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Delta brings the love to Texas with new flights, a permanent home in Dallas

Feb. 03, 2023
6 min read
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Everything is bigger in Texas, and in a few months, that'll include Delta Air Lines' presence there.

The Atlanta-based carrier announced on Friday a sizeable expansion in the Lone Star State, adding two brand-new routes at its new permanent location at Dallas Love Field (DAL) and expanding service from existing airports.

In total, Delta will offer over 20% more seats from Texas this summer compared to July 2022, as the airline looks to compete more fiercely in the state.

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Delta's permanent home at Dallas Love Field

The biggest news is Delta's two new routes from the Dallas Love Field. Beginning on June 5, the airline will add twice-daily service from DAL to both LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Additionally, the airline will increase the frequency of its existing flights from DAL to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to five-daily operations beginning on June 5.

All flights will operate on 132-seat Airbus A319 aircraft, which are configured in a three-cabin layout with 12 first-class recliners, 18 extra-legroom Comfort+ seats and 102 standard economy seats. All A319s are also outfitted with Delta's new Viasat Wi-Fi, which is free to use for all SkyMiles members.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

In recent years, there wasn't much love for Delta at Love Field. This airport, popular with locals and visitors due to its proximity to the city of Dallas, has been dominated for years by hometown carrier Southwest Airlines (which already operates multiple daily flights in the two markets that Delta is adding).

Southwest occupies 17 of Love Field's 20 gates, essentially giving the carrier a monopoly on the airport. Other airlines have tried to wiggle their way into Love Field over the years, and Delta's limited operations there were historically confined to a single gate shared with Southwest.

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Delta has been eager to grow in Love Field, but the airline's expansion push faced resistance from Southwest and other parties. That led to a nearly decade-long legal battle that involved a whole host of airlines and local authorities.

Eventually, a settlement was finally reached last year that lets Delta stay at the airport through September 2028. Funny enough, the airline is leasing a gate from Alaska Airlines — yes, the same carrier that is a major thorn in Delta's side in Seattle — for $200,000 a year.

Delta will exclusively use gate 11 at Love Field, and hopefully, the airline can operate its nine daily flights there without any delays or cancellations, which could theoretically pose an issue for the carrier since it only has access to a single gate.

The growth from Love Field doesn't come at the expense of any routes from the nearby Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). From there, Delta flies multiple daily services to all nine of its hubs, except for Seattle.

"These new routes that will operate from a Delta-dedicated gate signal the continuation of Delta’s ongoing investments in Texas and our commitment to serving this community with flights to their top destinations," Joe Esposito, Delta’s senior vice president of network planning, said in a statement.

It's getting hotter in Austin

In recent years, Austin has seen a sharp and significant expansion in air service, and Delta is now joining the party with expanded service.

This includes four daily frequencies to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) starting on June 5, followed by a much larger expansion on July 10 that includes increased frequencies in the following six markets.

  • Atlanta to 10 daily fights.
  • Boston to three daily flights.
  • Los Angeles to four daily flights.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul to four daily flights.
  • Raleigh-Durham to two daily flights.
  • Seattle to three daily flights.

All this domestic growth comes as Delta's partners expand their presence in Austin. Last year, transatlantic joint venture partners KLM and Virgin Atlantic added nonstop flights from Austin to Amsterdam and London, respectively. SkyTeam partner Aeromexico also operates daily service to Mexico City from Austin under a so-called transborder alliance with Delta.

Before the pandemic, Delta called Austin one of its focus cities, and the airline reaffirmed plans in 2021 to maintain this designation in the Texas capital. Though the airline isn't adding any new routes at the moment, it is making some notable frequency increases that'll help it remain relevant in Austin.

Sixth Street is a historic street and entertainmnet district in downtown Austin, Texas. Sixth Street was formerly named Pecan Street. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. JOHN COLETTI/GETTY IMAGES

That said, the competition in Austin is stronger than ever. Of all the U.S. airlines, American had made the biggest play for capturing the Austin market in recent years. The Fort Worth-based carrier unveiled multiple major expansions in Austin during the pandemic, and it even announced a brand-new 15,000-square-foot Admirals Club opening there in the coming years.

Additionally, Alaska, Allegiant Air, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue have all unveiled new routes to the city during the pandemic. Southwest remains Austin's biggest airline, operating about 32% of the airport's capacity, though competitors are certainly trying to close that gap.

More Texas growth

In addition to the aforementioned flights, Delta will resume service in two Texas markets that haven't been served since the pandemic began.

This includes San Antonio International Airport (SAT) to New York, which will restart on May 8 and will be operated by Delta's flyer-friendly Airbus A220. Additionally, Delta will resume seasonal service between Valley International Airport (HRL) near Harlingen and Minneapolis-St. Paul in just a few days on Feb. 17.

The latter route will be operated by an Airbus A320.

Related reading:

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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