Having lived in the Metroplex for a few years, and now having a job that ususally requires me to fly into Dallas once or twice a month, on average, I've been following the whole Wright Amendment controversy with a bit of interest. I've always thought of the ongoing debate over flight restrictions out of Dallas's Love Field, which has raged for over a quarter of a century, as a snapshot of a larger struggle within the US airline industry as a whole: the battle between the enormous legacy carrier and the upstart low cost carrier.
In the case of the Wright Amendment, it appears that the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have reached a compromise that would gradually phase out the current restrictions on flights out of Love Field, which would benefit its primary tenant, Southwest Airlines. The compromise, however, would also cap the number of gates at the airport, ensuring that it remains the area's secondary aviation facility to Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport, where American has a major hub. "It's a deal few thought would ever come to pass, a reflection of nearly 30 years of public and bruising battle between Fort Worth-based American Airlines and Dallas' Southwest Airlines," the Dallas Morning News writes.
As is usually the case with a compromise, neither side is completely happy. American Airlines would prefer that the restrictions on flights out of Love Field be in place permanently, while Southwest doesn't want to wait another eight years to begin flying directly from Love to states outside the Wright Amendment limit (Southwest does, however, get to implement through-ticketing from Love to states outside the limit). But it looks like the major parties involved are at least satisfied, if not happy. Congressional approval of the compromise is still required, but hopefully this marks the beginning of the end of the Wright Amendment, which in my opinion has been nothing more than a rather transparent attempt to protect DFW Airport - and, by extension, American Airlines - by giving them a monopoly on long-range air travel to and from the Metroplex.
Nothing against DFW; when Lori and I lived in Denton, we actually found DFW to be more convenient than Love when we flew. These days, however, when I travel to Dallas I fly in and out of Love Field exclusively. So does this compromise affect me personally? Maybe. The new through-ticketing provisions might result in more people flying between Love Field and Houston's Hobby Airport as people from states outside the Wright Amendment limit start flying through Houston to get to and from Dallas. In that case, it could make the already-crowded flights even worse (bad for me) or cause Southwest to add more flights between the two airports to handle the higher traffic volumes (good for me). It will be interesting to see what happens.