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Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

Colorado
posts: 3
Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

I purchased a flight from Denver through Chicago to Venice. The portion of the flight from Chicago to Venice is on American Airlines code-share partner, Iberia Airlines.

After I paid for my flight and was locked into the reservation, I discovered that American and Iberia do not share seat assignment information, and that I could not get my seat until the date of the flight three months later at the Iberia Airlines gate. Had I known about this ahead of time I would not have chosen American. A 17-hour flight is too long to gamble on an uncomfortable seat, and I should have been able to get my seat when I purchased the flight.

I cancelled the reservation and booked with another airline.

American Airlines should either share seat arrangements with Iberia or warn prospective fliers booking a code-share flight that they will not be able to obtain a seat assignment until the last minute.

39 replies to this topic
Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 31,090
reviews: 12
1. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

We had the same frustrating experience on our AA/Iberia codeshare to Geneva and found that we had to wait till day of the flight in Madrid to get a seat( couldn't even do it at check ion on AA in Miami) and ended up separated on the plane- not the end of the world- but more frustrating was that both AA and Iberia when we iinquired early on kept giving us numbers that they \"'pretended" would work to choose seats online and of course didn't and we could never get a straight answer- just telling us we couldn't get a seat assignment would have at least not wasted our time- and it was frustrating that all the Iberia customers had seat assignements and so we were left with actually the last two seats- and appeared to come very close to being left for the next flight as I think others were standing in the gate area when we left. Had we not arrived very early in Madrid we probably would have been left off too- and as it was we had trouble finding an Iberia help desk who would assist us - I think we were lucky one lady finally gave us boarding passes because we seemed so tired from trudging about the terminal trying to get them after our long overnight flight.

As I said, seats together were not the worst aggravation really- it was the lack of any accurate information or clear procedure at any airport ( Miami or Madrid) and also by phone prior both from AA and Iberia- who each kept referring us to the other airline and claiming they could not imagine why there was a problem.

Edited: 11:58 am, May 06, 2012
2. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

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Removed on: 3:35 pm, May 06, 2012
Edited: 3:35 pm, May 06, 2012
 
Seattle, Washington
posts: 6,470
reviews: 85
3. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

A 17-hour flight is too long to gamble on an uncomfortable seat, and I should have been able to get my seat when I purchased the flight

*********

How were you on a 17 hour flight for a Chicago-Venice flight? Total flight time is less than 12 hours if your connection was in MAD.

You can't purchase an advance seat assignment for Iberia if you purchased the ticket through AA and you are in coach. You can only choose a seat when you do online check in 24 hours in advance.

.

4. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

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Removed on: 3:35 pm, May 06, 2012
 
Seattle, Washington
posts: 6,470
reviews: 85
5. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

I'm guessing you wouldn't be happy.

Codeshares can be a pain. I try to avoid whenever possible.

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 31,090
reviews: 12
6. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

I did try the 24 hr advance on line seat selection and had two different numbers to try- neither worked- one from AA which I did not expect would and the other from Iberia given to me over the phone from their international desk- it didn't allow me to check in 24 hrs ahead or select a seat. I just wish the Iberia agent hadn't wasted my time and gotten my hopes up.

Strangely though, when we were returning from Geneva, I went up to a desk in their airport the day before our flight which appeared to not be for Iberia or AA- more like Swiss Air, but they were a line of desks when you walked in and I asked for directions to an Air Iberia agent and she said, "I think I can help you.." So I said, well, I don't think ,so but thanks and gave her my information and without muss or fuss she gave me passes assigned seats for both Air Iberia and AA at that time- as if it were no problem... I love the Swiss ! So efficient!

Freienbach...
posts: 1
reviews: 18
7. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

Hi, sorry to read about the trouble you had to go through.

You are right AA is using SABRE while IB is using AMADEUS. And to make it worse the interface between the two does not come up with a record locator that would be unique in both systems and usable at the same time on the AA site AND the IB site. Sad that IT people are not creative enough to get this done.

However you can call the AA customer service and request them to assign you a more suitable seat provided you are AA Platinum or above. This from the time of booking and at no cost :) not as convenient as doing that yourself but still ;)

As a oneworld Sapphire or Emerald member you are clearly entitled to that advantage as stated in the seating policy from IB:

http://www.iberia.com/reserva-de-asientos/

Pueden realizar la reserva anticipada de los asientos Turista XL sin coste

[...]

Clientes Club Fiesta de Iberia, Iberia Plus Platino y Oro (esmeralda y zafiro de oneworld).

Illinois
posts: 8,780
reviews: 16
8. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

This can be a problem with any codeshare flight. I had the same thing with a Lufthansa flight booked through Continental. In that case, I think it might have just been Lufthansa's policy though. I'm not sure it would have been different if I had booked through Lufthansa.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 9,296
reviews: 192
9. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

This is not at all unusual for a code share. As noted, it's worth avoiding in most cases. This is not unique to AA.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 2
10. Re: Warning re American Airlines and its code-share partners

I just had the same thing happen to me on an American codeshare flight from Madrid to Chicago. Even though I have AAdvantage Gold status, I am unable to reserve a seat until 24 hours before departure and would not have booked the flight if I knew that was the case. You would think American would be savvy enough to negotiate advance seating for all its elite frequent fliers. Does anyone know whether I will be able to reserve my seat 24 hours ahead of time on the American Airlines website? I tried plugging in my confirmation code on the Iberia website and it wasn't recognized. Calling Iberia in Spain 24 hours ahead of the flight will be challenging as I don't speak Spanish.

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