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Wright is not only wrong, it's gone!

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What a roller coaster of anticipation, disappointment, and elation the past two years have been (not to mention all the sleepless nights).  Almost two years ago, our CEO, Gary Kelly, told the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce that we were no longer "passionately neutral" on the Wright Amendment, a federal law that has been the albatross around the neck of our Dallas service since 1979.  In those ensuing two years, we mobilized our Employees, our Customers, our supporters, and those who believe in airline competition into a huge grass roots effort.  Those efforts have included a petition drive, the establishment of our web site SetLoveFree.com, and a lot of hard (but enjoyable!) work of meeting and corresponding with individuals from all over the country. Along the way, I have held my breath as almost every stage of this battle has seemed to come down to the last minute.  If my hair wasn't already gray, it would be by now!  But the late nights have been worth it because we can now, on a one-stop basis, connect our home, Dallas Love Field, with many of your favorite locations on our system.  For details, please go here.  As you look at our initial new service to outside what was the "Berlin Wall" of the Wright Amendment, please keep in mind that this is just the beginning.  Even though Dallas is one of our three original cities, it is also a "new" city thanks to this legislation!  Because we wanted to take immediate advantage of our new ability to serve the nation, we had to modify and tweak our existing service to be ready to go on "day one."  In the near future, we will be able to start from scratch in writing our Dallas schedules to take better advantage of this new Freedom to Fly.  Some of our unsung heroes are the folks in our Schedule Planning Department who have been working nonstop for several months to make this happen, and one of those heroes, Bill Owen (who is a wonderful writer and I know a favorite of yours), outlines those details below. I also want to take this minute of my time in the "blogosphere" to answer those who feel we could and should have rejected this compromise in favor of pushing for immediate total repeal instead of the phased plan that was adopted by Congress.  Given our druthers, while we would have LUVed to have gotten rid of the entire Wright Amendment all at once and sooner than later, each of the five parties (Dallas, Fort Worth, the DFW Airport, American, and Southwest) to the local agreement upon which this legislation is based had to cede some longheld positions.  We also had to face the political reality that it is much easier to block legislation than pass it.  (For proof of that, the bill that was passed had almost universal Congressional support, but it only passed in the waning minutes of the Congressional session prior to recessing for the November campaigns.) Bottomline, we are hugely excited that we can now spread our wings from Love to far beyond the Wright Amendment's restrictions.  I am eternally grateful to each of you who took time to pen a letter, sign a petition, or tell a friend about this important issue.  Without you, this would never have happened-you have my profound thanks and LUV.  You also have my personal invitation to fly to our newest and oldest city-please visit southwest.com and book your travel for flights beginning October 19 to and from Big D.
45 Comments
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Way to go SWA! Just in time for the nba to start! Now I can fly to dallas to watch kobe and the lakers beat up on the mavericks!!!!
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!
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Colleen, Now that we have your invitation to the Big D, how about a tour of HQ? :) Congratulations to all involved in getting this accomplished, both legislatively and operationally.
