Southwest’s Wandering Eye Towards DFW is About to be a Full-On Affair…

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at Love Field
Southwest Airlines 737 Landing at Dallas Love Field

Oh, the hustle and bustle of Love Field, where Southwest Airlines is the ever-loyal lover—or at least they were until they started eyeing Dallas-Fort Worth International like it’s the last slice of pecan pie at a Thanksgiving dinner. Trust me, in the world of aviation, where airlines scramble for gates like it’s Black Friday at Best Buy, Southwest’s “modest presence” desire at DFW is akin to saying Texas might just be a little bit hot in the summer.

Let’s paint a picture: You’ve got Southwest, the airline that’s always prided itself on being the heartthrob of Love Field, suddenly realizing they’re running out of dance floor at their favorite honky-tonk. With only 18 out of 20 gates, they’ve pretty much maxed out their electric slide space. Enter DFW, the airport equivalent of the giant Texas sky—vast and full of opportunity…

Now, Southwest’s sudden “consideration” for DFW isn’t just a fleeting fancy. We’re talking about the Wright Amendment’s sunset clause rolling down the curtains in 2025 (more on this below). You can almost hear the strategic planning music crescendoing. Because, let’s face it, growth is the name of the game, and being constrained is as much fun as a flat tire on I-35 during rush hour.

But wait, it gets juicier! This isn’t just about Southwest’s ambitions. Oh no, it’s also about American Airlines, the big kahuna at DFW. If you think American is going to welcome Southwest with a hearty Texas-sized handshake and a “Howdy, neighbor!” then you might also believe that Armadillos make great house pets.

Southwest says they only want a ‘lil bit o’ Pie!

When Southwest’s Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Watterson, feeds us that line about only connecting to existing destinations from DFW and not using it as a launchpad for new adventures, you’ve gotta chuckle. It’s like when your friend says they’re only going to the mega mall for a “quick browse.” Sure, kid. And I buy Playboy for the articles

Let’s break this down, shall we? Southwest wanting to extend its lease at Love Field while making goo-goo eyes at DFW is like a poker player holding cards close to their chest while eyeing the pot like it’s got the secret to eternal youth. They’re saying, “We’re loyal, but we’re also casually planning our next big move.” It’s the airline equivalent of claiming you’re only at the buffet for the ambiance. We see you, Southwest, and your ‘modest presence’ intentions at DFW are as see-through as those airplane lavatory doors after five seconds of locking them.

AA is Ready to Welcome SWA with…Open Fists…

American’s love for exclusivity at DFW is about as subtle as a cowboy’s belt buckle. They’re the top dog, the airline that other airlines tell their little prop planes about to get them to behave. “If you don’t straighten up, American will come and take your gate!”

But here’s Southwest, ready to saunter into DFW with their free-checked-bags swagger, potentially stirring up the kind of drama that could make a soap opera writer blush. The airline industry’s version of the Sharks and Jets just got a new audition tape. Because, of course, American doesn’t want them there. That’s like saying the Dallas Cowboys don’t really need a quarterback—it’s not just wrong; it’s laughable.

In the land where bigger is always better, and more is never enough, this tarmac tango is far from over. Will Southwest become the charming new tenant in the DFW airport complex? Or will American manage to keep them out, maintaining their solo line dance at the biggest airport hoedown?

Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure: in the world of airlines, it’s always high noon somewhere. And at DFW, the clocks are ticking.

Southwest: If More Gates is Wrong, Then They Don’t Want to be “Wright”…

Now, about that Wright Amendment. It’s like an old Texas soap opera where everyone’s fighting over the family ranch, except it’s airlines and airports. This piece of airline lore is a spicy bit of legislation from way back in 1979. It was like a leash on Southwest, telling them they could only fly directly to states touching Texas from Love Field (plus a few extras they tossed in because why not?).

Why, you ask? Because DFW was the new, shiny airport in town, and it wanted to be the only star in the Texas sky. But like all good dramas, the plot thickened over the years, and they started relaxing the rules, letting Southwest stretch its wings a bit more each time.

