>but not entirely without a measure of contempt for the
>"self-loading cargo" behind the cockpit door).
It is not "contempt" but rather an unemotional economic discussion of facts.
>As a pilot, you must recognize that the cost of opening up a second
>base, for WN, would make operations from DFW economically unattractive.
Not as a pilot, but as a businessman. WN voluntarily made the decision to remain at Love Field _knowing_ the restrictions would both prohibit it from competing in some markets and protect it from competition in other markets. WN fought for its current position in court and won. AA and all other airlines moved to DFW knowing that was where the non-stop flying was to be permitted. AA became the most successful of all those other airlines so opening up a second hub operation at DAL is economically unattractive --same as WN opening DFW hub ops.
>Removal of the Wright Amendment restrictions (which are in no way
>analogous to slot restrictions) is the only way the market can be allowed to work.
One can easily eliminate DAL altogether and expand DFW more to accomodate WN's operations. Removing Wright Amendment is not "the only way."
>Is it naivete, or cynicism, that makes you suggest that the continued
>existence of the Wright Amendment has nothing to do with AA's vast
>political and financial influence?
Neither as I have not suggested AA influence has not had a factor in the continuation of the Wright Amendment. It probably does. Were you AA, would you not do the same?
>...why does AA persist in so vigorously resisting repeal of the WA?
After spending billions of dollars building DFW operations only to see the reason you left in the first place removed, would you not behave the same way? Repeal of Wright Amendment means AA will be _required_ to spend billions re-entering DAL market because so many of its customers would choose DAL's convienence over DFW. AA has been attempting to maintain the rules that are in place today. Those that wish to repeal Wright Amendment are attempting to change the rules. Such a significant change in the rules would require AA to spend billions to adapt to the new marketplace. If you were AA, would you want the rules changed --after the fact?
AA's active support of the Wright Amendment makes perfect sense to me. It is a study in self-preservation. WN's lack of open support for repeal also makes perfect sense to me. It is a study in self-preservation as well.
Beyond that you'll need to study the history of the relationship between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, GSW Airport, DFW and its bond covenants, and the reasons for the Wright Amendment in the first place to gain a better understanding of legal and moral reasons behind its creation. There would be no DFW without it and there would be little of today's Metroplex without DFW. But that is a different subject matter entirely.
>Presuming you are drawing an analogy to AA,
Yes I am.
>why, then, does AA not simply maintain dramatically-higher fares in
>markets in which it competes with WN, with those higher fares
>suppoprted by all the travelers who are willing - eager- to pay triple-price
>for an assigned seat and a Bistro Bag?
For the same reason my company can not charge "dramatically higher" prices for its services -- there are not enough customers willing to pay "dramatically higher" prices to justify that pricing. But there _are_ enough customers willling to pay "significantly higher" prices (somewhere less than "dramatically higher") to justify that pricing structure. The marketplace determines the prices. My company (and AA) determine where within that pricing structure it wishes to operate. Actual price paid is determined by the consumers' willingness to pay.
>...your alliegance is clear, and your loyalty laudable
It is alliegence to classical economic theory, not to AA that I point out that consumers that have alternatives to any airline's price/schedule can not call that airline's price structure "price gouging." As has been pointed out, there are alternatives to AA in the North Texas marketplace. While the alternatives may not be exactly what each individual consumer wants, they are available and in proportion to the number of consumers who are willing to pay the appropriate price for these alternatives. When enough consumers are unwilling to pay these price premiums, the price premiums will reduce or go away. That is economics, not airline loyalty or alliegence.
FWIW, my preferences are to pay premium fares to obtain non-stop flights with reserved seating (can't stand the WN "cattle-car" operation). OTOH, I too would be unwilling to pay $400+ for one hour flight when WN offers similar service at $200 --even with my detest of the "cattle-car" service. Those are my choices as a consumer. It would appear that I am in the minority in the SNA-SJC marketplace, and in the majority in most DFW-wherever marketplaces. Simply put, if more consumers would be willing to choose the $200 fare over the $400 fare knowing the level of service that comes with it, then you'll see fewer $400 fares and more $200 fares. Simple Supply and Demand at work.