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Consumer Confidential: Southwest deepens loyalty, Starbucks defends new look

January 6, 2011 |  7:16 am

Here's your thoughtful-Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Southwest Airlines is into monogamy -- with travelers, that is. The budget carrier is revamping its loyalty program to eliminate black-out dates on which you're not allowed to fly and boost miles from international flights on other airlines. Southwest aims to win new customers and deepen ties to existing business travelers, who generally pay higher prices. The changes take effect March 1. More info is available here.

-- Starbucks' move to revamp its logo is drawing the ire of coffee drinkers who don't cotton to corporate change. The company has dropped its name from its logo and tweaked the bare-breasted babe who represents caffeine pleasure (or something like that). One comment on the Starbucks website calls the move "a total waste of time, energy and money." Others are calling on the company to follow the Gap's example and return to its original logo. Starbucks, not surprisingly, says it's pleased that "people like talking about us."

-- David Lazarus