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Senator Jim Inhofe vs Southwest Airlines

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A popular air travel route between Tulsa and Dallas would be shut down, if legislation being proposed by Senator Jim Inhofe goes through.

The True Competition Act would close Love Field to commercial air traffic and force Southwest Airlines to fly out of Dallas-Fort Worth. Inhofe says it's necessary to protect American Airlines, Tulsa's biggest employer.

But as News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg tells us, travelers don't exactly "love" the idea.

Tulsan Emily Warren is on her way to Dallas on Southwest Airlines to visit her boyfriend. It's a trip she makes frequently. And she likes Love, Love Field that is. "I would much rather go through Love. I know Dallas-Fort Worth just gets packed.

Usually, Southwest, everything's real close together so you can just get off the gate and get on to your other one and go. I don't think I would enjoy that very much going through Dallas-Fort Worth." But some lawmakers, including Senator Inhofe, see Love Field as an unfair advantage for Southwest over other airlines, in particular American Airlines.

Southwest is actually trying to get more direct flights out of Love Field. Inhofe's True Competition Act would close it altogether.

Carmine Romano, the head of the American Airlines Maintenance Base in Tulsa, says the base's fate is at stake, but some travelers don't like the government interfering and don't think Southwest's success is tied to Love Field.

Cathy Ariana: “They know how to make a profit, give great service, at a lower cost, and y'know if that gives them an advantage, then everybody else out to figure it out and then they'd have an advantage too."
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