Pop quiz: flying to which of the following cities from New York costs the most, round-trip? San Juan, Puerto Rico? Dallas, Texas? Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas? Or, Phoenix, Arizona?
The answer is... Dallas. Of the four choices, air from New York to Dallas is the most expensive -- and the $467 price tag, courtesy of Spirit Airlines, does not include baggage fees. Add $70 for a carry-on and $60 for a checked bag for a $587 grand total. (In case you were wondering, air to Phoenix is the next most expensive at $430 on Delta; followed by St. Thomas at $369 on JetBlue; then San Juan at $331 on JetBlue.)
If this is enough to make you scrap your Dallas travel plans (or stay home, if you're based in Dallas), consider postponing them instead. Come fall, the price of flights to and from D-Town to major U.S. gateways will be much more competitive, thanks to the end of the Wright Amendment. This pesky federal law limited air traffic in and out of Dallas Love Field airport to interstate and neighboring state flights.
On October 13th, when the Wright Amendment officially becomes wrong (rim shot), Southwest Airlines will add non-stop service to Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, Washington Regan, and Los Angeles. Virgin America will shift its Dallas/Fort Worth-based flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles over to Love Field, and also add nonstop flights to New York's LaGuardia Airport and Washington Regan. On November 2, Southwest will expand its Love Field presence even further, adding routes to Atlanta, Nashville, Fort Lauderdale, New York's LaGuradia, Phoenix, San Diego, Orange County, and Tampa.
Since Virgin and Southwest will both offer travel to LaGuardia, we took a closer look at the competition using this route as an example. Let's say you're departing New York in November for a weeklong trip with a carry-on and a checked bag. Here are the lowest non-stop, round-trip fares for travel November 12-19:
- $258: Southwest (LaGuardia to Love Field; first checked bag is free)
- $308: Virgin America (LaGuardia to Love Field; includes a $50 checked bag fee)
- $338: Spirit Airlines (LaGuardia to Dallas/Fort Worth; includes a $70 carry-on fee and $50 checked bag fee)
- $388: American Airlines (LaGuardia to Dallas Fort/Worth; includes a $50 checked bag fee)
- $388: United Airlines (Newark to Dallas/Fort Worth; includes a $50 checked bag fee)
- $450: Delta Airlines (LaGuardia to Dallas/Fort Worth; includes a $50 checked bag fee)
The "Southwest effect" – meaning that the entry of Southwest Airlines into any given flight market lowers prices – seems to be holding! Considering Dallas/Fort Worth is more than twice as far from Dallas proper than Love Field, you'll also save on transfers once you're on the ground. To fly Southwest, click here. For Virgin, click here. See you in the Lone Star state.