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...As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas - even if the federal government has to force it to be.
The Wright Amendment was enacted in 1980 as a change to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. It was all about protecting the risk and financial investment put into opening Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport in 1974, sheltering it from the older, smaller Love Field just a 21-minute drive away.
While the amendment was not technically created because of Southwest Airlines, the fear was that if Southwest, or any large carrier, continued to operate out of Love Field (previously the main airport in North Texas) it would decrease passenger numbers at the shiny, new and expensive DFW Airport.
Airport News / HOU / IAH / Airports / WiFi / Free Stuff / Texas Travel / → All Tags
For whatever reason big airports seem to have big problems when it comes to concourse connectivity. Of course WiFi is available everywhere, but it usually comes with an annoying fee. Some of the big boy airports—like Atlanta—have finally flipped the switch to make things free, and now yet another major airport is finally doing the same.
It’s time for the WiFi to be free for all across Houston, as the airport authority has opened up the network to passengers at both George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport. The rollout is complete over at Hobby Airport, but a couple of the terminals at Bush Intercontinental will need another month or so to work things out—so just be aware.
Airline News / Virgin America / Texas Travel / DFW / DAL / Airlines / Airport News / New Routes / Wright Amendment / → All Tags
If you’re heading to Texas anytime soon, you should know of the switcheroo taking place with the planes and people over at Virgin America. In case you don’t study the carrier’s route network on a daily basis—we just might—the airline has been flying to and from Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, but that’s about to change.
Thanks to all the complicated details surrounding the merger between American Airlines and US Airways, plus the lifting of the restrictive Wright Amendment, the area’s other airportDallas Love Fieldis now open to new airlines and destinations.
Virgin America filled out their paperwork in number two pencil, and recently received good news. They’re now getting the green light to put their planes at Dallas' Love Field, and that means that they will do the nonstop thing to spots like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York (LGA), and Washington (DCA) this October.
Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" tripa Tax Refund Vacation.
In case you didn’t hear, today’s the day you'll need to finalize your tax return and, if all goes according to plan, your refund should be arriving by check or direct deposit within the next few weeks. At last update, the friendly folks at the IRS report that the average refund this year is just shy of $3,000, so we say it’s time to take that money and head out of town.
Affordability is key during tax season, so today we're featuring a domestic destination, to Texas' capital of cool—Austin. Now’s the time to visit before the sweltering summer weather rolls in, and with an average April temperature of nearly 80 degrees, you can enjoy the sun without the humidity of the tropics.
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After a long winter it’s finally time to come out of hibernation, and there’s no better way to celebrate the season and warmer weather than with a little food and a little wine. April is packed with food festivals for the next few weekends, so now’s the time to cancel those plans with the family and head out on your own getaway. Here’s three spots worth checking out.
Pebble Beach Food & Wine – April 10 – 13
If you’re not already in California you have until tomorrow to get there, as the events surrounding Pebble Beach Food & Wine kick off tomorrow and run throughout the weekend. Expect celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, plenty of sips and samples, and of course event after event tailored to your food favorites. Most of the cooking demonstrations start at around $100, and things go up from there.
Plenty of tickets are still available on what they call an “a la carte”—ha—basis, but you can also go all in an order a package of events. Things start off at around $1,000 for their magnum set of events, and things get pricier as you select from the jeroboam or imperial options.
Austin Travel / South By Southwest / Texas Travel / Festival Travel / Food Travel / Lists / Music Travel / → All Tags
In case you've been living in a cave (without WiFi, naturally), the South By Southwest festival is in full swing right now, with networking, screenings and, of course, partying. Austin, Texas is abuzz with people from all over the planet and, even though SXSW has plenty of things to keep visitors occupied for 10 days, not everyone is interested in visiting the city during this time of the year.
Thus, we've come up with a hearty list of things to do if you're headed to Austin when the city isn't packed with conference attendees.
New Routes / British Airways / 787 / Boeing / Austin Travel / Texas Travel / AUS / SXSW / → All Tags
Even though the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival doesn't begin until this weekend, the city of Austin, TX was already in quite a flutter yesterday, with the arrival of their first transatlantic flight. Even better is that the airline is British Airways, who've put their brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the nonstop route. Right now, the flight only operates five times a week, but will increase to daily service as soon as this May.
