Virgin America wins gates at Dallas Love Field; LAX flights planned

Virgin America 3
You will soon be able to fly Virgin America from Los Angeles to Dallas Love Field.

You might not be excited by this, especially since Virgin now flies from LAX to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. But Virgin is stoked.

With two gates at the airport, obtained from American Airlines, Virgin will be able to operate a mini focus city at Love Field, which is considerably closer to downtown Dallas than DFW. I don’t profess to know much about the Dallas market, but given the way that Southwest, Delta and Virgin fought over which carrier would receive these gates, a lot of folks seem to think Love Field is a lucrative airport.

Virgin plans to fly to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington Reagan and New York LaGuardia.

For more complete coverage, including details on the local Dallas politics impacting this choice, your best bets are the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News.

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Virgin America ups its game in attempt to win Dallas Love Field gates

Virgin Is it still a grassroots campaign when one big corporation goes up an even bigger, more powerful one?

Virgin America would like you to think so. Virgin, the Northern California-based airline with about 50 airplanes, is trying to win two gates at Dallas Love Field. The airport is dominated by Southwest Airlines, which, despite cultivating a reputation as the underdog, is actually huge. Southwest has more nearly 700 planes and it is a giant in domestic air travel.

Virgin has created a website — FreeLoveField.com – to plead its case. The website even includes a petition for customers to sign. And of course, customers are asked to use a hashtag — #lovetoflyvirgin — when they Tweet about the issue.

Virgin AmericaThe two gates up for grabs have been held by American Airlines, but the carrier has been forced to divest itself of them as part of its merger deal with the U.S. Department of Justice. The city of Dallas ultimately must sign off on which airline gets the gates.

If it gets the gates, Virgin plans to fly to  Los Angeles, New York LaGuardia, San Francisco and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Which airline do you think should get the gates?

Virgin America 3

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Trivia… How well do you know Virgin America’s route network? Win a prize!

Virgin America wants to add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.

Virgin America wants to add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.

As we reported Wednesday, Virgin America wants to open a focus city at Dallas Love Field, from which it would fly to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., as well as to its hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

This is a a bit of a strategic change. Since Virgin was launched in 2007, the overwhelmingly number of its flights have either started or ended in the airline’s San Francisco or Los Angeles hubs.

Related to this, I have some trivia. For now, according to a Virgin spokesman, the airline has only two routes that do not either start or end in San Francisco or L.A. California. One route is seasonal, and the other year-round.

What are these routes? Surely this information is on the internet, but try not to cheat.

Until noon PST on Saturday, leave your guesses in the comments section.  I’ll take all the correct answers and randomly choose a winner. I’ll ship the winner this week’s prize, though I can only send stuff to U.S. addresses.

Here’s the prize, which comes courtesy of another airline. Remarkably, these things are popular on Ebay.

United amenity kit

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Southwest Airlines to fly between Dallas Love Field and LAX

Southwest will fly to 15 new cities from Dallas Love Field starting in the fall. Photo: Southwest.

Southwest will fly to 15 new cities from Dallas Love Field starting in the fall. Photo: Southwest.

Southwest Airlines will fly between Dallas Love Field and Los Angeles International Airport starting November 2, airline officials announced Monday morning.

Los Angeles is one of 15 new cities to get new flights to Dallas Love this fall. This is possible because the so-called Wright Amendment expires in October after 35 years in effect. The federal law limited large-jet flights from Dallas Love Field to a small group of states, most of which, bordered Texas. The goal of the amendment, which became law in 1979, was to force airlines to serve the new airport in the Dallas region — Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. (Love Field is significantly closer to downtown Dallas and thus more convenient for many travelers.)

Southwest is now limited only by the fact it has 16 gates at Love Field, according to the Dallas Morning News. Otherwise it can fly anywhere in the United States it wants.

By looking at the new cities Southwest intends to serve, you can get a good idea of the carrier’s business plan. A decade ago, Southwest had relatively few flights to major city airports, preferring instead airports like L.A./Ontario, Providence, R.I. and Manchester, N.H. But that’s no longer the case. Now it’s all about big-city traffic and attracting high-fare paying business travelers.

New City
Atlanta
Baltimore
Chicago Midway
Denver
Fort Lauderdale
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Nashville
New York LaGuardia
Orange County, Calif.
Orlando
Phoenix
San Diego
Tampa
Washington Reagan National
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