-The war of words between U.S. airlines and Persian Gulf carriers escalated last week when Delta Air Lines chief executive sort of linked the Gulf carriers to the 9/11 terrorist attacks while making the case that Gulf airlines have received billions in government subsidies. American, Delta and United are asking federal officials to renegotiate or kill treaties that allow the Gulf airlines to add more flights to the U.S. “The three largest U.S. airlines claim that three big Gulf carriers have received more than $40 billion in subsidies from their governments since 2004, making competition with them unfair because their costs are artificially low,” the Associated Press reports.
-Cranky Flier, aka Brett Snyder, tried to decipher Virgin America’s business reasons for launching Austin-Dallas Love Field flights later this spring in this blog post. “I can only assume the primary target market will be the Austin techie traveler who loves Virgin America and all its gadgets,” Snyder writes.
-And Southwest quietly upped how many redemption points customers will need to redeem to get a free flight in its frequent flier program. According to the Arizona Republic, the Dallas-based carrier notified customers last week about the change. “Just how many more points — and on which flights — Southwest isn't saying and probably never will, making it harder for travelers to figure out in advance how many points they need for a particular trip,” this article says.
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