Texans used to flying other airlines and connecting to London can check out a sample of one of the plane's seats as part of a pop-up British Airways experience in the lobby of Austin's Driskill Hotel. Of course, there's always our own 40-image photo gallery and a few things the BA 787 has that other airplanes do not.
There’s all kinds of water parks across the globe, but there’s only one brand that truly exceeds the expectations of those looking to slip, slide, and swim all summer long. There’s no argument that Schlitterbahn has some of the best water parks in the world, and with locations across Texas and even in Kansas City, there are several options from which to choose. However, 2014 is unique in that they’re bringing in a new $500 million park into the family, as Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi should be turning on the faucet in just a few more months.
Many of the signature rides and attractions will make an appearance at the new water park. Visitors can expect things like a Torrent Tidal Wave River, swim-up bars, and beaches. There will even be something called Boogie Bahn—according to them it’s basically the world’s best inland surfing ride. There will be places to stay the night as well, as it looks like they’re trying to get Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi up and running as a full-fledged resort.
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Did y’all cowpokes know there’s a newly crowned “World’s Longest Nonstop Flight?” With the retirement of Singapore Airlines flight 21/22, an unnaturally long 18hr 50min nonstop flight between Singapore and Newark, comes the new champion of distance: Qantas Airlines 7's 15h 25min nonstop from Sydney, Australia to Dallas, Texas.
It doesn’t take a math genius to realize that the flying time difference between the newcomer and the old-timer is a dramatic 3hr 25min. You could watch “Titanic” from start to finish in that exact time (the movie is literally 3 hr 25 min long). However, we certainly don’t want to make light of a 15-hour flight.
Let us not forget that while Singapore’s flights were longer, they were also running a completely business class cabin with no economy option. For Qantas, a few hundred passengers on the new longest flight will be spending their 15+ hours sitting upright in economy, chewing Xanax to make the pain go away. Just kiddingEconomy in one of Qantas’ 747-400ERs really isn’t all that bad (though we’d still suggest spending a little extra for Premium Economy like we did).
The tale of Bonnie & Clyde was resurrected last night in Part 1 of a new TV miniseries about the real-life couple and the infamous crime spree that cost them their lives nearly 80 years ago.
The continued fascination with history's most wanted couple keeps Bonnie & Clyde tourism going strong in Texas and Louisiana.
In Dallas, TX, local Freda Dillard gives a four-hour Bonnie & Clyde Tour that includes the location where they first met, Bonnie's former workplace Hargraves Cafe, and the Grapevine location where they murdered two highway patrolmen. The group tour, which can accommodate up to 57 people, costs $240.
Live Music Travel / Festival Travel / Music Festivals / Austin Travel / Texas Travel / Music Travel / Events / → All Tags
It might have one of the worst names in festival history, but it sure has caught on and gathered attention as a pretty big deal in Austin, a city that doesn't take its music lightly. The Fun Fun Fun Fest returns for its 8th year on November 8-10 with a lineup that goes well beyond music to showcase stand-up comedy, alternative sports, and the local food scene.
In addition to big acts like Snoop Dog (Lion), M.I.A., and Slayer, the FFF Fest will feature dozens of musicians as well as comedians, led by Sarah Silverman and Tenacious D. You can see the full lineup here. There will also be some extreme sports on site, including vert ramp skating and biking, wrestling (there's apparently a ring), and the good ole' fashioned Texas favorite, the mechanical bull.
Airline News / Southwest Airlines / Airlines / Texas Travel / DAL / Airport News / New Routes / → All Tags
This week’s a big deal for the planes and people over at Southwest Airlines, the week that the countdown to the end of the Wright Amendment finally begins. The 1979 federal law limited where planes could fly out of Dallas-Love Field to cities in and around Texas and a few neighboring states, but once it expires, the airline will have a lot more freedom when it comes to where the blue-bellied planes can fly.
This marks a continuation of good news for Southwest in the Lone Star State. Just the other day we mentioned that the carrier was hard at work building its first international terminal over at Houston-Hobby, which seems to go hand-in-hand with the flight freedom that’s on the horizon at Love Field. We’re now one year away—October 13, 2014—from the day when the wing-clipping rules and regulations will be in the past.