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Anonymous2 Jan 2011
I have been looking at ways of travelling to various south american countries. They are all served by Iberia. However, when I try to search for prices on the BA site, I get only options that involve flights with BA and American, with no Iberian fliights. Even when I specify the route as LHR/MAD/ final destination, I usually am routed via Miami with AA!
I tried some other business routes that should come up with Iberia as an option, and when these do come up, the costs are about 50% dearer than the same flights directly from the Iberia site. Anybody any idea what on earth is going on here?2 Jan 2011
The JBA between AA, BA and Iberia does not cover routes to South America and the pricing agreements between the three on routes that are covered have not been finalised yet.
From a passenger perspective, the situation you describe may appear odd, but it the way it is has always been and will change once the BA and Iberia merger completes.
BA and Iberia do not yet have a revenue sharing arrangement for South American routes. Currently it is BA’s financial advantage to route passengers to South America on its own aircraft to Miami and on to AA, rather than via Madrid so that BA gets the bulk of the revenue. (It is the same reason BA codeshares on routes in Asia it does not serve directly with Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong, rather than with Finnair from Helsinki).
As I say, this will change when the merger completes later this month and BA and Iberia start code-sharing on South American routes from Madrid.2 Jan 2011
Thanks for that, I see what you mean, but when I specify fly to Madrid and then to South America, BA flies me to Madrid, but AA takes me to Miami and on to SA…why not Iberia?
Also when you are on the Iberian site, it gives you the option of flying BA to Madrid rather than Iberia’s own, but the fare is about £1000 more
I will have to wait and see on the 21st January!4 Jan 2011
While things may possibly change on 21st January, I wouldn’t personally think that they will.
IN the meantime, if you want to have a fully transparent comparison of available routings/fares then google for the excellent ITA Tool which should ensure you get the best value fares on your preferred routing.
As the final South American destination is not specified in your post, it may well be one not served on a IB/BA /AA codeshare. You may be better off routing direct to Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires and picking up a local carrier or other oneworld (eg Lan Chile) flight.
These sorts of more complex itineraries are really where some basic reseach on your part followed by a call to a knowledgeable agent (eg Trailfinders/Amex who can book it all on one PNR) would be worthwhile.4 Jan 2011
If you’re going to Buenos Aires or Santiago, Swiss have been offering some good fares lately via Sao Paulo. It’s Swiss metal as far as Sao Paulo and then LAN or Aerolineas to the final destination.
I have also noticed the significant price differential between IB and BA-operated flights on the IB website. The same applies for flights just between the UK and Spain and is similar to the cost difference between AY and BA metal on the BA website, between HEL and LHR (a factor of up to 100% at times).
Simon4 Jan 2011