Okay, here's the way I understand it:
Fifth Freedom means a third country's airline has the right to fly internationally
between two other countries. For example, passengers may buy tickets LAX
on Air India, a third country's airline.
Cabotage (which is a word I don't know the origin of) or Eighth Freedom means another country's airline has the legal right to fly domestically
between two points in another country. For example, Qantas flies SYD
. The LAX
segment is ONLY for passengers continuing from SYD
. No local traffic between the two American airports is allowed.
If Eighth Freedom rights were granted to Qantas, they would be able to sell tickets for LAX
To answer your full question, a domestic flyer would probably not notice an "Open Skies" policy unless it specifically allowed Eighth Freedom rights. In the United States, assuming the facilities are available, any airline can fly any domestic route it wants.
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