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While Wright is not only wrong, itÃ
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Finally! LUV is FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Colleen, Now it is time to "officially" say CONGRATULATIONS to you and all of my good friends at SWA. After many hard-fought battles that began when 'Air Southwest' and then 'Southwest Air' struggled to even get CAB approval to have the first wheels-up event, through the legal system to and from the U. S. Supreme Court and now finally, through the halls of Congress, Southwest and each of its Employees has been courageous, diligent and determined to exercise the full scope of what we know as the "free enterprise system". The opportunity to start a company and nurture it and reap the benefits of its success is a given in the American capitalistic society, and Southwest deserves the reward of having created a business that does an outstanding job of serving its Customers! My kudos go to ALL of your Employees for their many years of putting up with onerous restrictions that have caused so many people to have to make so many gyrations in their travel itineraries with the assistance of your helpful folks. I can't imagine how many times SWA Employees all over the system have had to try to explain the Wright Amendment in person or over the phone to someone who didn't understand why they couldn't fly directly from Dallas Love Field to the majority of the cities in your route structure. You've also stated very eloquently something that I've blogged about several times in the last few weeks. An elephant is much easier to eat one bite at a time. Yes, it would have been wonderful if all of the aspects of the Wright Amendment were to disappear on Thursday, but people in politics, as well as those of us in sales, have learned the adage of "be happy with what you can get." Compromise is not a word that folks like to embrace, but sometimes we take our journeys in a series of moves and not one giant step. I applaud the SWA management for being wise enough to settle for the agreement as it was carefully crafted. Eight years is a tough pill to swallow, but considering how long you've been operating under this restriction, I can say that I can now see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is not an American Airlines plane barreling towards us! As a stockholder, a Customer and an always interested observer of all things SWA, please accept my thank you as well, for having fought the good fight! Kim 🙂
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Congradulations! It has been a long time coming. As a former Res Agent for SWA I know how much SWA snd their customers have wanted and needed for this to happen. It is so great! I only wish that I was still an employee when it happened, maybe someday.
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Well, I suppose it can be construed as a victory, but it still smells bad. Since we don't want to wait any more for nonstop flights from Omaha to Dallas, we're just going to move to Kansas City. No, we aren't kidding. Omaha's been a backwater city for Southwest since LUV came here, while KC has seen huge growth in both frequency and cities served. So, as they say "Goin to Kansas City, Kansas City here we come"
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Congratulations on all of the hard work and I cannot wait until I can start taking my favorite airline from DAL to destinations outside of the Wright 9!!! You are why I fly!
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WOW!.......... Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!~ Finally the Wright amendment is GONE! Wright was so very WRONG! As a business person who travels extensively and frequently to NYC and LA, I wish the 8 year plan (ridiculous) was not in place, but, I understand the importance of compromise and getting this terrible amendment abolished! I have flown on SWA for vacations for years and have always LOVED the experience-from the moment I book the flight -it is a JOY! Printing out my boarding pass in advance (love that! and LOVE the A,B,C seating-don't change!).....to the marvelous employees who make the trip a pleasure....to the superb baggage handlers who HAVE NEVER LOST one of my bags (unlike another carrier!)..... Additionally, I live about 10 minutes from LOVE and LUV that I can get there in a cab for $10 vs. $50 a ride to DFW. I penned a rather lengthy letter to congress about how ludicrous it is to be in a city the size/sophistication of Dallas and to be forced to fly out of one airport. Additionally, for those of us who "bid" for projects - I became expert at explaining the WRIGHT amendment ........ imagine how embarrassing it is to try to explain to clients why the "Dallas" person on our staff costs more to travel to their destinations than our LA/NY people! Finally the boss can go on SWA!!!!!!!! Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!Pass the nuts!
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Hurray ! And now we need flights from Love to Vegas via Albuquerque !! Come on-offer us a good price for 12 on 3/18/07!!!!!
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I dont think I'm on the right page !!!am new on the computer----so I do want to make a comment about the person that assisted me and a friend. .......We are handicapped in wheel chairs. She was a very gracious,caring,thoughtfull person.,she made our trip at the airport very helpful. we were at McCarran airport in Las Vegas on October 16th Flight 509 gate 21.I took her name off of her name tag.She is Rebbeca Featson PA#529 I ram. Southwest should be proud to have employees of this caliber.I will alwys fly with your airlines. Please forward this comment to the proper page if iI ame on the wrong page. thank you Mrs florence Zerilli
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I booked my last flight on AA (DFW to Las Vegas) for an early November trip a couple of months ago, not knowing that the Wright deal would be done by now. It will probably be my last booking on AA or from DFW to anywhere, except for maybe Mexico or Europe. When the news finally hit, I immediately spent most of my remaining Advantage miles to upgrade my wife and me to first class for the return flight, since WE WILL NO LONGER NEED THEM!! As a long time shareholder, I congratulate you for this great accomplishment. I've been praying for this time to finally happen for a very long time. I will always feel that SW left a little too much on the table because I don't think 20 gates max. at Love will help SW in the long run. You will need more than 16 eventually, and a higher maximum number (i.e. 26) would have avoided having to share your own gates with other carriers wishing to enter Love. But that's easy for me to say, not having been in the negotiations. Once again, Congrats, it's time to celebrate, get on a Southwest LOVE Bird, and FLY!
