Technically if there's an international or "over the water" carrier (this could also be understood to be "trans continental depending on where you are in the world) that should be the one who the ticket is issued.. or plated.. on.
There could be a number of reasons for cross plating..
1) The travel agency has a contract with whoever they are plating on allowing for a better discount and/or more commission. An example of this would be where a contact exists between the agency and United Airlines where there is a discount that includes Lufthansa. In order to take care advantage of the discount United has to be paid, so the ticket is issued on United stock. (note.. since e-tickets have become so prevalent the word "stock" here is used loosely).
2) The travel agency has had their ticketing privileges revoked with one carrier so the plates of another are used to issue the ticket. (while rare, this practice is frowned upon and usually involves fraud).
3) The carrier in question has no representation in the settlement area where the ticket is issued. For example.. IR
has no representation in the US. AF
, on the other hand, does. In order to issue a ticket on IR
within the US, it's allowed that AF
's plates are used since they have an agreement.
4) There's international travel involved. The way things are SUPPOSED to work (mind you, that's a big SUPPOSED.. especially with a couple of carriers) is that whoever the ticket is plated on is the carrier who was paid. By default they're responsible for your transportation. In the event of an international ticket the international carrier would traditionally be used as the plating carrier so that they would reaccomodate you should your inbound connection on another carrier have trouble.
5) Carrier agreement. KL
no longer has payment representation in the US - it's all handled by NW
's ticketing symbol is 074. In the US any KL
record would be issued on NW
stock (012) in lieu of being issued on KL
. The reverse is true for Europe.
6) It was a typo
7) It was the first carrier on the itinerary.
[Edited 2006-10-18 20:45:37]