American Airlines was quick to announce the codeshare relationship that it had developed with US Airways this week. But had it done the job correctly? Unfortunately, time and time again, American Airlines is quick to make announcements in the marketplace without first making sure that it has checked and then double-checked what it is proposing. In the past, announcements about its Choice fares were made and most American Airlines' employees had no idea of the announcement until emails and advertisements were out.
This time it is at a cost to travelers.
Let's take the most recent announcement of offering 50 percent more bonus miles by booking US Airways flights as a way to entice the traveling public to booking US Airways flights as American Airlines flights. The problem with this is that when you book a US Airways flight as an American Airlines flight, you end up paying more. In some cases, twice as much. Below is search done on American Airlines website and US Airways website for the same flight on the same day. The results are astonishing!
The fare is $232 by booking on AA.com vs $99 by booking on USAirways.com for a one-way ticket from LGA to BOS on January 29th at 6 a.m. Why would anyone pay more for the same flight to the tune of over 200 percent? And why would no one at American Airlines make sure of this before rushing to make this announcement?
AMERICAN AIRLINES WEBSITE:
US AIRWAYS WEBSITE:
Transparency is key.
In the past, American Airlines has worked very hard to attack the distribution channels such as GDSs that that allow for transparency. Ideally American wants everyone to use its own website to book fares. If that was the case, then companies would lose the ability to know if and when these mistakes occur. Anyone who was keen on booking their travels on an airlines' website, better think twice.
How do you know that you are not being ripped off? Next time, use a travel agent. Mine told me about this discrepancy today and as a 2 Million Miler with Executive Platinum status on American Airlines. I appreciated that.
is director of corporate sales for Montrose
Travel Corporate Services
. This post is republished with permission. It originally appeared here.
American Airlines subsequently provided this response:
"As American Airlines and US Airways work through the integration process, there are still many steps ahead to fully align pricing and fare classes. In order to deliver benefits to customers as soon as possible, American and US Airways elected to use the industry standard practice of codesharing so that customers could easily access the combined network of the new company.
"As with any codeshare relationship, customers may find discrepancies between pricing a codeshare itinerary versus what can be booked directly with the operating carrier. Once American and US Airways adopt common technology platforms, these differences will cease. We are striving to minimize discrepancies while delivering as much benefit to customers as we can before this technology migration is complete."