A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question by email about codeshares between alliances and where to credit them?
Here’s the email from the reader:
I was flying from BRU to HEL with AY1544 today and noticed before boarding that the flight is in codesharing with Tap Portugal (TP8342). What a surprise! Regardless I am travelling since years now, I never noticed that Oneworld can be in codesharing with Star Alliance.
When I fly with Finnair I usually credit my miles on my BA card (just few miles and no status), whilst if possible I would have preferred using my MM where I am FF and I am activelly collecting miles.
I bought the ticket via Concur, and it was labelled as a Finnair flight. Would have it been possible to use my reservation with Finnair with Tap Portugal and hence being able to use my MM? Or should I buy the same ticket via Tap Portugal? I am sure I cannot claim my MM miles now… but in case it happens in the future it is good to know.
You have to understand how Star Alliance and Oneworld alliances credit flights:
- Star Alliance airlines credit flights based on the operating carrier regardless who is the marketing one. You have to pay attention, however, what is underlying code on the airline operating the flight. It is not often the same under which the marketing airline may have sold the flight.
You can purchase Star Alliance operated flight under Oneworld airline code and can credit it to any Star Alliance frequent flier program as long as the underlying code is eligible.
- Oneworld airlines credit flights based on the marketing airline. If you buy a Finnair flight under TAP code, you cannot even credit that to any Star Alliance program (perhaps to TAP if they have an agreement to credit AY codeshares to Victoria). It won’t credit to any Oneworld program either because it was solder under TAP.
Usually these Oneworld coded flights must be operated by other Oneworld airlines but there are quite a few exceptions with Qantas. You can credit QF coded Emirates flights to any Oneworld program including Qatar!
There are still many issues with codeshares. You cannot often choose seats in advance and sometimes it is difficult to even check in online unless you can get the operating airline PNR somehow.
You have to be extra careful with codeshares that are between airlines that don’t belong to the same airlines if you want to collect miles and take advantage of elite benefits. It is truly a minefield.