Affordable Travel Guide to Cheaper Airlines Tickets through Code Sharing

“Code sharing” between two airlines can mean cheaper flights for you

Cheaper Airlines Tickets through Code Sharing

In the interest of filling aircraft to capacity, airlines sometimes form partnerships on individual flights. For example, someone booking airline tickets from New York to Berlin might do it through Delta Airlines, if they are an American visiting Germany, or through Lufthansa if they are a German visiting America and about to fly home; both people will be on the same actual airplane, but will have booked through different airlines.

No matter through which airline you have booked your flight, one or the other airline will actually own the airplane and its logo will be emblazoned on the fuselage or tail, or both. Using the above example, let’s assume the plane is in the Delta fleet; odds are that booking directly with Delta, even though it is also technically a Lufthansa flight, will almost always cost less. You have the right to ask which airline owns the aircraft operating the flight, and with that knowledge, you can contact both airlines and research pricing.

How can you know if your flight is code-shared? It takes a little time and investigation, but may well be worth the savings. Certain airlines refuse to engage in code sharing, and because this can change, we don’t see the sense in posting which ones they are. You’ll be able to figure out who is partnered with your chosen airline by doing your homework. For instance, our hypothetical scenario for Delta and Lufthansa isn’t likely because Delta is part of the Sky Team Alliance (which includes Aero Mexico, Air France, Alitalia and Air Jamaica, to name a few) and Lufthansa is part of the Star Alliance (which includes Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Swissair and SAS Scandinavian Airlines, also to name a few).

So, in order to boil it all down to who is code-sharing, here is what to do:

  • select an airline and destination
  • decide on a flight date and time, and note the flight number
  • check out which partner airlines are in its alliance (this can be done by going to the airline’s website and searching for “partners”)
  • search your airline partners’ schedules and see if there are flights identical to those of your chosen date, day and time, taking off and landing in the same location
  • find out (by making a toll-free phone call) who owns the aircraft and get that airline’s airfare for the flight

Then all you have to do is book, by phone or online, the less costly of the two. It’s worth the time you’ll spend doing a little research to put together a cheaper airfare.

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