Posts: 1457
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 1:11 pm

"I'm Flying On X Alliance"

Sun Aug 25, 2002 8:36 am

It seems that airline alliances are becoming all the rage among the major(not low cost) carriers. The stated purpose is to create a "seamless" travel experience for people traveling on one or more of the partners. Many partners are getting anti trust immunity. Some have tried for mergers or acquisitions of each other with varying levels of success. The alliances are always adding more members and courting others. I have some questions reguarding what you think the eventual result of these agreements will be.

For my examples I'm going to use Skyteam, which is the alliance with which I am the most familiar.

1) Do you think there will come a time where instead of saying "I'm taking Delta" one would say "I'm taking SkyTeam". I could see this happening because the passengers already seem to have no problem saying "I'm flying Delta" when they are actually taking Skywest or Comair or Atlantic Coast Jet. They identify these carriers as "Delta", so I would find it not so hard of a jump for people to identify Delta and Air France, etc as "Sky Team"

As a tie-in to question 1, would it be possible for the alliances to get their own 2 letter IATA codes for use along their entire systems.

2) Do you think they will ever set up a frequent flier program for everyone in the alliance. Like "What's your skyteam number" instead of "what's your Frequence Plus number". I think this could be accomplished because when Delta acquired Pan Am the PA Frequent Fliers were automatically assigned a Delta Frequent Flier number with the same ammount of mileage as was in their Pan Am account. Also there are websites such as "" that seem to be able to use FF miles from several partners for redemption on the afore mentioned partners.

RE: "I'm Flying On X Alliance"

Sun Aug 25, 2002 9:38 am

Hmmmmmm, interesting scenario. Often, I find people, including myself, who sometimes travel on airline subdidiaries to identify the subsidiary with the major airline itself. For example, if I fly from Aberdeen(U.K.) to Amsterdam on KLM U.K., I would just refer to that flight as a KLM flight. With alliances, you may very well see airline individuality disappear with the member airlines' aim to provide a seamless travel experience. Instead of discerning between several different airlines within an alliance, the traveler may get fed up and decide that she flew on the airline that she first boarded on her trip for her entire travel time, when in fact she may have traveled on two or three other partner carriers. Take the Wings Alliance for example. A traveler from RDU seeks to fly to Kuala Lumpur via the Wings Alliance. She is the proud owner of many frequent flier miles with the Northwest World Traveller program. She takes Northwest from RDU to DTW, KLM from DTW to AMS, and then Malaysian Airlines from AMS to KUL, all the while earning tons of frequent flier miles for her Northwest World Traveller Account. She could care less if she also had Frequent Flier Miles on KLM and MAS as well! This remains a very interesting plot in the airline industry.
Posts: 1457
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 1:11 pm

RE: "I'm Flying On X Alliance"

Tue Aug 27, 2002 4:12 am

I thought of another situation where the two letter code can be different over an entire network. As far as I can tell all Alitalia mainline flights with the AZ code are operated by Alitalia Team (two letter code RD). There is no corresponding different RD coded flight number. So at one point might it be possible that one would see a skyteam flight number operated by Delta or operated by Alitalia with no corresponding Alitalia or Delta flight number?

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