Gogo Internet Spies for the NSA, Italian Cronyism Shuts Down Emirates, and New Award Space Alerts (Bits ‘n Pieces for April 10, 2014)

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. i pray to travel gods emirates reroutes that flight via vienna… that’d be super awesome! austrians are not as silly as italians to pull some bogus non-eu nation nonsense.

  2. Regarding Emirates Milan-JFK flights this is a big deal to Delta and all of the US carriers even though, so far, American has embraced the mideast carriers.

    I attended a holiday party with a very high level Qantas executive who pretty much acknowledged that they had to join in with Emirates. Here are some things about Emirates which was related to me.

    1. They are government backed which isn’t the case in the USA.

    2. Emirates pays little in fees to use DXB which gives them a very low cost hub.

    3. Their employees that live in Dubai pay no income tax.

    4. Their fuel is so cheap they “tanker” it on their London flights. I was told they overfill the tanks and use the excess on the way home. The lower costs of their fuel make it economic to do so in spite of carrying all of the extra weight to London.

    If you live east of the Mississippi it isn’t much longer just to go east to asia and Emirates has talked about using fifth freedom rights to fly from asia to the west coast of the USA.

    If you are a US based airline the “ME3” have the potential to a very big source of competition. There is a basic question if it is fair competition.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Besides intervening in court to stop the MIlan-New York flight Delta has also led a charge against the US Export Import Bank which provides low cost financing of Boeing planes to foreign carriers…financing not available to US based carriers.

    Delta and American are taking entirely opposite stances. Time will tell who is right.

  3. Interesting. This may be a push by Etihad which wants to buy Alitalia.

    Which brings me to a more important question. If Etihad buys Alitalia, does that bring AZ to OneWorld? Any insights Gary?

  4. I am sure Etihad has a role to play in all this since they are interested in bailing out Alitalia which the Italian government is interested in. One hand washes the other. It all makes perfect sense.

  5. Given the Snowden revelations, you just have to assume that the NSA is monitoring all communications within its reach (within the US, between the US and other countries, within various specific other countries etc), even when the application or site you are visiting claims that serious encryption is being used. I wouldn’t worry about Go-Go co-operating with them. As you say, they probably had no choice.

  6. You folks act like GoGo and other tech companies are held hostage or something. Believe me, I have worked with executives that make decisions like that. They don’t give two figs about your privacy. They care about making money, period end of story. As long as they can conceal this relationship, they will sign off on anything that lets them make one more dollar. They’ll make a few modest remarks about how “concerned” they are, then make sure legal angles are all covered so they cannot be held liable, backslap handshake lunctime! They can fake appropriate indignity if word gets out.

  7. Is the following rule which is cited in the ruling only specific to Italy?

    “Fifth freedom rights cannot be granted to a non-EU nation.”

    I know that Kuwait Airways is not a member of EU and they have fifth freedom rights with UK which is EU member. Air India and Pakistan International have it also with UK. PIA also have the fifth freedom rights for flights to and from Barcelona.

  8. @Takhliq Khan – I haven’t read the ruling but my impression is that the Italian administrative court is interpreting Italian law. Second it may not be a correct reading of Italian law, remains to be seen, certainly the Italian government which granted the flights to Emirates thought it was permitted.

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