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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Hronas

Who’s operating your flight? The differences between codeshare and regional operators.

As a travel agent, I’m always looking for the best flight options for my clients. Sometimes that includes flights operated by one airline on behalf of another, or even a codeshare flight. In this article, I’ll explain the difference between codeshare flights and regional airline flights operated on behalf of their mainline friends.

A codeshare flight is a flight performed by one airline but sold by another, such as American Airlines AA70 Dallas Fort-Worth to Frankfurt, Germany. It is also sold as BA British Airways 1560. Regardless the flight is operated on AA metal. For example- a business customer in England can search the British Airways website for his upcoming trip to Dallas. At the last minute he gets notified of a change to his return, and he needs to travel to Germany. Instead of going back to London and then to Frankfurt, he can book the BA1560 section and still receive his BA Avios as if he booked a pure AA ticket. Codeshares can be a tad cheaper, as the airlines cross sell the space. So give them a try sometime.

Next up is the oh so fun regional flight. In this example I’m going to use my former employer- American Airlines again. This time we will use Little Rock to Dallas- Fort Worth- the flights are sold as American Airlines (AA), but operated by Envoy Air as American Eagle. At the time I worked for AA, we had one wholly owned regional carrier- American Eagle. So our flights would be sold as AA3774 Little Rock to Dallas- Fort Worth operated as American Eagle AE3774. Now there are many regional carriers- Envoy, Piedmont,and Mesa to name a few. I always tell my clients to pay attention to the operated by part. (If your travel agent doesn’t tell you who operates your flight they are violating a federal law). It is so important to pay attention to who operates your flights- many time I’ve had passengers miss their flight at the airport because they looked at the wrong part of their boarding pass and not see the Operated By section.

Air travel will most definitely be changing post COVID-19. Airlines will be looking to consolidate routes and enter into new agreements. Already American and Jetblue have announced a new partnership. This will mean more options for travelers all over the U.S. So get on the inter webs and start looking for that vacation. Better yet- call your favorite travel agents, we can help you get back to 3F and sipping that cold glass of Prosecco!

William Hronas is the owner/operator of Will’s Travel Agency of Sherwood, Arkansas. A total #AvGeek, he was raised in Central Arkansas, and went to work for American Airlines in 2003 as a customer service agent. After leaving in 2010, he continued his love of aviation and travel by helping his friends and family plan their perfect vacations. In 2019 he opened Will’s Travel Agency. When he’s not working hard for clients or friends or traveling back to Greece to see family, he can be found sipping a glass of Pinot Noir on his front porch while outside plane spotting.

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