True. However there are several policitians under Norman Mineta's administration who are favoring Frontier. I heard this on the news.
Also, don't forget that Frontier has been trying to get a 2nd slot since they started DCA service. So they've been fighting for the slot longer than US, UA, DL, HP, or AS.
True, which is why US getting the slot would not be such a bad move. But I still would rather have UA get the slot to start up LAX service. LAX is a more major city in California obviously, plus offers connections to several places in the Pacific.
It FAVORS carriers with no Eastern hub and/or are struggling. The latter is why TWA got DCA-LAX.
That's true aswell. However, at the same time they are favoring low-fare carriers. Now that does not mean they have a rule that ONLY low-fare carriers may get a slot. TWA is a perfect example. I'm sure you've noticed, the other carriers that have gotten slots were low-fare carriers. National doesn't have much of a route network, yet they got the slot simply because they provide low-fares. Same goes for America West, Alaska, and Frontier.
If I were Norman Mineta, and it where my choice to choose what airline gets the slot.
I would give it to UA simply because it would provide DCA customers new options. They can could finally reach many parts of Asia simply by making a connection in LAX. Something that is currently not possible. Frontier already has a slot, and can already provide connections to the west.
However, if the DOT is giving out these out of the perimeter slots to provide consumers with better access in the Western US, I would give the slot to Frontier. The only other viable option would be DL from SLC or HP from LAS. HP already has 3 slots for 2 PHX flights and 1 LAS flights. That's plenty enough for one airline. DL has a great network from SLC, but does not provide low-fares and like I mentioned. The DOT is favoring low-fare carriers. This is why Frontier would make sense if the DOT wanted a carrier that could provide access to several Western markets.
If that's not the case, and wanted an entirely new market. Then obviously UA or AA from LAX, or US from SFO would make sense.
If that's the case, my pick would be United.
But as always, the one with the most political support always wins.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran