What does the changing world of codeshare mean for frequent flyers?
Like most new business partnerships, there will be positives and negatives for customers. In the case of aviation industry, codeshare agreements mean that airlines can publish and sell the same flight under their own flight number and schedule. The frequent flyer benefits kick in if it enables you to fly with one carrier but get your membership benefits by having a ticketed flight number on your preferred airline.
There’s been some significant codeshare movement lately from several of the big carriers, especially for North and South American flights.
American Airlines & Gol new codeshare agreement
American Airlines and Brazilian carrier Gol have announced a reciprocal codeshare agreement. This new arrangement is expected to add connections to 53 Gol flights from São Paulo, Brasilia, Manaus and Fortaleza. Including some destinations not currently served by American, such as Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil and Asunción, Paraguay. Gol would put its code on “select flights” from American.
The airlines are still awaiting regulatory approval for the codesharing, but if all goes ahead the carriers also expect to add reciprocal frequent-flyer redemption and accrual during the first half of this year.
LATAM early departure from Oneworld
Originally scheduled for October, LATAM will now leave the oneworld airline alliance on 1 May, 2020.
The revised schedule means that all oneworld-related benefits for travel with LATAM will cease from the end of April. Using frequent flyer miles or booking award seats on LATAM is possible until 30 April. But if travelling after that date you won’t be eligible for oneworld status benefits, such as lounge access, priority checkin and additional luggage allowance.
LATAM’s decision to leave Oneworld followed Delta Air Lines’ decision to buy a 20 percent stake in LATAM and create a major partnership between the North and South American carriers.
You can find more information on how this will affect your oneworld benefits here.
Trans-Atlantic joint venture for the big four
Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic have announced their combined joint venture, that has come to fruition after years of planning. These carriers are responsible for a combined 23 percent of transatlantic passenger and cargo capacity. The joint venture combined annual revenue is around $13 billion, according to Delta.
This arrangement will enable flights across all four carriers to be booked through their respective channels and via agents. From 13 February the airlines will begin “enhanced customer benefits” for their loyalty programs. Reciprocal mileage earning and redemption and elite benefits are anticipated across all programs.