Wright Amendment Through Ticketing on the waY

radarlove

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[SIZE=+2] Read all the way to the bottom. Maybe SWA had an ace up their sleeve all this time.


Wright hearing in works
[/SIZE] [SIZE=+1] Senate panel could spur legislation based on ideas for Love Field
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1] 11:12 PM CDT on Thursday, October 13, 2005 [/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1] By ROBERT DODGE / The Dallas Morning News [/SIZE]
WASHINGTON – The fight over long-haul flights at Love Field may be gaining steam again.
A Senate aviation subcommittee is scheduling a hearing for next month that could be the first step in drafting legislation allowing long-haul flights at the airport. And it will help senators from states other than Texas sort out the complex issues surrounding the 25-year-old Wright amendment.
"This is not a simple issue," said one Democratic Senate aide, who with other staff and lobbyists, spoke on the condition of anonymity. "They are going to do their due diligence."
DallasNews.com/extra Tracking the Wright amendment: History, opinions, links and FAQs


The hearing does not obligate lawmakers to move further. But it sets the stage for drafting proposals that would either weaken or lift flight restrictions at Love. A number of variations have been proposed.
The staff of the Aviation Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is trying to schedule witnesses for a mid-November hearing.
"At this point in the planning process we are working to define the scope of the hearing and schedule expert witnesses to appear before the committee," said committee spokesman Aaron Saunders.
The hearing could feature an unusual and potentially colorful debate between officials at Southwest Airlines Co., which is fighting for repeal of the amendment, and American Airlines Inc., which opposes changes and argues that Southwest should compete at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Expected to face off at the witness table: Southwest's charismatic co-founder and chairman, Herb Kelleher, and American Airlines' more button-down chief executive, Gerard Arpey.
"We think we have a good story to tell, and if Herb is our witness, we have a good storyteller," said Tom Chapman, Southwest's Washington legislative counsel. American spokesman Tim Wagner added: "It would be a normal part in the procession of how these things go."
Kevin Cox, D/FW Airport's chief operating officer, said the airport had not been contacted by the committee but was eager to mix it up with those advocating long-haul flights at Love Field.
"Anytime somebody takes the time and effort to understand the issue, we have, without question, found that not only do we dispel the myths, rumors and propaganda, but virtually everyone comes to the decision that there's no need to change the legislation," Mr. Cox said.
The hearing would mark the return of the Wright amendment to the public agenda for the first time since August, when Hurricane Katrina moved other legislative agendas to the back burner.
For now, the planned hearing makes it less likely that there will be legislative action on the amendment this year.
Aides and lobbyists said Republican Sens. John Ensign of Nevada and Christopher "Kit" Bond of Missouri are putting efforts to expand Love Field flights on hold. They are temporarily standing down in return for the hearing and partly in deference to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.
The uneasy truce could crumble if the hearing is not scheduled or postponed.
Lobbyists are keeping a close eye on a $65 billion transportation appropriations bill that is expected to come to the Senate floor as early as Monday. It is seen as a likely place for senators to propose amendments that would expand service at Love Field.
That bill already includes a provision added by Mr. Bond that would add Missouri to the seven states that can be served from Love Field.
Other senators may see the Missouri provision as an invitation to add their own states by proposing amendments when the appropriations bill comes to the Senate floor. If there were enough proposals, senators might choose to expand flights to all states by simply adding Mr. Ensign's proposal as an amendment to the spending bill.
In another scenario, Mr. Bond could offer an amendment that would stop short of lifting the Wright amendment entirely but still allow Love Field passengers to fly anywhere on a single ticket – as long as they first make a connecting stop in Texas or one of the seven states. He offered the so-called through-ticketing proposal in committee but was persuaded by Ms. Hutchison not to pursue it.
If Missouri is added to the Wright amendment states and through-ticketing also is allowed, it would clear the way for Southwest to build a connecting hub in either St. Louis or Kansas City.
Any attempt to add non-spending legislation to the spending bill would violate Senate rules and most likely draw an objection by Sens. Hutchison or John Cornyn, R-Texas. It would require a 51-vote majority to overrule their point of order.
Rob Ostrander, a spokesman for Mr. Bond, said the Missouri Republican would not offer through-ticketing as an amendment this year. But if the Commerce Committee does not follow-through with plans to consider the Wright amendment, he would pursue it again in 2006.
Lobbyists said the through-ticketing proposal remains key to the debate because it is seen as a possible compromise – and is an idea Southwest's officials have actively pursued on Capitol Hill.
Some industry experts said through-ticketing might work well for Southwest.
It would give the nation's sixth-largest airline some growing room at Love Field but perhaps not enough to prompt American to start a competing operation. And it would insulate Southwest from competition with other low-cost carriers by discouraging them from leasing gates at D/FW.
Indeed, American's Mr. Wagner cast doubt that the world's largest carrier would move operations to Love Field: "We compete on our nonstop routes from D/FW with a lot of one-stop service from other carriers."
Mr. Chapman said Southwest would accept through-ticketing only as an interim step to repeal.
Through-ticketing gained some lift as a compromise in August when Ms. Hutchison mentioned it as an example of modest changes she might accept.
"We could make some improvements to customer service without an outright repeal," Ms. Hutchison said.
Senators are likely to rely on the Texas senators for guidance, a senior Republican aide said.
"Most senators understand there are national implications to this, but most also see it as a Texas backyard problem," the aide said. "And they are looking to the Texans to be the leaders there."
Staff writers Eric Torbenson and Suzanne Marta contributed to this report.
 

