By Joe Brancatelli

Recenetly, a very strange announcement came from Southwest Airlines. The carrier says that it will begin flights from two South Carolina airports — Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg — next year.

What’s odd about that? Well, Southwest didn’t announce a launch date or routes from either airport. Moreover, it rarely opens up two airports at one time. And the carrier made a point to say its decision to fly to these new cities is “not dependent on pending legislation to provide air service subsidies.” That last comment is extremely odd since the entire impetus for new service traces back to a bill in the South Carolina legislature that would offer as much as $15 million in grants to low-cost carriers. You’ll want to watch this one carefully.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2009 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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