The Wright Stuff in Phoenix?
The local papers are all back pats and wet kisses over the Wright Amendment accord announced by mayors Laura Miller and Mike Moncrief yesterday, and good for them for finally hammering out a deal that lifts the antiquated legislation...in 2016, by which time I plan to get this rocket-pack technology off the ground, thus rendering airplane travel obsolete anyhow. But how's it playing in Phoenix, where Southwest was threatening to move if it didn't get its way (or maybe because Arizona's cigarette taxes will be 23 cents cheaper than Texas' in coming days, which has to be a major concern of Herb "The Chimney" Kelleher's)? Well, the Arizona Republic's calling it "a historic agreement," while at the same time lamenting the fact Phoenix-to-Dallas will remain for the next eight years one of the priciest tickets out of Sky Harbor International Airport, despite the fact Dallas is the sixth most-popular destination out of Phoenix, with "more than 639,000 passengers flying non-stop to Dallas in the year that ended March 31." Writes Dawn Gilbertson:
"It is also one of the priciest routes, costing more than other cities in Texas and several destinations on the East Coast. Phoenix to Dallas is the priciest route of its length in the country, according to the government's quarterly Consumer Airfare Report. The average one-way fare is $236. That is 44 percent higher than Phoenix to Austin, which is served by Southwest. Tucson to Dallas is even higher, at $238 one-way."
Now Congress has to approve the deal, and it's far from a slam-dunk. Kind of like the Mavericks winning the NBA Finals. --Robert Wilonsky