Legend Airlines

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Legend Airlines
IATA ICAO Callsign
LC LGD Legendary
Founded 2000
Ceased operations 2005
Headquarters Dallas Love Field
Dallas, Texas
Website http://legendairlines.com

Legend Airlines was an airline that had its headquarters on the grounds of Dallas Love Field.[1] Legend operated nonstop flights from Love Field, Dallas, Texas, USA during 2000 to destinations in southern California, Nevada, New York and Virginia. The airline filed for bankruptcy five years after it was formed as a corporate entity, its initial flights having been substantially delayed by court battles that had been instigated by American Airlines and the City of Fort Worth.


Legend Airlines was the brainchild of T. Allan McArtor, former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator, Federal Express executive and U.S. Air Force pilot. Mr. McArtor was also a member of the USAF precision flying team, the Thunderbirds. Mr. McArtor served as airline's President and CEO.[2]

Legend took advantage of a loophole in the Wright Amendment which only allowed aircraft configured with a maximum of 56 seats to serve destinations nonstop from Love Field that were outside of a five state region consisting of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The airline was also envisioned to provide a new category of service to its passengers with the entire aircraft being operated in a business class configuration. Seats were wider and also in a 2-2 configuration (rather than 2-3) on its aircraft, and the removal of several rows of seats from its McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jetliners added legroom. In addition, several Dallas-area chefs were commissioned to create meals for the airline. Meals were served on real china, with silverware, rather than plastic trays and utensils. The emphasis was on providing enhanced, quality on board service nonstop to business and leisure destinations from close-in Love Field in Dallas.

Legend Airlines began nonstop service to three destinations from Dallas Love Field in the spring of 2000: Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.[3] New York City was then added as a fourth destination.[4]

The airline provided scheduled passenger service which bypassed the restrictions imposed by the Wright Amendment, which at that time limited such service into Love Field from destinations outside of the aforementioned five state area. Since the airline operated DC-9 jets that were configured with 56 seats and thus below the Wright Amendment limit that restricted passenger airlines from flying aircraft with more than 56 seats into Love Field from outside of the five state area, Legend could fly to destinations in the eastern and western U.S. The airline operated its DC-9-30s out of Love nonstop to Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Washington D.C. Dulles International Airport (IAD).[5] American Airlines, in a competitive move, reconfigured several of its Fokker F100 jets with 56 seats in a similar business class-like configuration and operated nonstop service from Love Field to Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX) and New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA).[6] [7]

Legend Airlines spent most of its existence locked in a legal battle with American Airlines. American Airlines sued in federal court to prevent Legend Airlines from operating out of Love Field under the provisions of the Wright Amendment. Each time Legend's right to fly was upheld by a court, American immediately appealed the decision to a higher court. The constant legal struggle was a serious drain on the fledgling company's financial resources, and would be a major factor in the airline's eventual failure.

Legend Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2000, and suspended flight operations on December 3, 2000. The airline surrendered its operating certificate to the FAA in March 2005. The airline lost over $44 million in its four-year existence.

In 2006, the former Legend Airlines terminal again became the focus of legal controversy, when the City of Dallas began a process to use eminent domain to seize and then raze the structure in order to comply with provisions concerning the repeal of the Wright Amendment with this law having been signed by President George W. Bush.

In-flight services[edit]

The airline offered meals which it described as "celebrity-chef crafted" as well as AT&T Airfones and DirecTV seatback video service.[8]

Executive terminal[edit]

Legend operated a separate executive passenger terminal at 7777 Lemmon Avenue and Lovers Lane[8] and thus did not use the primary passenger terminal at Dallas Love Field (DAL).[9]



Legend Airlines served the following destinations during its existence:[11]


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 21–27, 2000. 91.
  2. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, 2000 Legend Airlines "Thank You For Joining Legend Airlines Travel Rewards Program" letter written by T. Allan McArtor, President & CEO
  3. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, April 5, 2000 Legend Airlines system timetable
  4. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Sept. 6, 2000 Legend Airlines route map
  5. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Sept. 6, 2000 Legend Airlines route map
  6. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, July 2, 2001 American Airlines system timetable
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b "Legend Airlines…non-stop non-coach." Legend Airlines. Retrieved on February 16, 2009.
  9. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, 2000 Legend Airlines "Thank You For Joining Legend Airlines Travel Rewards Program" letter written by T. Allan McArtor, President & CEO
  10. ^ http://www.airliners.net/photo/Legend-Airlines/McDonnell-Douglas-DC-9-32/0151701/L/, photos of Legend Airlines DC-9-32 aircraft
  11. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Sept. 6. 2000 Legend Airlines route map

External links[edit]