The cliches about bigness are true. The big get
bigger. We are fascinated with size. A lot of us think bigger is
better. And in business, we look to the biggest.
Our annual Power List issue is our way of recognizing these
trends, recognizing the big, recognizing their importance. And
every year since this list began in 1992 our eyes get a bit wider
at some of the numbers:The largest agency on this list, American Express, has an
annual sales volume that is 200 times the volume of the
There are 14 travel sellers on this list with annual sales
volume exceeding $1 billion.
Together, the members of this $1 billion club generate nearly
$105 billion in sales.
The top three account for about half of that, or just under $53
The rise of the big Web sites has been phenomenal, but while
travel is becoming a Web-centric game, it remains a business of
trust. The telephone still rocks. Some companies do hundreds of
millions a year over the phone.
This list is all about the big and the powerful, the industry
leaders, but it also stands as a testament to the power of
Travel draws consumers like a magnet, and while its not known to
be a high-margin business, it continues to draw and nourish a
dynamic and diverse corps of investors and entrepreneurs. Judging
from this list, travel people are no strangers to growth,
innovation and success.
We find much good in the agreement hammered out
by the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, and their local airlines
and airports, to end (finally!) the regime of federal restrictions
on Love Field service that stem from the 1979 Wright Amendment.
If the deal goes through, the first benefit would be an
immediate end to the ban on through service linking Love Field with
points beyond the airports nine-state service area. Eight years
later, Love Field would open up for nonstop service to any point in
The deal includes a limit on the number of passenger gates, to
limit growth, and a ban on international service. Were not big fans
of arbitrary restrictions like that, but in this case, its worth it
to get a deal.
What were worried about is the role of the U.S. Congress.
Because the Wright Amendment is law, it can only be changed by
Congress. The question is: How?
The Texas parties describe their deal as an agreement in
principle rather than a final contract, but as written, it is
predicated on the expectation that Congress will enact legislation
to implement its terms.
Wed much rather see Congress repeal the Wright Amendment
altogether and allow the local compact to govern what happens at
One of the biggest problems with the Wright Amendment has always
been that it was an act of Congress, a law carved in stone that
only Congress could change. We dont believe Washington should be
legislating restrictions on how local airports are to be used.
Congress should just bow out. If, at some future date, the
parties believe their agreement no longer serves their communitys
needs, they can negotiate changes among themselves, without having
to drag the federal government back into the act.