When will alliances get the basics right?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  AlanOrton1 4 Nov 2017
at 08:04

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  • travelsforfun

    OK, so airlines make a big song and dance about the alliances and their joint ventures – and quite often one will find oneself on the ticket number or flight number of one airline, but operated by another airline. This is not a rare occurrence but rather normal.

    So, I find it frustrating that time and again their systems are incapable of communicating with each other for something as simple as choosing a seat. Most recently:

    – Flying Finnair on an American Airlines ticket+flight number HEL-ORD
    – Flying Iberia on a British Airways ticket number/Iberia flight number MAD-PVG

    In both cases, after multiple calls and buck-passing between them, I was told that the only solution was to wait until online check-in opened. Is that really an acceptable solution? For a longhaul flight, the ability to choose a seat in advance is a valuable perk – and I find it absurd they can’t get there act together – neither the website nor the call centre.

    [Grumble over]


    I agree it’s frustrating. But I’ve only run into this with oneworld. The others seem to have it right in that regard. But none of the three alliances are perfect!


    I’ve just written a letter of complaint to BA about their lousy third rate code-share and IAG partner Vueling, on whom I flew earlier this week, with a BA flight number and ticket. I appreciate that Vueling is not part of OneWorld but the fact that they codeshare and are part of the same group should allow BA to impose some standards. Clearly it doesn’t.

    A few years ago I had LH Hons (top level) and thus a Star Alliance gold card. I was in Toronto and needed to get to YVR urgently and thought I’d make use of ‘priority waitlist’, which the reservations agent said she’d ‘never heard of’ although when I insisted she miraculously ‘remembered’. I was priority waitlisted and she suggested I went to the airport in the morning to stand by. I went to the AC ticket desk (AC and LH both Star Alliance) and told the rather bored looking clerk that I was priority waitlisted to which his reply, after looking at the system was :
    “You might be top level to Lufthansa but to us you’re nobody” which was not only rude and disrespectful but also in terms of what alliances are meant to be, untrue.


    Booked ticket for my wife DUB-BKK – outbound on LX and inbound on LH. Unable to book LH seats on LX website despite them being the same airline group, let alone alliance!!


    Booked flight for my wife DUB-BKK. Outbound LX and bound LH. Unable to book LH seats on LX website, despite them being same airline group, let alone same alliance!!


    Agree with RussellCruickshank, I’ve also run into this only on oneworld. When booking BA metal flights on AA, it doesn’t even give you the BA record locator! You need to call AA up to get it, before you can log into BA.com for seat and meal selection. Bad customer experience, not to mention wastage of staff and resources on their end as well.


    OP, understand that alliances are for the benefit of the partner airlines.

    The partner airlines are soulless, voracious, commercial companies, who do not do anything that does not benefit them.

    Now, was there anything else you wanted to ask? 😉


    Booked ticket for my wife DUB-BKK – outbound on LX and inbound on LH. Unable to book LH seats on LX website despite them being the same airline group, let alone alliance!!

    I just booked a ticket out on LX and return on LH through the LH website and had no problems choosing seats. They also allow you to choose your seat at the time of booking though if in Economy and not at least Silver you do have to pay.

    Not sure which site you used but try them both or else give the helpline a ring and they will sort it for you.


    Reverse is normally true with BA tickets on AA metal in that on the MMB part of the BA website you’re able to ‘click through’ to the AA website to select seats.
    Always worked well, but as others have said, not so good when AA ticketed on BA metal.

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