It used to be that your ticket had one flight number which you searched for on the departure board. The captain announced the same number, in that uber-male ‘Welcome Aboard’ speech. Today you will see multiple flight companies and numbers for your flight, flashing one by one on the departure boards! And today these will all be announced when you board. These are code share flights.
Under code sharing, an airline sells seats on ‘partner’ flights, but the flights are operated by a separate airline. So lets say you bought a seat on Delta to Mexico City, you might find out you are actually on AeroMexico, its codeshare. Agents are supposed to disclose all code sharing; but two major travel agencies were fined $thousands, for not disclosing the underlying operating airline to people who called them.
You should NOT have to do this, but if you book a ticket through an agent or multi-airline site, you need to ask the following or read carefully:
1. What airline is actually operating this flight?
2. What is the name of the corporation that is operating this flight?
If American Airlines has 10 partners (did not count, this is just an example), it also might have 10 airline names and related flight numbers identifying it.
What we all need is more stuff to worry about and another degree in travel jargon.
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