Southwest’s Gates

Southwest Airlines will have 16 gates to operate from at Love Field when the Wright Amendment evaporates on October 13, 2014 of next year. CEO Gary Kelly says that should be more than enough and envisions each gate handling as much as 10 flights per day. Some believe that the 737-800 will take more time at gates than the 737-700.

First of all, let’s not kid ourselves. Southwest isn’t boarding people nearly as fast as it once did and 10 flights per gate seems very optimistic to me in the present day Southwest world.

The 737-800 definitely will take more time at gates and, at the same time, I’m fairly sure we won’t see the 737-800 at every gate either. This is Dallas, a city inside Texas and if you think that the airline is going to cut flights to Houston, Austin and San Antonio, you’re kidding yourself. Those flights will be served by the 737-700s.

The truth is that I don’t think 16 gates is enough and I think the 20 gate limit at Love Field is stupid. The market can demand more and these limits at Love Field are a continuous fail for the region.

That said, I expect that Southwest will get started, show success and argue in the future for more gates. How many more? I’ve long noticed that the new terminal is certainly not limited in space and could add as many as 10 more gates, at my best guess.

I think that Southwest Airlines decided to get the deal, prove itself and ask for more later. Not an unsuccessful strategy.

And speaking of Love Field, has anyone looked at their website lately?  This is, without a doubt, one of the worst around.  And it supports an airport at a major city in the US.   Midland-Odessa’s website is better than Love Fields’ own site.


5 Responses to “Southwest’s Gates”

  1. “…when the Wright Amendment evaporates on October 13, 2014 of next year.”

    Gawd, I have missed critiquing your writing. I need to get back to being “That G*ddam Fat Pedantic Bastard….”

    (damned by G*d, overweight (or undertall, if you prefer), and oh so pedantic)

  2. The above being said, how does the 20-gate limit at Love play out with however-many gates SWA may have (or have access to) at DFW?


  3. Im glad to see someone else is thinking like I do on this. Of course Greg, you know the management at that airport and how they operate so the website shouldnt be a surprise at all:)

  4. I think that an airport representing Dallas and through which a large number of business people pass through while conducting commerce should be better represented in their website. Bad doesn’t get better until people start calling it out.

  5. There really aren’t many gates at DFW at all anymore. American Airlines controls about 3.5 terminals worth with remaining airlines occupying most of the others now. I have read that no more than 3 or 4 gates are truly available for an airline to conduct operations with. Even if it were 7 or 8 gates that were available, it doesn’t help much.

    The idea that DFW has plenty of space is more myth than truth these days. Bear in mind that no new terminals have been built at the airport except the international terminal which is A) busy B) for international flights and C) already pretty occupied. It is probably time for the airport to talk about a Terminal F.

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