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Purpose of code sharing?

Purpose of code sharing?

Old Jul 17, 06, 11:09 pm
  #1  
tjl
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Purpose of code sharing?

What is the purpose of code sharing, as opposed to simply offering an itinerary with flights or segments on different (partner) airlines? Since the code sharing airlines are partners, frequent flyer mileage collection should not be a problem for the same flights labeled under the airlines operating them, as opposed to code share airline names.
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Old Jul 18, 06, 12:52 am
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Purpose of code sharing?

I too have wondered about the purpose of "code sharing". From what I understand, lets say DL flight 000, PDX-JFK is code-shared with NW as flight 0000. NW doesn't operate a PDX-JFK flight; DL does. NW flight schedules show PDX-JFK on flight 0000; you book NW; receive NW miles BUT actually fly on DL metal. It seems to open up flight availability from what I can see. When in AMS last summer, our AMS-GLA-AMS (then SEA-AMS-SEA on NW/KLM but on NW metal A330-300) flight was on KLM CityHopper metal but was a code share with what seemed like a half dozen other airlines! It really can be overwhelming and confusing for the not-so-frequent flyers unaware of code sharing and listing every airline/flight number that is code-shared with the actual airline flying the route.

Can anyone give us a industry explanation of "code-sharing". I do corporate travel arrangements in my office and well aware of code-sharing and warn travels which ticket counter they actually need to show up to and check in at! Their ticket may say "NW', but they really need to show up at DL ticket counter and gate! Any clarification is welcomed! Thanks in advanced to a more experienced code-sharing FT'er!
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Old Jul 18, 06, 10:52 am
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>Their ticket may say "NW', but they really
>need to show up at DL ticket counter and gate!

I think few things confuse infrequent-flying pax more than code-share tix!

I remember shortly after AC bought CP I was flying from DFW to YVR. The aircraft was an AC flight number, operated on CP metal with a CP crew operating from a Delta check-in counter & gate!

Several people missed the flight when they showed up at AC and didn't have enough time to sprint all the way over to Delta's gates.

At the US departures terminal at YVR the AC/UA code-shares to The States are so confusing there are staff posted at the entrance to each check-in queue to make sure people are steered to the correct check-in counter.

I think one thing that would go a long way to improving the situation (particularly for Star Alliance etc.) would be allowing staff from Airline A to check in pax on Airline B. i.e. if I have a UA Flight number operated on AC metal, I should be able to check in at the UA counter.

Cheers,
Geoff Glave
Vancouver
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Old Jul 18, 06, 11:29 am
  #4  
tjl
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Originally Posted by gglave
I think one thing that would go a long way to improving the situation (particularly for Star Alliance etc.) would be allowing staff from Airline A to check in pax on Airline B. i.e. if I have a UA Flight number operated on AC metal, I should be able to check in at the UA counter.
Even simpler would be to not code share at all for flights where one would have to check in at the operating airline, but just have the ticket list the actual operating airline. Airline web sites could be set up to allow booking on partner airlines (e.g. UA's web site could list AC flights instead of the same flights code shared with a UA flight number, with a notation that UA FF mileage can be collected on the AC flight).

I fly enough to know about having to check in to the actual operating airline, but I have known people who almost missed flights because they waited in a long check in line at UA to find out that they needed to go to a far away check in desk to check in at AC.
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Old Jul 18, 06, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by tjl
. UA's web site could list AC flights instead of the same flights code shared with a UA flight number, with a notation that UA FF mileage can be collected on the AC flight).

