US Airways, Delta object to DOT slot-swap requirements

US Airways and Delta Airlnes jointly objected to yesterday's requirements laid out by the U.S. Department of Transportation's for the carriers to be able to swap dozens of slots at two airports. DOT said the airlines would have to hold a blind auction, without knowing the carriers bidding, to give up valuable landing-and-takeoff slots at New York LaGuardia and Washington Reagan National airports.

US Airways and Delta in a joint statement said the ruling could kill the deal. The airlines contended that the ruling went beyond DOT's authority and would be appealed to a federal circuit court, which rules on agency administrative decisions. Were a blind auction to be held, it presumably would include Southwest Airlines, which earlier objected to DOT that it was not one of four low-cost carriers US Airways and Delta chose to sell some of the slots. Southwest now has limited service at LGA because of a shortage of slots.

The trade paper Travel Weekly has more detail in this story.