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CONGRADULATIONS SWA!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!! I Live close to Love Field and have been waiting for this day. I THINK THAT SOUTHWEST SHOULD DEDICATE ONE OF IT'S NEWEST 737s TO THE NEW FREEDOM TO FLY!!!! I WOULD LOVE TO SEE A "FREEDOM TO FLY - ONE" Please take this into consideration Southwest, and thanks for the fight!!!!
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The pigs are flying, and we should all be over-the-rainbow happy that this is happening! Thank you to all our wonderful leaders and employees who made this happen with countless efforts and hours. We've got spirit, yes we do, we've got spirit, how about you?
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Thank God!! This will be a hugeeee relief for everyone in Dallas! I travel frequently to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and i am SICK of being charged $280 - $308 by American Airlines to these destinations! I mean seriously , American only charges $308 from Los Angeles to Miami.,,.,,, completly across the country! This has been ridiculous and we all welcome the relief! Keep up the good work, and ill be on one of the new flights next month!
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Felicitations! Now I can get Fluff and lobster to Dallas easier as I make visits to watch my nieces grow up and my brother grow older. I'll definitely be taking advantage of your specials and double points to create gingerbread houses with Meghan Rose and Regina this December. I'm coming from Providence so I'll still have to book 2 flights and connect thru Baltimore til your scheduling catches up with your new legal achievement. However, I was thrilled to see that there are very frequent flights to choose from. As my brother Tom would say, "Thanks for putting forth the effort."
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Whoo! Now i can finally fly to Phoenix to visit my family without having to change planes. This is awesome. I can't wait to try it out...i'm planning to fly out there next weekend. Hopefully the flights aren't too full, because i'm sure everyone will be wanting to try out their newfound freedom to fly also.
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Ok - now that it is free - Let's start seeing some Dallas Ding Fares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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While a step in the "wright" direction, the Shelby Amendment sucks. I've said it before and I'll say it, and I'll say in the future. There should be NO non-operational restrictions on DAL. Anybody should be able to fly on a commercial airliner seating more than 56 pax to any destination in the USA from DAL. This 8 year phase in is pure BS. As a stockholder and a long-time SWA customer, I would have expected to SWA to hold out for nothing less than the ability to fly from DAL to ANY airport on it serves.
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i love the idea that we non-senators and congresspeople can actually get a decent price on flights into and out of the metroplex... i travel 4-5 days a week, and have been charged up to $750 just to get home sometimes... southwest has always been one of my favorite websites, and i used to drive from dallas to houston just to fly back to the west coast... you are now gonna save me over 300 miles per trip on my car, cause it's only 28 miles from home to show my LUV... thanks to all who helped get this done, you are gonna save many people much money and time...
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Read my comment here.
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Guess what SWA?? but then again... you now know this... I just priced a flight to Dallas for the end of Oct and the AA direct flight that used to cost me between $500-$600 no matter when I booked it has now been drastically reduced by almost $300 ButÃ
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Where there is will there is way. A motion to write against Wright amendment that was wrong was good one. When you can fly direct from San Antonio, Houston to BWI, why not from Dallas. It was long time coming. It was nice of Kit Bond to get direct flights to St. Louis and now almost to any place your business model allows, I hope. By the way when you clean up your Dallas Warehouse you do not have to serve three or more year old tonic water to your customers like you did yesterday and I got one from July 2003 expired 2006. Taste was good so no problem, looking at nice printing and heavy can, I oculd notice it. That nice service from a 21 year old looking employee with 13 years of experience was wonderful as was that Tonic Water. Raj
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Colleen -- Raj's note concerned me: "That nice service from a 21 year old looking employee with 13 years of experience was wonderful..." When did SWA lower the FA hiring age to 8? LOL Kim 🙂
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Congratulations! 🙂 Great news for so many!
