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How often is it cheaper to fly a NW-codeshare on CO than CO?

How often is it cheaper to fly a NW-codeshare on CO than CO?

 
Old Jan 22, 03, 3:56 pm
  #1  
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How often is it cheaper to fly a NW-codeshare on CO than CO?

I was checking out some itineraries for February and saw that Continental was much more expensive than the other carriers. (No surprise there.)

When I explored who offered the most reasonable fares, it was Northwest. (Roughly 70% cheaper than CO.)

Then when I explored the flight options with NW, I saw that it was actually CO metal being flown with a NW codeshare flight #.

This was the first time I've ever seen such a phenomena --does it happen frequently? Maybe I just don't fly to many places where NW/CO both fly.
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Old Jan 22, 03, 4:01 pm
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Happens quite frequently.
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Old Jan 22, 03, 5:18 pm
  #3  
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This happens a LOT on Orbitz and Expedia, where your search request will yield a bunch of half-CO metal, half-NW metal roundtrips (with either all-CO or all-NW flight numbers) that are significantly cheaper than anything the Continental or NW booking engines throw back at you.
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Old Jan 22, 03, 7:29 pm
  #4  
 
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I purchased about six itineraries last year that were NW number, CO metal (RJ's ugh!!!!). The difference was normally at least 20% and in a coupole of situations less than half of CO's fare.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 7:53 am
  #5  
 
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Frequently. The opposite situation (flying a CO-codeshare instead of NW on NW metal) happens as well. Despite them sharing the codeshare inventory, they cannot collaborate on pricing.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 8:54 am
  #6  
 
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But what's the sense in that? If it's exactly the same flight why would someone pay 50% more especially when all the frequent flyer benefits are reciprocal?? Except for 1000-2000 mile Check-in/On-line bonus why would someone pay 50% for the same exact flight??
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Old Jan 23, 03, 11:13 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">But what's the sense in that? If it's exactly the same flight why would someone pay 50% more especially when all the frequent flyer benefits are reciprocal?? Except for 1000-2000 mile Check-in/On-line bonus why would someone pay 50% for the same exact flight??
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They don't know about the codeshare price (they price it out on continental.com, for example - they never see the cheaper NW fare).

I suppose other things (like voucher usage) could factor in, but fundamentally, lack of knowledge is the only reason to pay more for a NW vs. CO ticket for flights on the same physical aircraft.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 11:50 am
  #8  
 
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Happymob pretty well summarized the situation.

A couple of other minor incentives might be (1) special bonuses offered from time to time on flights "operated by" a particular airlinem, and (2) use of an AMEX Platinum card. In regard to the latter, you have to be on the metal of, or the ticket of, the airline whose club you want to use. For instance, if you are flying to PHL or IAD where CO has no club, you might want to fly CO metal with an NW ticket to gain entrance to WorldClub.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 2:46 pm
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One other possibility is that you were using CO.com's "search by Price" option. I have found that that system is flawed (I know, you are all shocked). Try searching by schedule, many times it will kick out a lower fare. If you want to make sure you are finding the lowest fare bucket, check itn.net for availibility.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 5:38 pm
  #10  
 
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The same thing happened to me using orbitz. nw ticket useing co metal was about half the price as co.
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Old Jan 24, 03, 5:42 am
  #11  
 
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Another funny thing is that the NW itineraries often allow for routings that CO does not permit, even though you're flying on CO metal.

Many of the NW routings from EWR allow for transit thru IAH, even when CO doesn't allow it. i.e. EWR-IAH-MIA, EWR-IAH-FLL etc. I used to pick up the 777 to IAH and then a connection to Florida... pretty cool! It has been some months since I've done that, so I don't know if its still the case, but it was cool while it lasted. I recall being able to do that to Kansas City too.
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Old Jan 24, 03, 6:21 am
  #12  
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I just completed a trip that combined CO and NW codeshares and the CO site had it at a much lower price than the NW site. I tried several times because I wanted the NW bonuses but the price was almost double. In fact the NW site hid the CO NW codehsare unless severely pressed. So I always try it both ways. You can book and hold if need be. And the prices change constantly, so what it true one day may not be true the next.
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Old Jan 25, 03, 4:47 pm
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Another perk booking using NW code share numbers is seating assignments. NW agents will still give Elites exit row and bulk head seating at ticketing. As a CO Platinum I have also been successful in getting EUA's done outside of the auto system. The NW EUA for CO Elites does not kick in until 3 days out. However, if you call at 5 days out they can and will give you the EUA and seat assignments over the phone.
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Old Jan 25, 03, 6:39 pm
  #14  
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EWR-COflyer:

EWR-IAH-ORD-DTW-ATL is still a valid routing.

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Old Jan 26, 03, 11:13 am
  #15  
 
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To answer the original question, when there is a difference in fare, the NW-codeshare on CO metal is probably cheaper about half the time, and more expensive the other half. Put another way, the CO and NW yield management departments set their fares independently (to do otherwise would be an anti-trust violation). The fact that the flights are actually on the same metal is irrelevent. There will probably be some routes where one carrier is consistently cheaper than the other while the other way is true in another situation, but overall, there's probably not much of a bias one way or the other.
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