Codeshare flight seat selection conundrum

One member is running into problems attempting to select a seat on their upcoming codeshare flights.

I have purchased flights with LAN as marketing carrier but operating carrier is QF. I only have a LAN PNR – tried to get the QF one and QF tell me I do not exist in their system from the flights we are on. Speak to LAN and they say that they have said it is a blocked code share flight so they will not release the QF PNR until 24 hours out from the flight.

I do have flights selected with LAN (coveted row 43 on the 747-400) but as I cannot see a seat map on my LAN booking and cannot view the booking in my QFF account.

As a member points out, there are two issues at play here. Firstly, LAN and Qantas use different computer systems. These systems do not communicate with each other until check-in opens, and for this reason the booking will not show up on the Qantas website in the meantime. If the booking was made with another airline that uses Amadeus, the booking would however show up.

LAN is on sabre and QF on Amadeus, however you still should be able to select seats via LAN for the flight , QF would not know about the booking at this stage.

So, in this case, the only way to pre-select a seat for the Qantas flight is through LAN’s website. But choice is limited as LAN does not have access to the full range of seats. The reason comes down to the type of codeshare flight. The flight in question uses the principle of “block space”, whereby LAN is allocated a certain percentage of seats on each flight. As a result, the Qantas and LAN seat maps for the same flight might look completely different. LAN does not have access to all of the seats, and vice versa, meaning the seat maps in question may appear to show large blocks of seats missing.

There are 2 types of codeshare (normally due to regulatory reasons). Block space is where a airline is given a fixed amount of seats to sell and they control everything and free sale codeshare where they can sell as many seats as they can.

In other cases where the free-sale principle of codesharing is used, customers may have access to all available seats on the aircraft. This is the case, for example, for Qantas customers booking Emirates flights under the QF code. But it really depends on the airlines in question and the way the codeshare agreement works between the two airlines.

Generally speaking, the full range of unallocated seats should become available when check-in opens. So if a suitable seat still hasn’t been found, it may become available at the last minute.

Have you faced a similar codeshare conundrum? Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

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