Airfares around the country are going down, down, down. One of the reasons this past year has been so fantastic for people flying has been the elimination of the anti-consumer and anti-free market Wright Amendment.
When the Wright Amendment went into play some 35 years ago, it was one of those times when crony capitalism won over Washington to the great harm of the American people. The Wright Amendment restricted where airlines could fly from Love Field (close to Dallas) and essentially tethered them to only short flights close-by out of this airport.
Well, after much infighting in Washington following restrictions on where you could fly out of this airport for decades, the Wright Amendment went away a year ago. The result? Airfares have dropped dramatically because of all the new competition that came to the heartland. The biggest fare drops in the country have been to and through Dallas. That’s impacted people all around the country.
Be sure to check neighboring airports
The funny thing is the airlines that fought this now carry more passengers to and through Dallas (via the main airport Dallas\Ft. Worth) than they did before. The flying public is taking advantage of all the cheap fares and they’re heading to the airport.
It’s a great example of how important competition is to allow the free market to do its thing. This airport now has nearly 200 flights to 50 cities, and then through Dallas connects to all different places around the country. With 7 million people flying through there, that single-handedly has changed the fare equation around the country.
Along with that, there are always fare cuts from the three fast-growing hard discounters Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant. My oldest brother loves Frontier and loves saving money. He has a tiny carry-on he takes to avoid baggage fees. He’s able to make all those cheap fares work for him. But these carriers are not for everybody.
The key lesson here for consumers is that you should always check nearby airports for cheaper fares. In Orlando, Sanford Field may have a cheaper fare than Orlando International. In Houston, Hobby could be cheaper than Intercontinental. Those are just two examples.
In cities that have two or more airports, check fares to all of them. As another example, you might consider flying into Milwaukee when you have to go to Chicago. A little inconvenience could save you a lot of money!
For more money-saving travel advice, see our Travel section.