Airline Code-Shares

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» Posted by on Dec 2, 2012 in Airlines | 0 comments

Most airlines participate in some type of commercial code-share agreement.  These agreements allow carriers to expand their service offerings without additional resources, equipment and costs.

A code share is an agreement between airlines that allows the sale of seats by a partner airline on another airline’s flight as if the flight were its own.  Code shares can provide a cost-effective way for a carrier to enter new markets by using the facilities and operations of a partner carrier.

This can be misleading for travelers who believe they’ve purchased a ticket on one airline only to discover they are actually flying another. Or worse, when that traveler believes they are staying on a single airline on a multi-leg trip only to discover that they are not only changing planes, but changing airlines, too, in their connecting city.

Under U.S. Department of Transportation rules, carriers must clearly disclose code share flights on schedules and passenger itineraries by marking them with an asterisk or other “easily identifiable mark” along with the name of the actual transporting carrier.  Generally, code share operated flights have 4 digits in the flight number rather than 3 when on the carrier’s own planes.

When arriving at the airport, if you have a code share flight, you would typically check in and board with the airline that’s operating the flight, not the carrier that sold you the ticket.

There can be pricing discrepancies on the same code share flights sold by two different airlines. The reason for this is that each airline sets its own prices in a code share situation to preserve the spirit of competition.

Contract carriers with code share business agreements cannot obligate their code share partner’s inventories for YCA contract fares.

By Crystal Horner

Disclaimer:  The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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