CheapAir.com and the new DOT rules on code shares

You may have noticed a subtle change to our flight results display.   These changes have to do with “codeshare” arrangements and how we display them.

A codeshare flight is one that is marketed by one airline but actually operated by another.  Nowadays, more and more airlines are entering into agreements with other airlines to sell seats on each other’s flights.  For instance, a flight might list as an American Airlines flight, when really it is operated by British Air — American is essentially just buying a seat on the British Air flight and re-selling it.  Airlines also frequently use code-share arrangements to service small airports.  Instead of flying to that airport themselves, they will fly you to one of their big hubs and then sell you a seat on a small regional airline for the short hop from there.  These small regional airlines usually go by names like “United Express” or “Continental Connection”, but they are actually completely separate companies.

We are now making it very clear at the earliest point in the flight selection process which flights are operated by which airlines.  Previously, you were required to click the “Information” icon next to a flight in order to see the operating carrier details.

CheapAir.com and the new DOT rules on code shares

We are doing this to be fully compliant with the DOT’s new rules regarding the disclosure of code-share arrangements.  We fully support these rules and believe that you have the right to know exactly who the carrier is that you’re flying with.

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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