FLY – Airline Partners, who has my ticket anyway?

The confusion around airline partners and the impact it has on costumers is something worth talking about.  The scenario is you go to or to buy your ticket for an upcoming flight.  You show up at the airport, and your reservation doesn’t exist.  How does this madness happen?  “I know I bought my flight on your website!?”  Has this ever happened to you??

The simple truth is airlines don’t work well together.   I’ve shown up at the Delta terminal countless times in Seattle, WA only to be told I’ve waited in the wrong line and need to go to the Alaska terminal.  Delta has improved a bit ever since the merge with NorthWest Airlines.  Those days of ciaos are far behind us thankfully.  But there are other airlines that have a long way to go.

For example, today I had a US Air flight from Boston to Chicago, but it was on their wonderful partner United.  I showed up at United per the very small print on my reservation, and to my surprise…the kiosk could not find my reservation.  I had to stand in line for 45 minutes to get my ticket.  When I inquired what I could do on my return flight, she told me arrive early as I would need to do the same thing again.  How is it in this day in age they can switch my airline the second I buy it, but I can’t check-in online, on my phone, or at a Kiosk? 

My only advise, look very carefully at your reservation before heading to the airport.  Give yourself extra time when flying with a partner.  I know that I lose my status right away, so I can’t do the express security line for example.  I also know that most Kiosks won’t be able to find my reservation.  I know I’ll be the last one on the plane and there won’t be any room for my carry on.  I know upgrades are out of the question, and my zone number will be 4 or 5.  Better to be prepared then sorry.

Anyone else have experiences with partner airlines?  I know there are some hidden secrets to keep your status.  I would love to hear them…

One Comment on “FLY – Airline Partners, who has my ticket anyway?

  1. Back in the day, United would allow me to attach my USAir number to my segment so that the boarding pass and free bag would convey.


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