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Code shares cause confusion

November 02, 2008

I had a similar almost disastrous occurrence with traded locations for airline departure ["Code Blues," On the Spot, Oct. 26]. We were to leave LAX on an 8 a.m. flight for San Francisco to board a cruise ship the same day.

Air arrangements on Alaska Airlines had been made by the cruise line. When, by chance, we called from home about 6 a.m. to determine whether there was curbside baggage check-in, we were amazed to get a recording that said no one was home at Alaska Airlines and the earliest availability would be 7 or 7:30 a.m. This seemed a bit odd.

Fortunately, we were able to wake up someone at the cruise line office and after about 30 minutes of chasing around on the phone someone discovered that the Alaska flight was actually leaving from the American terminal.

No way was this obvious on the tickets.

Certainly the airline folks writing the ticket have some responsibility for identifying the correct departure facility.

Bill Padian



Thank you for Catharine Hamm's On the Spot column and the important information that is communicated. I wasn't aware of the situation mentioned in her "much older" sister's dilemma. I will watch out for that on my itineraries. I am compulsive about getting to the airport early. It's never been a problem to switch to the correct terminal.

I'm also writing because of the negative tone in your column about the airlines. I am not an airline employee or travel agent. I am a frequent but casual traveler. The airline personnel, with one bold exception, have always been really terrific to me. (That one bold exception was the staff at an airline when the employees first took it over in the early '90s. They refused to honor a contractual price on a governmental travel ticket. Other than that, even that airline has always been terrific.)

I've been upgraded to first class for no reason, didn't even request it. I've been given vouchers for hotels and meals when I haven't asked for it and the airline wasn't obligated to provide them. Please spread some good news about the airlines and ask people to be nice to each other.

Jaycee Sullivan



One note of follow-up to "Code Blues": Not only do airline code shares wreak havoc with departures, but being in the ground transportation industry, we also find arrivals are challenging as clients book car service for one airline and arrive on another . . . sometimes creating an "opportunity."

Keep up the good work.

Patrick J. Cooney


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