at least two (2) gates at Love Field. SW doesn’t own Love Field and should not be allowed to dictate how it operates. I sincerely hope the courts allow DETLA to operate freely.

GLG20
Guest

Delta could’ve made a bid for UA’s gates if they wanted to serve DAL. With the DOT and DOJ basically claiming DAL/DFW as one market, I don’t see how they have any footing as to why they have to stay at DAL as opposed to moving all operations to DFW.

Realist
Guest

WN also has every opportunity to fly out of DFW; there’s plenty of space over there.

GLG20
Guest

For every gate WN gains at DFW, they have to divest at DAL (up to 8 I think). That rule doesn’t apply to any other carrier

Joe
Guest
I would have bet money that the current state of the Wright Amendment would be in court again; however, I did not expect it to be a mere 9 months after first flights began. Personally, I like seeing this DL/WN debate and dragging out in court. Someday in the future the gate cap will be increased (or removed) and international flights will be allowed, it is just a matter of time. The more conflict and debate this 5 party agreement creates, the faster we can get to a full repeal of the Wright Amendment. As for the question: Should Southwest… Read more »
bb
Member
even before Virgin announced the AUS flights, they were going to have 20 flights a day, the max use for the gates…they announced AUS and started 5 flights….when the schedule changed, they started 4 flights to each city they fly to….they are short on planes and had to drop flights in other cites to make planes available for the 20 flights a day….Virgin had their plans for DAL and it didn’t involve Delta….Virgin would love to have more gates but that isn’t going to happen. the city needs to fix the mess it made and make room for everyone, even… Read more »
Joe
Guest

I don’t doubt VX would eventually get to full utilization. I’m saying that it is more than likely the case that the upcoming gate shortage upped VX’s time table. Just like B6 going high frequency on LGB-OAK/LAS so they could use up their remaining LGB slots in an attempt to prevent an AA/AS challenge to the slot transfer. VX’s route planners should be fired if they think the best use of precious gate space at DAL is in highly competitive ultra short haul markets.

Doug Swalen
Guest

No. The Widget has been a whiny little you know what lately acting like a tempermental 4 year old (SEA-HND) who doesn’t play well with others (Korean, Alaska) has a bizarre fixation on game shows (“Want to know what that Saver Award will cost you? Come on down. It’s time to play ‘The Great Award Availability Scavenger Hunt'”) and cries to mommy about his well to do cousins (the ME3). We have a word for what it is going through at DAL and that word is “karma”… The Widget can go pound sand for all I care.

jeff
Member

Seems the medium term answer is a modification to allow more gates, DL wants more, AA has said they want to operate a few from there (and VX got their gates via AA thru DOJ) it seems something all parties would agree too (WN reluctantly unless DL wins in court). DoT treating DAL & DFW as same is the second worst thing about this (the legal restrictions being the first)

Hugh J.
Guest

Southwest gave Delta ample warning time that they were going to fully utilize the gate in question effective on whatever date it was and that the sub-lease would not be renewed. This is a matter of property rights with the landlord being free to evict their sub-leasing tenant. Southwest is the airline that made Love Field what it is today and for the Delta slime to not vacate DAL is really low down. If Delta really wants a DAL gate why don’t they pony up some big bucks to convince Virgin to move out?

Frank
Guest

City of Dallas has approval over subleasing at Love.

Foxthomasb
Member

Add gates to accommodate Delta and other Airlines to beef up competition. Now of course this wouldn’t please Southwest so it’s unlikely to be done.

noahkimmel
Member

actually, Southwest would probably like that because the 20 gate cap is currently in place due to law. Southwest has chiseled away at restrictions over time. If they can breach the 20, even if it is only for DL today, it would be a step in the right direction for them to eventually let LUV grow to the 30+ gates that there is land for.

Bob S.
Member

In case no one has realized it, there is another possibility for Delta: Alliance. AFW is big enough for commercial air operations. I don’t know who else currently uses it but FedEx designated it a hub about 15 years ago. I understand that it is mostly used as a backup, overflow airport so I’m sure Delta would be welcome to build there and move its operations there.

Xnuiem
Member

AFW is a terrible option. It is out in the middle of nowhere. 30+ minutes from DFW 60+ from DAL.

AFW serves no one that would use DAL.

