How Big Airlines Rigged The Game In Congress For Washington’s Coveted New Slots [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • I’ve discussed several times how lobbyist-written language in the FAA Reauthorization bill creates new beyond-perimeter slots at Washington’s National airport crafted to specify that the big airlines get the slots. Four go to large carriers, one goes to a limited incumbent, and zero to new entrants. But it’s even more convoluted than that. The language freezes out Frontier in favor of Alaska for the single limited incumbent slot ($).

    Since Frontier uses an ‘exemption slot’ currently they aren’t currently considered a ‘limited incumbent’ carrier. The requirement to use a slot in your own name rather than operate for another carrier excludes Republic. Alaska is the only limited incumbent so will get that one slot (which they plan to fly to San Diego).

    United, Delta, American, Southwest and JetBlue will vie for four slots. American will get a San Antonio flight (the reason Ted Cruz pushed for the slots) and Delta will get either Salt Lake or Seattle (they were the prime movers behind the slot push in the first place).

  • I wasn’t expecting Breeze to begin selling connections and do so on other airlines, introducing the complexity of transferring bags between airlines etc. But it makes Essential Air Service subsidy applications more attractive to DOT and the amount of money included for EAS in FAA Reauthorization is staggering.

  • Maybe they should make award nights easier to book, fill rooms and earn incremental revenue as well as incidental spend…

  • Triple United miles on IHG stays booked by June 30 for stays through August 31

  • Singapore to roll out automated lanes for all foreign tourists to speed up travel, edge out Hong Kong as regional hub I never personally experienced a long immigration line there to begin with.

  • Hertz’s Used Teslas Are Glitchy, Damaged Nightmares buying used ex-rental cars is always dicey – they are generally beaten up by drivers and even by staff and certainly not as well cared for as a car owned by a single individual.

    The condition of Hertz Teslas does not surprise, and in particular battery wear. These are high mileage vehicles for their age and when I rented one it was charged to 98% at pickup. In contrast, recommended battery care is charging to 80% for regular driving and 90% for occasional long-distance driving. Plus nearly all charging will be done with high speed chargers on a rental vehicle.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. The San Antonio area has a very significant military presence and it was ridiculous that there were no direct flights to DC. Any Senator worth his salt would have pushed for a flight to DC and American has a good presence here.

  2. @Phil C United flies IAD-SAT roundtrip nonstop — slight digression I flew route that a few weeks ago!

  3. Actually I only flew direct to SAT. They still have SAT – IAD nonstop but I chose to stop by DFW on the way back for food

  4. Anyone buying an ex-Hertz Tesla is nuts, since Hertz polices were almost designed to ensure the battery in these cars would be abused

  5. AUS has many more direct flights to the DC, and is a bigger airport. Prices can be less. I will often fly to AUS and rent a car to go to San Antonio.

Comments are closed.