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Are Connecting Flights Always With the Same Airline?


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Are connecting flights operated by a single airline?

No, connecting flights are not always with the same airline. It’s possible for passengers to book a connecting flight with different airlines, through a codeshare agreement. Codeshare agreements allow airlines to expand their reach and offer their customers access to more destinations without having to operate their own flights.

In this article, we will discuss this question in detail.

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

On an airBaltic flight - plane cabin

Are Connecting Flights Always With the Same Airline?

No, connecting flights are not always with the same airline.

Connecting flights with multiple airlines is a common practice.

In some cases, airlines have partnerships with each other, and they may operate codeshare flights. In such cases, the two airlines can work together to provide a seamless connecting flight experience for passengers, even though the flights are technically operated by different airlines.

What Is a Codeshare Flight?

A codeshare flight is a commercial arrangement between two or more airlines whereby one airline markets and sells seats on a flight operated by another airline under its own flight number, but the flight is operated by a partner airline. This means that two or more airlines can offer a single flight to their customers and share the revenue from the flight.

Codeshare agreements allow airlines to expand their reach and offer their customers access to more destinations without having to operate their own flights. This is good for everyone – you and me (as travelers) and airlines.

An example of this could be booking a ticket from Riga (Latvia) to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) with a stopover in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). This connecting flight includes flight legs with airBaltic and KLM. Both of these flight legs were booked as a single booking from the official website of KLM.

KLM doesn’t operate flights from Riga to Amsterdam, but their partners, airBaltic, do. As these two airlines are partners (they have a codeshare agreement), it’s possible to book a connecting flight which is operated by both of these airlines. 

How Do You Know if a Flight Is a Codeshare?

To know if a flight is a codeshare, you can usually find this information on the airline’s website, during the booking process, or on your itinerary. The airline should clearly indicate if a flight is operated by another airline.

During the booking process, airlines typically display the flight number, airline name, and operating carrier name for each flight. If a flight is a codeshare, the operating carrier name will be different from the airline name.

For example, if you are booking a flight from Frankfurt to Cancun with Air France, but a part of this flight is operated by Delta, the booking system should indicate that the flight is a codeshare operated by Delta.

Airplane seats and in flight entertainment
Airplane seats

Codeshare Flight Specifics

1. Online Check In for Codeshare Flights

Don’t be surprised if you can’t check in for your connecting flight online. 

If your connecting flight is operated by different airlines, you will need to check in with the operating airline at their desk at the airport. In most cases, you will be checked in for all the flights, and your baggage will be sent to your final destination. You will be given all the boarding passes (for all of your flights).

2. Checked Baggage on Codeshare Flights

What are the rules on connecting flights with different airlines?

Mostly, it doesn’t affect connecting flights baggage transfer rules. If it’s an airline-protected connecting flight, your bag will be checked all the way to your final destination.

Here’s how it works in by far most situations:

  1. You check in baggage once (at departure airport)
  2. Your airline takes care of baggage throughout the journey. You don’t recheck the baggage between flights
  3. You can see that on the baggage tag, that piece of paper they usually attach to boarding pass — it says the final destination of your baggage. It must be the same as your final destination.

Checked baggage allowance will stay the same on all flight legs, even if your connecting flight is operated by more than one airline. You can usually find out about the baggage allowance for a connecting flight during the booking process.

3. Hand Baggage on Codeshare Flights

Unlike checked baggage, hand baggage doesn’t stay the same on all flights.

Hand baggage allowance does not stay the same during all flight legs if the connecting flight is operated by codeshare partners because each airline partner may have different weight and size restrictions for hand baggage.

For example, if you’re flying on a codeshare flight operated by two airlines with different baggage allowances, the airline with the stricter baggage policy will usually apply its rules for the entire journey, including any connecting flights. This means that if you’re allowed to bring a larger carry-on bag on your first flight but the second flight has a more restrictive policy, you may have to check your bag at the gate or pay an additional fee.

4. Missing Your Connecting Flight

Unless it’s due to your fault, the airline takes care of this.

If it’s a connecting flight with different airlines, contact the airline that you have booked your flights from. If you booked your flights from Air France, and now you should be flying with Delta, contact Air France.

Did you reach your destination 3+ hours late?

You might be entitled to flight compensation.

In this case, contact the operating airline (in this case, Delta).

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight

Do you have more questions about connecting flights with different airlines and codeshare agreements? Ask in the comments.

About the author:

Co-founder and Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Una is an organized globetrotter and foodie who’s been living a digital nomad lifestyle since 2013. She always starts her day early with a good book before diving into work. Apart from traveling and aviation, her other passions include gym, hiking and cycling. Una is also a strong proponent of AI technology. She firmly believes in its potential to simplify life and has often advocated for its wider adoption in our day-to-day activities. Her favorite airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and KLM.


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Connecting Flights Guide

Your go-to guide to air travel rules and regulations. Connecting flights, self transfer, onward tickets and more – we want you to understand air travel better

This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.

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