Up until a few weeks ago, it appeared that Virgin America was set to land in Dallas Love Field, where it would use two up-for-grabs gates to launch new flights to LaGuardia, Washington National, and Chicago O’Hare. Plans also called for Virgin America to relocate its current Los Angeles and San Francisco flights from Dallas-Ft. Worth to Love Field.
The DOJ, in approving American’s divestiture of the two Love Field gates as part the settlement green-lighting its merger with US Airways, had specifically called for a replacement from the low-cost-carrier ranks. That pretty much put the kibosh on Delta’s bid for the gates. And since Southwest already controlled 80 percent of the Love Field gates, Virgin American looked to be a shoo-in.
But a mostly behind-the-scenes push by Southwest to convince the Dallas city council to approve its bid for the gates put the matter back into play. Southwest is headquartered in Dallas, and the company is a powerful political and economic force in the region.
In response, Virgin has deployed a dedicated website, www.freelovefield.com, laying out the airline’s case and soliciting signatures for a petition in support of its contention, that Love Field needs more competition, not less.
As of this morning, the petition had almost 25,000 signatures, including mine.
Reader Reality Check
Southwest already controls 80 percent of the Love Field gates. Should they be allowed to increase that to 90 percent?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.