Spirit FF
Member

AFW is not a good option, but FTW to SLC would be great!

jerry
Member

No!

bb
Member
the Dallas city counsel needs to fix the mess they made at DAL…it’s not Delta’s fault Southwest ended up with most all the gates….room needs to be made for all….if needed, the city needs to buy the United gates from Southwest for what was paid….Delta should be able to use those 2 gates as Virgin has 2 gates and the remainder belong to Southwest….my question is, what if another airline wants to start DAL service….is DAL a closed airport because all the gates are used, or does the city need to review the gates currently in use and make some… Read more »
visitor
Guest

Should Delta be allowed to fly to Love?

No.

cpagan2
Member

Well that settles it right?

No explanation for that conclusion.

swmdal
Guest
I don’t know where all these new gates at Love are going to come from unless the city builds a new concourse. If I remember correctly, when all this was going down a few years ago, the former Braniff concourse was torn down specifically to limit the number of possible gates. I can’t imagine all lthe parties that object to service at Love would ever let that happen. There’s also a significant number of litigious residents who deliberately bought or rented residences under the flight paths who wouild scream bloody murder at the thought of more “airport noise” (Love opened… Read more »
Million Miler
Guest
From the local Dallas perspective, the question is very simple. Will Southwest be allowed to have enough gates to provide effective competition to counter American’s “fortress” hub over at DFW? Or will Love just be another “spoke” on every airline’s network? A handful of flights to Atlanta, Houston, LAX and SFO do not provide much in the way of an alternative for the Dallas area business traveler. An argument could even be made that expanding access to allow Delta and United serve their other hubs doesn’t do all that much either. (it is just duplicating what is already available at… Read more »
E
Member
Every comment above ignores a very important constituency — the folks who live around Love Field. Anyone who bought property between 1971 and 2006 did so on the premise that the airport’s operations would be capped due to the restrictions in place. When the elimination of the perimeter was becoming reality, some of the locals revolted because it would potentially double the noise and surface street traffic. Anyone who has followed the long-term saga at either SNA and LGB should understand why the City of Dallas pushed for the gate cap. The bottom line in this whole episode for me… Read more »
esw
Member
To a significant extent DL’s position is of DOJ’s making. The DOJ required the City of Dallas to sublease two AA DAL gates to VX, with part of the logic being that AA had offered a sublease to VX (at DOJ’s insistence, of course, as part of the AA/US merger approval), and that it was a valid sublease that the City should honor. We wondered at the time why SWA didn’t fight harder against DOJ’s apparent eviscerating of key terms of the Wright Amendment Reform Act of 2006 (“WARA”), which included (a) a limit of 16 SWA-leased gates and (b)… Read more »
Chris
Guest
In airports that are not slot restricted, gate space is usually the limiting factor. Find someone to sublease a gate from. Failing that you did not serve that airport. Contracts end, terms change, ownership changes hands all the time in business. Don’t rely on the government to bail you out when you can’t come to an agreement that fits your needs. Pack your bags and take your 5 ATL flights to DFW Delta. Anyone should be given gate? That is not the free market world we live in. United went to the one party they knew would pay the most… Read more »
Cranky on Southwest
Guest

Someone please do whatever is necessary to get us out from under the stranglehold that is WN and their lousy always-delayed never-ending string of mechanical issues flights! Please, someone, anyone!

Captoza
Guest

Just wait, AA wants back into DAL now too.

Paul
Guest

You all know that without WN there would be no DAL right now, right? How many jobs did they save and create at that airport over the years? To say they have no right to dominate DAL now after all they’ve done is just stupid. If they wouldn’t have stayed put this wouldn’t be a discussion as there would be no DAL.

sjoblomj
Guest
Legally any airport that has taken FAA improvement funds can not deny access to an airline wishing to serve the airport. This is the basic reason DL will win. Even though all gates are assigned to someone else, by law they have to allow access for DL to serve the airport. The main issue is that there’s nothing that says how much access an airline must be granted. If DAL controls even one gate they must give it to DL for use. If they control none, then they must either force a gate to be given up, or build one.… Read more »
Bob S.
Member

Sorry, I can’t agree. Can you define that law that would require DAL access for any airline that wants it? So Allegiant, Spirit, Frontier, Alaska, Southern Airways Express, et al., could just move in at will. Don’t think there’s a law that says that.

SELMER40
Guest
Page 3 of the 5-party agreement, Par 3b says it all. “To the extent a new entrant carrier seeks to enter Love Field, the City of Dallas will seek voluntary accommodation from its existing carriers to accommodate the new entrant service. If the existing carriers are not able or are not willing to accommodate the new entrant service, then the City of Dallas agrees to require the sharing of preferential lease gates, pursuant to Dallas’ existing lease agreements”. From the beginning Southwest knew that it might have to share one of its 16 gates (now 18 gates) and the City… Read more »
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