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Which airline is responsible for what for an itinerary on multiple carriers

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by GBOAC, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. GBOAC

    GBOAC Member

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    I flew from Prince Rupert BC (YPR) back home to SFO yesterday connecting in Vancouver. The YPR-YVR segment was AC Express (code shared by UA) and YVR-SFO was United. I purchased my ticket (using UA miles) on the United web site and obtained a United confirmation number.
    First issue I encountered was that even though all my transaction were with United I had to obtain boarding passes for both segments from AC. Is is customary for the carrier for the first segment to issue the boarding passes, and if so is there a reason?
    More importantly there was enough fog in YPR that the incoming flight was delayed by three hours, so my three hour connection in YVR evaporated and I needed to be rebooked for YVR-SFO. During our wait at tiny YPR I talked with several different UA agents who gave me several different stories on why United could not rebook me ranging from it has to be done by the originating carrier to it has to be done by the carrier that caused the need for rebooking. Meaning my friend traveling on a different United connection was able to get the first agent he talked with to rebook his UA connection without any issue.
    The more general question I have is who is responsible for what when an itinerary purchased as single ticket directly from one airline involves flights on different (code share) carriers. I never had to think much about this and I'd like to learn more.
    Perhaps this might be of general interest for a posting by Lucky or the growing OMAAT staff.
     
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  2. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    You'll always get your boarding passes from the operating carrier -- in the case of a multi-carrier itinerary, the first carrier might be able to get all your boarding passes for you, but that isn't a guarantee.

    The operating carrier should also be the one to rebook your tickets in the case of delays. And the airport actually has more options than the phone agents, so Air Canada staff at YPR should have been able to easily rebook you once it was obvious you were going to miss your connection.

    That being said, as United issued the ticket, they had the technology to re-issue it if need be. They just aren't helpful.

    This is a good idea for a post, as it's been awhile. I'll see what we can do!
     
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  3. GBOAC

    GBOAC Member

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    Tiffany:
    Thanks for the reply. You mention:
    "You'll always get your boarding passes from the operating carrier -- in the case of a multi-carrier itinerary, the first carrier might be able to get all your boarding passes for you, but that isn't a guarantee."

    Didn't work that way for me. I did check in at AC and got my AC boarding pass. I also got a United boarding pass but it mentioned a ticket coupon was required (why didn't the eticket from United work). But off course it didn't generate a ticket coupon. At the time I had no idea to what they were referring.

    I then tried to get a boarding pass from the United site and even though I entered the United confirmation number, I was told that check in/boarding passes could not be done at United.com.
     
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  4. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    Right, because the UA flight wasn't first in the itinerary, and you can't check in out of order. The "ticket coupon" language is often there when Carrier A issues boarding passes for Carrier B, but nothing actually has to be physically attached.

    But it could have happened that AC could only generate the YPR-YVR boarding pass (though you would have been checked in!), and you would have then needed to wait until you were in Vancouver to get a boarding pass from an agent. Very common on international itineraries.

    Alliances are getting better at seamless integration of this stuff, but it's not perfect.
     
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