British Airways code share

Old Apr 5th, 2012, 04:32 AM
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British Airways code share

We are planning a late summer trip fron the DC area to Milan using AA FF miles. I have done this before on AA that requires one leave on American Eagle to JFK. I have had to fly American Eagle many times and have never found them reliable - the Milan trip for example was as messed up as it could be including a missed connection with the Milan flight even with a cushion of more than three hours.

I see on the AA site that there is a code share with BA that has a better schedule for my needs that connects in Heathrow. The BA flight arrives in Linate rather than Malpensa. I am used to arriving in Malpensa but know nothing of Linate, e.g., connections to Milan Central Station - I will be traveling to Lake Maggiore.

I have never used a code share with AA before (listed as "American Airlines operated by British Airways." Is there a downside to taking this option when using AA FF miles?
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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I would say there is none.

In fact few years ago I was on AA (2 of 3 flights oped by BA) mileage ticket from Tampa to Warsaw.

Took AA in first to Toronto, then BA in first to London, which was delayed in Toronto because of some mechanical problem so I missed my connection to another BA flight from London to Warsaw. Since that was the last BA flight for the day to Warsaw, the nice BA rep walked me over to LOT CS desk (even though they are not a part of OneWorld) and got me on the next flight out in business class. LOT rep helped me through security fast lane and then a golf cart escort as the flight was about to leave.

My entire trip was delayed by about 2 hours but it didn't matter that it was a mileage ticket.
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 05:09 AM
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Linate is very close to Milan (a relatively short taxi ride). It's a small airport, and I prefer it over Malpensa. And the advantage of taking a BA flight is that you will arrive in and then depart from Terminal 5 as long as all the flights are really BA flights, so there are fewer places to get stuck, assuming your flights are on time. And I think it's a huge advantage to be able to leave from DC rather than have to connect in NYC.
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 05:31 AM
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In my experience if using miles AA won't book you on a codeshare; however they'll happily book you on the same flights using the native BA codes if space is available. Codeshares are a selling device, not a redemption one.

Regardless, using BA metal will expose you to BA fuel surcharges, which will add significantly to the dollar cost as well as the mileage spend.

As for Milan, BA has more flights to Linate than Malpensa, so if you should be late there are more backups. On the other hand, LIN is on the opposite side of the city from Lake Maggiore, so if you're driving it will be a longer schlep. If you use miles, you wouldn't be bound by AA flight numbers that would push you to Linate; you could just opt for a MXP flight from Heathrow instead, even if it means waiting an extra hour or so at LHR, time you'd save at the other end.
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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Check with AAFrequentFlyer's response.

AA won't / can't book you on BA from the States using FF awards. However, they can from Canada.

A few years ago I was trying to book a flight to Europe and the Platinum Travel Desk told me about this BA requirement and routed me through Toronto.
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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<I>AA won't / can't book you on BA from the States using FF awards. However, they can from Canada.</i>

Since the US government granted Anti-Trust Indemnification (ATI) to AA and BA two years ago, that former prohibition is gone. One can now book BA with AA miles on any flight they operate, and BA FFers likewise on AA flights. In fact, AA, BA, and Iberia (IB) all codeshare on just about every transatlantic flight any of them operate.
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 02:09 PM
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Meant to add, I got off the phone with AA ten minutes ago having just booked a Helsinki-Oslo-London-Seattle itinerary for ten days from now. Finnair to Oslo, BA the rest of the way. $400 for fuel surcharges, by the way.
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Old Apr 5th, 2012, 03:12 PM
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I had a nice (really) conversation with an AA advantage counselor today. She said the BA, AA and Iberia options were all open. However there is a great cost differential. Taxes, surcharges etc on BA would be about $500 more R/T than AA. Iberia would mean two stops rather than one. I'll take a look to see if there is any advantage flying out of Philly. BA does have easily the best schedule though.
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Old Apr 6th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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Somehow I missed the approval of enhanced code sharing that went into effect almost 2 years ago. Duh!

Here is AA's FAQ on the subject.
http://www.aa.com/i18n/utility/jba-faqs.jsp
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