Monday, February 27, 2023

A Curious Codeshare

We’ve made it as far as New York JFK on our expedition to Indonesia. As we ready ourselves for an early bedtime, snow is falling lightly.

We landed in good time this afternoon on our repositioning Alaska SEA-JFK flight. Tomorrow morning at 6 we’re scheduled to depart for Los Angeles on American Airlines. There  we transfer to Japan Airlines to Tokyo Haneda, and onward to Ho Chi Minh City. There we board a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong, and then onward to Jakarta. That’s the plan, all in business class flatbed seats, at about $2,500 round trip each.

The problem is that after hours of phone calls, AA reps insisted that all was well. Unfortunately, Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific disagreed. This is the most complicated codeshare itinerary we’ve ever attempted, and we’ve come to realize why some experienced travelers avoid them at all costs.

Today after arriving at JFK, we spent nearly three hours talking to AA employees, then calling Cathay Pacific. At the end, supervisor Henry Familia and another employee, Alvarez, managed to print out American Airlines boarding passes JFK-LAX-HND-SGN-HKG-CHK. 

Henry is on the right below, and shy Alvarez is ducking out of the photo at the left.

Win, lose, or draw we really appreciate Henry’s cheerful efforts over a period of a couple of hours, and the contribution of Alvarez to finally produce some boarding passes for us.

For the time being, we’re ignoring the fact tha AA has no presence in Jakarta to print boarding passes for our return flights. At 13,588 miles each way, it’s probably our lengthiest ever itinerary.

We invite you to follow us along to see how far we actually get. The next two weeks could be interesting. We’re hoping it reveals how smooth and efficient OneWorld codeshares can be.

That remains to be seen and experienced.

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