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WooHoo! I am doing the happy dance!!! As an almost 20-year Reservations Sales Agent for Southwest Airlines, this is THE most exciting historical event within the Company that I have had the privilege to be a part of! It is such an unsual, but absolutely wonderful, feeling to finally be able to say "YES WE DO!!!" when asked if we have service from Dallas to Los Angeles...and Las Vegas...and Baltimore...and so many other places! I still can't believe it! And it seems almost a dream that I no longer have to explain the Wright Amendment rules that never made sense to anyone (in English or in Spanish...LOL) [to Kim Seale...I can't believe anyone would even try to imagine how many times we did that, but thanks for thinking of us!] To all of you who call looking for flights to and from Dallas, you just can't imagine how proud I am personally to be able to tell our Customers "Yes, we offer that service." Wow, I am still reeling from the true, deep down excitement that I am filled with! My personal thanks to all of YOU that helped us to make it possible!
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Yes... Congratulations Southwest. You can take great pride in keeping Dallas in the dark ages, and continue pushing any meaningful tax revenue to Plano, Frisco, McKinney. You have a lot to be proud of.
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Does anybody here have any clue to what David is talking about? Dallas in the dark ages, pushing tax revenue to North Dallas cities?
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Congratulations Southwest! I supported your goal of complete repeal of the Wright Amendment and stood with you in the fight for free enterprise. I wrote my Congressman (Sam Johnson) on your behalf, I wrote to Hutchison and Cornyn and anybody else who might be able to help fight the good fight. For my trouble, I watched Southwest give in and abandon principle, my congressman changed his stance and abandoned his constituents wishes and Hutchison and Cornyn never bothered to acknowledge my letters. Thanks for showing me that if it's worth fighting for, it's worth abandoning for an easier fight!!
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in regards to the set love free.....so now that your able to incorporate these "new" flights in and out of DAL...have any of you given any more thought to your new orleans city? so far in the last year instead of trying to help rebuild the city youve managed to open 2 new cities this year and now the wright amendment has passed. If it werent for the hurricane of 2005 you as a company would not have been able to open such cities and add new flights to other cities as well. but in your words you were able to do so due to the extra aircrafts throughout the system. Well dont you think that if you did have extra aircrafts that New Orleans would be the first place to put them back into? and get some of the people back home to there families? as a frequent flyer you as a company has not done much for the city. you are the last airline to even up there flights in and out,,oversold flts everyother day, and no staffing. instead of rejoicing the new dal how about putting some effort back to the old New Orleans!!!!!!!!! Sincerely becoming a very disappointed customer
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Looking forward to more flight plans from SMF to DAL then the one that is currently there. There could be some good connections using PHX and LAS with a little fine tuning could set up for some great connecting two stops that beat the current connecting one stop that is currently listed. Examples: 999/31 PHX/2 has very tight 30 min connection. 2456/2399 has a 25 min connection. With some fine tuning you could give SMF about 8 good plans. Go Garage-O-MIzer.
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what else is left to say except WOW..WOW..WOW...bring out the bottle of WILD TURKEY and a post from our HERB on the blog, and MAY THE BEST AIRLINE WIN!!!!!!
