The elimination of the Wright Amendment at Dallas Love Field didn’t bring lower fares to North Texas travelers.
According to the latest data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average airfare at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport didn’t change in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2013, staying around $412. At Dallas Love Field, fares dropped only 0.5 percent to $291.53 in that time frame.
The fourth-quarter data include the first two months after the lifting of the Wright Amendment restrictions, which prevented long-haul flights from Dallas Love Field.
Typically, airlines offer promotional fares for new routes and markets. Southwest Airlines has continued to expand its network at Love Field and plans to have 180 daily flights from there by the end of summer.
But Farecompare.com founder Rick Seaney said the data show that even with new flights, demand was strong enough for airlines to fill seats without lowering prices.
“The additional capacity spurred new demand that wasn’t there before that is willing to pay the current price,” Seaney said.
Some North Texas travelers were already flying Southwest to the new nonstop destinations on connecting flights from Love Field, Seaney said. When the new nonstops became available, consumers bought more tickets on Southwest but not enough to drive up fares.
For North Texas, the government said fourth-quarter fares dropped 2.1 percent from $387.11 in 2013 to $379.12 in 2014.
Overall, the average domestic fare rose 2 percent to $393 in the fourth quarter, the report said. For 2014, average fares were up only 0.6 percent to $391.
The most expensive average airfares were paid by passengers leaving Madison, Wis., at $505. The cheapest fares were for passengers originating in Sanford, Fla., at $99.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631