American Plans Rally, 'Wright is Right'

In a push back at Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and its unions are planning a rally on Capitol Hill on June 22 to push for support of the Wright Amendment.

The "Wright is Right" campaign will urge lawmakers to preserve restrictions on Dallas Love Field known as the Wright Amendment, said Tommie Hutto-Blake, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. The APFA represents American's flight attendants.

"The company and its unions have been discussing a trip to Capitol Hill on June 22, Tim Wagner, an American spokesman, confirmed. "We want to discuss our turnaround plan, the roadblocks we're up against and our legislative priorities."

Asked about the Wright Amendment, Wagner said, "It's one of our legislative priorities."

American and Dallas/Fort Worth Airport have been working to preserve the Wright Amendment, while Southwest has made repealing it a corporate goal in the last six months.

Gregg Overman, an Al-lied Pilots Association spokesman, said the rally would be a joint labor-management effort.

Fort Worth-based American has been in a defensive mode on the Wright Amendment for the last few months, while Love Field-based Southwest has been lobbying aggressively to repeal it.

The 1979 law, designed to protect D/FW, was itself amended in 1997 and allows service from Love Field only to the four states that border Texas plus Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi.

Southwest had a rally at Love Field on May 5 against the Wright Amendment, urging employees to campaign against the restrictions, and it set up a Web site, D/FW has a Web site in support of the limitations,