Fast forward to 2006, and the “Wright” stars aligned to repeal the amendment, phasing out the restrictions by 2014 and allowing long-haul flights from Love Field. But here’s the catch—the plot twist, if you will. They put a sunset clause on this deal, saying come 2025, Southwest could shake off the last of the Wright dust from its wings and potentially cozy up to DFW without breaking any old promises.

So, when Jordan emphasizes the need to extend their lease at Love Field, it’s a strategic move, a declaration of loyalty—but with a wandering eye for growth. Because let’s be honest, in the airline world, you’re either expanding your route map or you’re just flying in circles. And Southwest, my friend, doesn’t strike me as an airline that enjoys flying in circles.

And what does yours unruly think of all this? I don’t blame Southwest one dad’ gum bit…

From the Tarmac

  • Spirit Says Sayonara to Denver: Oh, it looks like Spirit Airlines is waving goodbye to Denver International Airport starting January 9th. Who would’ve thought? So, if you were planning to zoom away from or into Denver with Spirit, think again.
  • A New Airline: It seems Samarkand’s been plotting a little renaissance and just tossed its hat into the ring with a brand spanking new airline. They’re not just flirting with the idea of carting tourists directly to their ancient doorsteps; it’s a full-on charm offensive to put Uzbekistan’s grand dame back on the map. Buckle up, because Air Samarkand’s gearing up to be more than just a pretty face in your Instagram travel diaries.
  • Scoot Coming Back to Chennai-Singapore: After three years of what felt like an endless game of ‘Will they, won’t they?’ Scoot is strutting back onto the Chennai-Singapore runway. Yes, you heard that right! The proud little sibling in the Singapore Airlines family decided that November 5 is the day they reclaim their spot on the tarmac.
  • Lufthansa Shopping for Planes: Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr let slip that they’re shopping for 40 new short-haul toys, with Airbus’ A220 and Embraer’s birds in the running. Not just content with the small stuff, they’re also after 40 bigger single-aisle planes, eyeing up the Airbus A320 and Boeing’s 737 MAX. It’s high-stakes, high-skies poker – who’s going to win Lufthansa’s favor and cash?
  • Gulfstream bringing its bling to Dubai: We’re in for a treat at the Dubai Airshow this November! Gulfstream’s about to show off their shiniest toys in the sandbox – the globe-trotting G700 and the sleek G500, both sure to turn heads and widen eyes from the 13th to the 17th.
  • Southwest Tweaks Rapid Rewards: Buckle up, Southwest aficionados! Our beloved Rapid Rewards program just got a zesty upgrade, slinging out rewards faster than a Phoenix sunburn sets in. Now you’ll be swimming in complimentary drinks and tier statuses smoother than a desert breeze, all with a side of flexible pay—cha-ching…
  • Spirit Decided They Wanted to be Wanted: Initially Spirit Airlines played hard to get, swatting away JetBlue’s courtship like a pesky fly at a picnic. But, plot twist, they finally swiped right, enticed by whatever sweet nothings JetBlue was whispering about the future.
  • United Non-Stop to Manila: United is blasting through the winter chill with 50 extra flights daily than last year—talk about upping the ante. And for the cherry on top, we’re making history as the first in the U.S. to carve air-paths straight from the states to Manila, and as the solo flyers connecting you non-stop to Christchurch come December.
  • Udvar-Hazy Continues to be Himself, and We Love It! Air Lease Corp threw some shade on Monday, suggesting Boeing and Airbus might be biting off more than they can chew for their 2023 delivery promises, all thanks to their suppliers not keeping up the quality. They’re like, “Guys, are you sure you can deliver, or are we just winging it?”
  • Ryanair Cancels 870 Flights Due to Gaza War: Ryanair, the budget-friendly Irish carrier, was forced to cancel over 870 flights in October, a consequence of the escalating conflict in Gaza affecting its numerous European-Israeli routes. This significant disruption underscores the far-reaching effects of geopolitical tensions on international travel.
  • Activists Block Entrances to St. Charles Boeing Plant: Over 75 protesters have decided to throw a human wrench in the works at Boeing’s St. Charles facility, arms linked tighter than a miser’s purse strings, claiming they’re cranking out bombs for the endless Israel-Hamas drama.

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