Why would any US carrier want to operate domestic flights within the UK anyway ?. Do you realise how small this country is ?. The longest flight between the major cities is only just over an hour, what would be the point in United or American or whoever operating their own a/c on such short sectors ?. To stand any chance of making any money, they would need to serve LHR and this would not be practical for 2 reasons.
1. There are no slots available (pretty damn important don't you think) and if they were to use their own slots they already have, I'm sure they would rather get a fully loaded 777 airborne to the USA, rather than an empty one to hop to MAN or GLA or where ever.
2. LHR is already served by 2 airlines that operate domestic flights to all the major cities in the UK (except BHX which is too near), these being BA and BD so there isn't really any need for another one, especially with Easyjet at Luton about 45 mins drive away.
AC used to operate from YYZ-GLA-MAN, so it's possible for foreign airline's to fly domestically in the UK, they just ain't allowed to pick up pax, a few other airlines have also operated internally too.
It's a little bit different in the good ol' US of A though as it's a much bigger country, so it's more practical for foreign airlines to be able to serve more than one destination with one a/c.
If Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair finally agree on anything to do with the open skies, the best the US can hope for is more access to LHR, as we don't have anything else practical to offer.
"Besides, he was never in favor of opening up LHR while his airline was in the formative years."
Well would you be if you were trying to make your new airline bigger ?, that's just common business sense.
"Face it, Virgin was allowed to succeed largely because of the protectionism given it by the UK government at LHR."
Guess that was that after the fight against the government to finally get access to LHR then ?, also the government was not protecting Virgin, it was too busy trying to protect BA from Virgin.
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"