Bud Kennedy

August 26, 2014

Joel Burns wins again on Twitter, puts ‘Fort Worth’ on US Airways’ map

The former City Council member took mock umbrage at a map, but there is a serious reason to promote the Fort Worth name.

As Fort Worth’s unofficial ambassador to the East Coast, Joel Burns is still sticking up for Cowtown.

On his way to and from graduate school near Boston, he’s reading a lot of magazines and noting the need for a few corrections.

US Airways, now based in Fort Worth, is the target of his latest gentle Twitter complaint. According to a map on Page 218 of the August US Airways Magazine, the airline flies to “Dallas.”

On Sunday, he wrote to his 10,400 followers on Twitter: “Um, Fort Worth-based @USAirways, your route map mistakenly has @DallasLoveField, not @AmericanAir base @DFWAirport?”

The last time he defended Fort Worth’s name and honor, it took him days to herd The Weather Channel into line and rid our smartphones of Reunion Tower photos.

Let’s just say that this time, he was pitching to the new home team.

Within minutes, a US Airways employee thanked him and wrote, “We share your love for Fort Worth.”

By Tuesday, US Airways was redrawing its map.

“Joel, just wanted to let you know the correction to our inflight magazine will appear in the October issue,” an employee wrote, explaining that the September issue was already at the printer.

This wasn’t the first such mistake for US Airways Magazine, edited in North Carolina.

A February ad for the upcoming merger of then-Phoenix-based US Airways and Fort Worth-based American Airlines identified American’s location in big red print as “Dallas.”

Only in fine print was the exact address listed as “Amon Carter Boulevard, Fort Worth.”

If Burns, 45, sometimes sounds like an old-school Fort Worth promoter, there’s a reason.

We are thrilled US Airways executives will keep the new airline based here and not Phoenix.

But many of them will live in Dallas. They don’t have American Airlines’ Fort Worth roots, and keeping the new airline focused on both cities will be a daily effort, particularly after Oct. 13, when Southwest Airlines takes nationwide wing from Love Field.

The new airline just announced an operations base in Fort Worth, but some operations will move to Las Colinas. Other cities nearby would like a share.

“It’s important that people recognize Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the country, and airlines need to say ‘Dallas-Fort Worth,’ ” Burns said by phone.

“It’s not just an ego thing. It’s accuracy. We want airlines to use the name of the airport.”

Fort Worth residents own a 30 percent stake in DFW Airport, based on the two cities’ relative populations 40 years ago.

Burns was part of the council’s work to keep the new airline in Fort Worth.

“Fort Worth needs to be able to meet the challenge to keep American Airlines in our city at a time when other cities are competing,” he said.

Hosting the airline headquarters and having airline employees use the full Dallas-Fort Worth name are “worth millions,” he said.

“We need to emphasize the importance of keeping ‘Fort Worth-based’ companies.”

For now, he’s defending his hometown by long distance from a temporary base at Harvard University, in maybe the most Texas-phobic of all U.S. metropolitan areas.

He laughed Sunday when a Boston restaurant server explained, “Now, guac-a-MOE-leee is a salad made from avocados.”

We know that in Dallas-Fort Worth.

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