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Southwest Airlines Community

More Love for Love Field

Explorer C

Only rarely in someone's career do they get a chance to be a part of something really big, something that will last.  The new Dallas Love Field project that was proposed to the City this week is one of those opportunities. Fortunately, in my career I've gotten that opportunity many times.  Just working here at Southwest day in and day out for over 30 years has been big and has been lasting.  As Southwest's chief Airport geek, I've gotten chances to develop airports all over the country.  I can tell you that this new terminal will leave a mark on the City of Dallas that will impact all future generations of travelers. Many of our Customers have been inconvenienced by the "Wright Amendment" since 1979. Due to the hard work of many people, including many of you, this unique restriction is on its way out. 

This means that many more people are enjoying our particular brand of freedom here at Love Field, and that has highlighted many of the shortcomings of our old, faithful facility. Today's flier expects more.  They tell us they want short security lines (something Love Field is noted for).  They want convenience, comfort, choices in concessions, enough space to thwart congestion, and they want a good value.  The plan we've worked on with the City of Dallas provides all those things, and more.  It will contain a new, 20-gate central concourse, reliable air-conditioning, larger and more comfortable restrooms, and a shorter walk to the gates.  It will bring ticket counter and roadway improvements, more convenience, and a great walk-up appeal.  And......(drum roll), it won't break the bank.

Many cities talk about public/private partnerships, but the result is nothing like it.  However, due to the leadership at Dallas City Hall and the Aviation Department, we are in the process of creating the kind of partnership that will deliver low costs and fast construction.  The fruits will benefit our Customers, the City, the concessions, the other businesses at Love Field, and the airlines.  A lot of work remains to make this a reality, but the unity of vision we've enjoyed so far has made this a very fun project. If done right (no pun intended), this terminal will become the new home of Southwest and of many of our Customers.  I call that big, important, and lasting.

Explorer B
All I hope is that they preserve the old map that's part of the lobby floor.
Explorer C
Regarding the revamp of Love Field.... Yes, by all means we should keep the map and the wonderful Texas Ranger (One riot / One Ranger) statue.
Explorer C
Hi Bob, Are there any line drawings or artist renditions from the city yet? Love Field has always been one of my favorite airports for it's 60's architecture (specifically the front entrance, main hall, and closed concourse), simple layout, and quaint feel. It seemed like one of the few remaining links to the heyday of aviation. For its age, it has been maintained excellently. The main concourse could use a refresh, but I have to say I was a little sad when I heard Love was getting remodeled. I hope the city's plan doesn't turn it into yet another generic 2000's modernistic airport.
Adventurer B
It's great that Dallas has a great partnership between the city, airlines, and the airport. Hopefully there still time to straighten out the differences that you guys have regarding the new planned terminal here in Sacramento and Southwest's role in it. Thank you for the new service to Denver from Sacramento as well.
Explorer C
Great stuff! Thanks for sharing, one fresh idea and you can change the world, keep up the great work.
Explorer B
I can't wait until DAL is brought into the 21st century. When I go through the newer terminals in places like BWI, AUS & TPA (to name a few) it really stands out to me how dated Dallas Love's facilities are. It will be fitting for Southwest to have a new terminal in Dallas by the time the Wright Amendment is finally gone. I do hope some of the history can be preserved.
Explorer C
It's great that SWA has such a great working relationship with Dallas, & I have no....repeat no....problems with Love Field. However, I do wish that SWA would consider allowing some of their regional markets( i.e. Amarillo) the choice of flying in to Love Field or DFW. The only reason I mention this is there are times when I need to connect to an international airline which is located at DFW....bummer. If I had the luxury of flying directly to DFW......rather than Love Field & then on to another major market like LAX or would take 1 less "bump" out of the trip. I don't know if SWA has a plan like this in the works, but I'd certainly like for them to consider it. And just so you understand, within the continental U.S. I ONLY FLY SWA.....I don't even consider any other airline. If SWA doesn't go to a specific destination, then I don't even consider that destination in my plans.
Explorer C
I had to smile at Colin Gebhart's reference to Love Field's "60s architecture" (above). Dude, it's older than that, as many of us senior types well remember. You should have been there to hear the numerous airlines announcing their glamourous-sounding arrivals and departures at gates on the "red," "yellow," and "green" concourses. 707s and DC-8s, the biggest jets of that day, were routinely parked at those gates, and we would board and deplane using rolling stairways. Jet-bridges hadn't yet come into use. And Braniff's "flying colors" were everywhere. Now THERE was a classy airline. The Luau Room, a fancy Polynesian-themed restaurant with great views, was as upscale as anything in Dallas -- or anywhere else. And just outside the restaurant up on the second level was a theater-style indoor observation room with tiered seating. You could also walk outside to an observation deck and stand under huge lighted red letters welcoming arriving visitors: DALLAS LOVE FIELD DALLAS. Does anyone else remember that little covered structure with a bench located just outside the baggage claim area where you could sit and watch the planes taxi within yards of you on their way to/from the south end of the west runway? Such access and lax security seem unbelievable these days. When I first heard on the TV news (late 1960s) that Dallas and Fort Worth were planning to build a giant new airport, I couldn't believe it. Who would need or want to replace the world's greatest airport, I wondered. I sure hope the "new" Love Field terminal will evoke some of that mid-century look and atmosphere, when flying was exciting and glamorous, when traveling on jet planes was a thrill like no other, and when passengers wore their Sunday-best.