After your airline ticket’s booked, where do you go for flight information? If you’re like most polled in our traveler survey, you go to the airline you bought the ticket from (40.8%). But what if the airline who sold you the ticket isn’t actually going to be flying you anywhere? It’s a common scenario in the airline industry, and it has a name: codesharing. It’s done for marketing and economic reasons to expand an airline’s existing coverage and allow passengers to earn frequent flier miles through airline alliance partners. It’s supposed to be a value-added convenience for the customer, but it has the opposite effect when the passenger can’t find flight information on the codeshared flight.
Let’s say you bought your ticket from Airline YY, and were given a unique flight number using Airline code, such as YY1234. When you booked, you noticed a note that “YY1234 is operated by XX”, meaning the carrier actually flying the aircraft is Airline XX. In many cases Airline YY doesn’t have good flight status information about the flights they don’t operate, so looking at their website or mobile apps for the status of your flight won’t do you any good.
So how about going to the website or mobile app for the operating Airline to learn the flight status for your flight? Almost 30% of travelers we surveyed do this instead. However, this can be problematic too – it may difficult to find flight status for your flight since Airline XX assigned its own flight number – which you don’t have – and doesn’t list any codeshare flight numbers. Besides being stressful for you, the lack of information from Airline YY and the challenge of finding the right flight number with Airline XX diminish both airlines’ reputations.
Travelers expect airlines to be the expert source of information on their flights, and codeshare information discrepancies shake the traveler’s trust and leave a negative impression. Have you experienced a time when you couldn’t find your flight status due to the operating or marketing airline not having complete information?