Cyclone

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hutchison

kay bailey hutchison has gone on record as not wanting the WA to go away.

seems this is one of those political choices that reflects how most of our elected officials decide what they should do. the decision-making rules they follow:
1) how does it help me personally?
2) if question 1 is neutral does it help my party?
3) if 1 & 2 are neutral does it help bring money to my state?
4) if none of the above matter then maybe try to do the right thing as long as it won't hurt my reelection chances.

did you know...there is an attorney in Dallas...his name...E. Ray Hutchison, bond counsel to the district and an attorney at Dallas-based Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. Hutchison client--Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

His wife...of course...kay bailey.

conflict of interest? of course not for the senator...what a crock of BS.
she should recuse herself from WA decisions but she is a politician first and foremost (see rules 1-4 above)
 
Last edited:

Uncle Leo

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did you know...there is an attorney in Dallas...his name...E. Ray Hutchison, bond counsel to the district and an attorney at Dallas-based Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. Hutchison client--Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

His wife...of course...kay bailey.

conflict of interest? of course not for the senator...what a crock of BS.
she should recuse herself from WA decisions but she is a politician first and foremost (see rules 1-4 above)[/quote]



I also thought E. Ray Hutchison was on the DFW board of directors....
 

Lindy

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"insulate SWA from competition"

"Some industry experts said through-ticketing might work well for Southwest.
It would give the nation's sixth-largest airline some growing room at Love Field but perhaps not enough to prompt American to start a competing operation. And it would insulate Southwest from competition with other low-cost carriers by discouraging them from leasing gates at D/FW."

More fodder for both sides of the Wright Amendment.

Why would SWA need protection from other LCCs?
Should SWA receive said protection?



(My only interest in the Wright Amendment is LEGALITY & LEGISLATIVE issues).
 

FlyBarneyJets

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I think through-ticketing would be a great compromise.
 

:-)

Hail Calvin
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FlyBarneyJets said:
I think through-ticketing would be a great compromise.
Compromise and lose Barney. Compromise is for the weak.

:)
 

TR4A

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FlyBarneyJets said:
I think through-ticketing would be a great compromise.
Through-ticketing is what AA wanted us to do a few years ago instead of repealing the WA
 

SWA/FO

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we will WIN and AA will (not) like it!!
 

N7167L

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SWA/FO said:
we will WIN and AA will (not) like it!!
Amen! And the key-word is "when"... not "if"... it is only a matter of time. (and hopefully, sooner than later!!)
 

SWA tech

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It's going to go away and not through the ticketing way. Wright is lame and AA's strangle hold is coming to a end.
 
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