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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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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Delta wants to fly between Los Angeles and Dallas Love Field

Delta wants to fly from Los Angeles to Dallas Love Field. Photo credit: Delta

Delta wants to fly from Los Angeles to Dallas Love Field. Photo credit: Delta

Delta Air Lines is selling tickets from Los Angeles to Dallas Love Field starting in October 2014, according to Terry Maxon of the Dallas Morning News. 

There’s only one problem. Delta doesn’t have any gates at Dallas Love Field, which is considerably closer to downtown than the much larger DFW Airport. For 35 years, thanks to something called the Wright Amendment, airlines have been banned from flying long-haul domestic flights from Love Field.

But the amendment goes away in October, which is very good news for Southwest Airlines, the main tenant at the airport. ExpressJet and American are the only two other airlines with gates there. American must divest its two gates due to its settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, but it’s not clear where the gates will go. Delta wants them, but it’s far from a done deal.

According to the Terry Maxon of the Morning News, Delta also wishes to fly to New York LaGuardia, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Detroit.

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LAX is on pace to be 4th busiest airport in 2013

Los Angeles International Airport is on pace to be the nation’s fourth busiest airport in 2013, according to statistics released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The airport is one of only a few big ones at which traffic has increased from last year.

Here’s the chart, which shows the number of enplaned passengers at the largest international airports from January 2013 through September 2013 and compares it to the same period the period year. The numbers are in millions.

Rank Airport Jan-Sep 2013 Enplaned Passengers Jan-Sep 2012 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2012-2013
1 Atlanta 33.574 34.004 -1.3
2 Chicago O’Hare 22.319 22.602 -1.3
3 Dallas/Fort Worth 21.481 20.625 4.2
4 Los Angeles 19.417 18.942 2.5
5 Denver 18.914 19.256 -1.8
6 Charlotte 15.94 14.921 6.8
7 Phoenix 14.413 14.494 -0.6
8 San Francisco 14.079 13.99 0.6
9 Las Vegas 13.859 13.912 -0.4
10 Houston Bush 13.441 13.742 -2.2
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Airport security checkpoints at CLT and DFW now resemble hotel lobbies

Do you want your airport security checkpoint to look more like a hotel lobby? Perhaps not. But if you are leaving from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport or Charlotte in the next couple of months, you may have no choice.

As something of a pilot program, SpringHill Suites by Marriott is overhauling one checkpoint at each airport. Not pictured here are a bunch of advertisements for — you guessed it — SpringHill Suites.

Here’s a before picture of DFW’s Terminal 3′s E18  checkpoint …

Before

And here’s an after picture. Groovy.

DFW E18 After-6 (2)

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