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Southwest Airlines takes to the air


On this day in 1971, Southwest Airlines began service from Dallas's Love Field. The airline's first flight came after three years of legal battles with rivals Braniff Airways, Continental Airlines, and Trans-Texas Airways that included a 1970 decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding Southwest's right to fly. Southwest became embroiled in yet another legal controversy in 1972, when the new Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport (now Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport) and the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth sued in an attempt to force the carrier to move to the new airport. Southwest eventually won the right to remain at Love Field as long as the field was a commercial airport, and the company's low fares continued to attract customers and force other airlines to discount their fares.

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