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Colleen, Now Come to Anchorage, Alaska!!!!!!! We need the SWA effect. thank you
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Jim, I think David is referring to the three newest cities that SW will begin service to following the change in the Wright Amendment. Starting on the second Wednesday of next week, they will inaugurate flights to Plano, Frisco and McKinney. This will provide a quicker alternative to sitting on the Dallas North Tollway or Central Expressway. Some changes will have to occur, though, as the flight times will only be about four to seven minutes, depending on headwinds. Snack service will be curtailed to ONE peanut apiece while the FA squirts you in the mouth with a SuperSoaker as they sprint down the aisle. Enjoy your trip! Kim 🙂
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I applaud Southwest for sticking with the plan to offer low fairs throughout the country, well done! There is however a market that begs for Southwest to provide service. I live in Wichita Kansas, a mere 350 miles from Love Field. In order for me to fly Southwest I have to drive 2 hrs for an Oklahoma departure to Dallas, or 2.5 hours to Kansas City. Wichita would love to see Southwest provide service. American Airlines provides non stop flights to DFW from ICT for around $350.00 R/T, I believe Northwest Airlines has the same fair. Is there a reason Southwest cannot provide service out of Wichita? Please Southwest, give us a chance. Steve Hill
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Guys, Kim's losing it. I think we need to take away his keyboard for a few days, let him get over the headiness of the beginning of the end of the Wright amendment.
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No more excuses. It is time to get into Memphis market. For so long this market is dominated by one and only player Northwest Airlines. With Wright Amendment is no longer makes sense, Memphis is the biggest market in the mid-south, all the way from St.Louis to Jackson MS. Dont miss the oppurtunity, its a win win for both Memphians and Southwest.
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I can't wait until you open up Oakland or Sacarmento direct to Love Field. Will it be soon? I grew up in Dallas and still have family there. Thanks for the continued great service and sticking to your guns!!! Cheers from Napa!
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Congratulations!! You are now free to move into/out of LUV Field. While the "Wrong" Amendment did not affect me directly ( I live in TPA), I am happy that SWA is now able to spread more LUV. You guys are the greatest. I told my wife whenever/wherever we relocate ( we've lived in 10 cities/20 years), it must be a SWA city or I won't go. She agrees. Keep up the great work. Seth/Jennifer Meningall RRMembers-TPA
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I enjoy the friendly attitude of most of your flight attendants and customer service agents. The casual way the attendants take care of the mundane (safety) is always refreshing. Heck, sometime I even listen to then now. What I would like to see is the ability to book flight and have my disability needs (pre boarding) listed so I don't feel like I have to beg the counter agent for a pre-boarding pass. I never know if I will get the yellow slip or the blue sleeve.
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Jim -- Okay, Brian has given me back my keyboard now, and I didn't even have to promise not to use adult language like he does ( http://www.blogsouthwest.com/2006/10/25/our-six-month-blogoversary/ : Ã
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SOO glad SWA is being freed - even if over a period of time. Now, about something that has perplexed me for a long time - as airlines expand, it seems that Memphis does not receive much of the expansion. Any ideas on why? With SWA in Nashvillle, it would seem there would be enough traffic between these two cities to have more than just Northwest operating - plus the ability of SWA to compete against them on other routes they fly out of MEM. Can it be there isn't enough traffic generated there to go in and offer your service? I can see more how ATL is owned by Delta and probably AirTran. Is Memphis owned by NWA?
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This is in response to Mr. Parham and his request for pre-board arrangements. Many Customers have hidden disabilities and when they walk up to the counter to enquire about preboarding, if they would share what their specific needs are it would eiliminate the the guess work for all. I cannot think of any employee who is trying to harrass or embarrass their Customers. There are some instances where Customers enquire about early boarding who have no needs but are eager to get on first to get their preferred seat. We all want what is fair and there are times when there are more Customers preboarding than A B C boarding. We always try to serve everybody in the best possible way. I wish there was a prefect way.
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With Southwest's great 7:35 AM Oakland to Dallas one-stop it's scheduled length with a stop is only 55 minutes longer than the other Dallas-based airline's non-stop and after all fees can do the round trip for $185 and change instead of $217 on the other Dallas-based airline for an early January trip, Lisa. Southwest will allow you to board your return if you don't take the going something the other Dallas-based airline won't allow you to do.