Airports Will Let You Pet Dogs to Relieve Stress, Private Jet Standards, and How the Tax Code May Have Stolen Costco Away from Amex

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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, 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. Interesting Gary on Citi possibly winning the Costco deal due to government “credits.” I actually agree with this take. And, let’s take that a step further. Citi also just won the AAdvantage card portfolio. It could be implied that it won that business over Barclaycard due to government “credits” which are basically subsidies to Citi. The big 3 US Carries, as you have been pointing out, are complaining about subsidies received by the Sand Carriers from their governments. However, it can be inferred that AA’s deal with Citi for it’s co-brand portfolio was a backdoor US government subsidy for AA.

  2. @Chris Staab – in fairness, Citi was in a much stronger position to win the AA business given the bigger installed cardmember base — the portfolio is worth more to them than to Barclays, who hasn’t ever spent nearly as much as Citi has on a co-brand deal.

  3. Fair enough, Gary. I agree with you. But that does not negate the fact that if Citi is subsidized by the government than AA is benefiting from that subsidy. The Citi AAdvatage portfolio may be the biggest profit center in the airline. And the issuing bank enabling that profit is government subsidized because it was “too big to fail.” So, it seems slightly hypocritical to me that AA is complaining about the Sand Carrier’s government subsidies.

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