Yes - and any talk there is in Congress is just idle speculation or wish-casting. MWAA has worked to get the various Senators and Representatives in the region on board with the idea of blocking expansion to the perimeter.
The VA delegation likes that, as it helps boost Dulles. Same with the MD delegation and boosting BWI. And the DC delegation is also fine with it, as the current exemptions to the perimeter are basically fine - plus the DC folks are more likely to deal with noise complaints and the like.
There are some WN FF's in DC, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County who are willing to fly out of BWI to destinations in the Northeast, Carolinas, and the Western U.S., even if they live closer to DCA or IAD.
UA doesn't serve its LAX hub nonstop from DCA due to the DCA perimeter rule, but UA already has multiple daily nonstops to LAX from its IAD hub and many of the UA FF's in both markets who are traveling between LAX and WAS are willing to fly on UA's LAX-IAD nonstop flights.
There are some top beyond-perimeter markets such as AUS, DEN, SMF, SLC, SAT, and SAN that AA cannot currently serve nonstop from DCA due to the DCA perimeter rule, but there are multiple 1-stop connecting options to these markets from DCA on AA.
While AA doesn't serve PDX, SFO, SJU, or SEA nonstop from DCA, AA's partner AS serves PDX, SFO, and SEA nonstop from DCA (with beyond-perimeter slot exemptions held by AS) and AA's partner B6 serves SJU nonstop from DCA (with beyond-perimeter slot exemptions held by B6).
There are some more top within-perimeter destinations not currently served nonstop from DCA on AA that AA could add nonstop service to from DCA such as IAH, LEX, MSN, MKE, OMA, and TUL. TUL is also the largest within-DCA perimeter market in the U.S. (by metropolitan area population) that doesn't currently have any nonstop service to DCA.
DL doesn't serve its SEA hub nonstop from DCA, but (a) DL acquired its DCA beyond-perimeter slot exemptions prior to DL having a hub at SEA, (b) there are 1-stop connecting options to DCA from SEA through SLC, MSP, and DTW on DL, and (c) DL serves SEA nonstop from IAD in the WAS market.
Yes, most of this is true - but so what? This isn't a good enough reason for MWAA to want to change the perimeter rule.
There's nothing (nothing!) stopping AA from starting service to MSN or MKE or OMA or TUL. Eliminating the perimeter rule would decrease the likelihood of AA serving those destinations, because the number of slots is a fixed commodity. It's not going to change. If AA could offer more transcon flights, they would - but the slots have to come from somewhere.
Could United use their slots for high value flights to LAX, DEN, and SFO? Sure - but eliminating the rule would also devalue their hub at IAD, which is why United is opposed to the change.
American would obviously have the most to gain since they hold the most slots, but the consequences would likely be a) MWAA using the escape clause in the lease to increase DCA's costs and divert more money to IAD (because MWAA's mandate from the Feds is to operate the two airports as a system
), and b) AA getting a lot of political flak from various Senators representing small markets that would lose their flights, since DCA's slots aren't going away.
The larger point remains: MWAA doesn't want the perimeter rule to go away. And they've aligned their major tenant airlines (particularly UA and AA) behind this as well as the key members of Congress.
Exactly. There is little impetus for change amongst all DCA stakeholders-the Feds, the DC government, VA government, airlines, and area residents.
I also have noticed that for the most part, DC residents (along with those in Arlington/Alexandria) have accepted the fact that if one wants to get on a beyond-perimeter nonstop, they likely have to go out to Dulles or up to BWI. This contrasts with friends who live in NYC and complain about having to go to EWR or JFK to access a nonstop flight.
AA doesn't "need" to add flights from DCA to every single possible city in the perimeter to remain relevant to its FF base in the region. Their coverage from DCA/IAD/BWI serves virtually every single relevant market on the East Coast nonstop, plus a good number of destinations in the Central/Midwestern portion of the country, in addition to LAS/PHX/LAX. A DCA-IAH flight would be in direct competition to UA/WN, both of which have hubs on the other end and are arguable much stronger on the WAS-ZHU market. A twice daily E75 service (what AA would use on a theoretical service most likely) would not be able to compete against UA/WN's service. I think UA had seven or eight flights a day pre-pandemic on DCA-IAH. No way would AA want to compete against that.
DL serves DCA-LEX/MSN/OMA nonstop, and I believe such flights are tied to specific slots so DL just can't drop said cities. Given that DL just can't drop service to any of those cities, AA would have more to lose if they started DCA-MSN tomorrow, for example.
I'm confused why UA would fly LAX-DCA. UA has multiple daily flights on IAD-LAX (with scheduled wide-body service), in addition to the long-standing daily flight on BWI-LAX, which is the only UA transcon service outside of JFK/BOS/MCO from LAX.
I don't have any solid data, but my anecdotal evidence would say that the WAS area probably has a larger proportion of "free agent " frequent-flyers relative to other metro areas due to the dichotomy of AA-DCA and UA-IAD. I know several people who would probably qualify for Elite status on AA or UA, but don't, as there domestic travel is on AA ex DCA and their international on UA (or a different carrier) ex IAD, but they don't have enough spending on either carrier to qualify for status. This contrasts with NYC where DL and UA flyers can pick one program and still access a range of domestic and international destinations nonstop, same with ORD with AA and UA. That's why the UA/US alliance was so good for WAS area flyers-I know several people who would qualify for US's Preferred Program just by flying UA internationally ex IAD.
RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744ER, 752, 753, 762, 763ER, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388