American Airlines flight attendant Dana Lettow demonstrates the adjustable headrest in the airlines newly appointed Fokker F-100 jet. The planes feature all first class accommodations and will compete with newly formed Legend Airlines out of Love Field. Photo by Russell Bronson / The Dallas Morning News
The battle for high-paying business travelers at Love Field will pit torte Florentine against omelets and buttermilk pancakes.
Just six days remain before American Airlines Inc. faces off against start-up carrier Legend Airlines Inc. with new long-haul flights at the Dallas airport. Every seat on these flights will offer first-class service - not the lowest fares as in previous air battles at Love Field.
While Legend boasts its own $20 million, six-gate terminal and free satellite television, American will enter the fray with a well-established reputation, a popular frequent-flier program and more flights to its destinations.
The airlines will go head-to-head on trips to Los Angeles using 56-seat planes, the maximum number of passengers that federal laws allow aboard planes heading to cities outside Texas and four nearby states from Love Field.
Starting Monday, Fort Worth-based American will offer four flights to Los Angeles, compared with two for Legend. But Legend, which began service in early April using reconfigured McDonnell Douglas DC-9s, plans to add flights soon.
Dallas-based Legend's other destinations include Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. Besides Los Angeles, American will fly to Chicago.
American will show off its reconfigured 56-seat Fokker F-100 planes to the media Wednesday.
With similar ticket prices, leather seats, and loads of legroom and overhead space, it may well be the food that sets one first-class service apart from the other.
That could turn into a tough call for Dallas travelers. Legend boasts menus designed by celebrity chefs Grady Spears of Fort Worth's Reata Downtown and Matt Martinez of Dallas' Matt's El Rancho.
Not to be outdone, American will feature meals designed by Dallas chefs Dean Fearing of The Mansion on Turtle Creek and Stephan Pyles of Star Canyon.
Typical Legend meals include grilled chicken or shrimp, torte Florentine, chicken Caesar salad with cheese quesadillas and pan-roasted lamb ribeye. American will be serving such items as omelets and buttermilk pancakes, lamb chops, sea bass and sliced chicken breast on artichoke-basil pasta.
American Airlines employee Marcia Santagate steps off of one of the airlines newly remodeled Fokker F-100 jets. The planes feature all first class accommodations and will compete with newly formed Legend Airlines out of Love Field. Photo by Russell Bronson / The Dallas Morning News