I fly enough to know about having to check in to the actual operating airline, but I have known people who almost missed flights because they waited in a long check in line at UA to find out that they needed to go to a far away check in desk to check in at AC.
That being the case, then a lot of airlines can't put an extra dot on their routemaps!
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Old Jul 22, 06, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by tjl
What is the purpose of code sharing, as opposed to simply offering an itinerary with flights or segments on different (partner) airlines? Since the code sharing airlines are partners, frequent flyer mileage collection should not be a problem for the same flights labeled under the airlines operating them, as opposed to code share airline names.
My understanding is that it is for ease of booking. Airlines don't generally give access to each other's computer systems, so code-sharing allows one airline to book you all the way through. Otherwise, the passenger would have to call multiple airlines to book their flights. I think code-sharing is a great idea, but I agree with the other posters that it's extremely confusing at the airport. Some sort of better communication system is definitely in order.
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Old Jul 22, 06, 6:50 pm
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Code-sharing also weakens branding. You can buy a UAL ticket AND never touch a UAL mainline aircraft.
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Old Jul 22, 06, 6:59 pm
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This spring we travelled to and from LHR on a Virgin Atlantic flight, booked through the Continental site (and getting One Pass miles). We had done this before on a LHR-EWR trip and much preferred Virgin Atlantic. The only possible problem was although the flight had a CO flight number, the flight left from the Virgin Atlantic gate in Terminal B. Thanks to a query on Flyertalk, we were "in the know" and did not go the the wrong terminal.

We still think that Virgin Atlantic treats passengers much better than Continental! ^
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Old Jul 23, 06, 9:42 am
  #9  
tjl
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Originally Posted by SixAlpha
My understanding is that it is for ease of booking. Airlines don't generally give access to each other's computer systems, so code-sharing allows one airline to book you all the way through.
The airlines still need the same level of access to each others' computer systems with code sharing. Otherwise, they will not be able to tell each other how full the flight is (and whether additional reservations are allowed and at what price). Not having enough access could mean that a flight is overbooked at the operating airline, while the code share partner is still selling discount-web-special-super-cheap seats on that flight (causing it to become even more overbooked).

Indeed, changing to "honest" branding does not require changing anything other than what is displayed on reservation systems and web sites. Instead of, for example, UA xxxx operated by AC for a code share flight on UA's web site, AC xxx could be shown on UA's web site when a list of flights is shown. They could keep whatever back end stuff goes on the same as it is now.
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Old Jul 23, 06, 9:47 am
  #10  
tjl
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Originally Posted by glob99
Code-sharing also weakens branding. You can buy a UAL ticket AND never touch a UAL mainline aircraft.
I bought a ticket from Air Canada once. One flight was on United Airlines and the other flight was on Canadian Airlines (which Air Canada had just bought, but not yet integrated, so it was listed as a code share).
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Old Jul 23, 06, 10:30 am
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I always thought codesharing was meant for connections. Say I need to go from VIE to YOW. I can go to the OS ticket office and get an itinerary with OS flight numbers. OS71 to YYZ and then OS7337 or whatever from YYZ-YOW on AC metal. Most of the YOW/YUL flights from YYZ are codeshared on by UA, OS and LH.
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Old Jul 23, 06, 11:50 pm
  #12  
tjl
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Originally Posted by fromYYZ_flyer
I always thought codesharing was meant for connections. Say I need to go from VIE to YOW. I can go to the OS ticket office and get an itinerary with OS flight numbers. OS71 to YYZ and then OS7337 or whatever from YYZ-YOW on AC metal. Most of the YOW/YUL flights from YYZ are codeshared on by UA, OS and LH.
But what advantage to you is it to have your AC flight labeled as OS7337 versus AC whatever? I.e. why couldn't the OS ticket office just offer an itinerary of "OS71 connecting to AC whatever", instead of "OS71 connecting to OC7337 which is really AC whatever"?
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Old Jul 24, 06, 12:16 am
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Originally Posted by tjl
But what advantage to you is it to have your AC flight labeled as OS7337 versus AC whatever? I.e. why couldn't the OS ticket office just offer an itinerary of "OS71 connecting to AC whatever", instead of "OS71 connecting to OC7337 which is really AC whatever"?
Codesharing is intended to be an advantage for the airline, not for "you" the passenger. Some airlines have contractual arrangements -- e.g. company X will always buy tickets on airline A for any route served by A (in return for a substantial discount). Thus when airline A adds a codeshare to a new city, it is guaranteed this captive business -- which wouldn't be the case using a partner airline in an alliance. Some countries also require contractors to use airlines flagged with that country. Thus a US contractor must fly an UA codeshare instead of AC (or an AA codeshare, for that matter). These codeshares are easy to spot in the schedules, they are often priced much higher than the bare metal prices (or a connection to the same airline doing the actual flying). The primary purpose of codeshare vs. using an alliance is to capture this captive business, at a profit. There really is no other purpose, it is all about profit maximization.
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