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Quietly and without any fanfare, American Airlines appears to have made a small but important improvement to its website and mobile app. When a customer books a fare that involves travel on a partner airline, aa.com and the American Airlines app will now display the booking reference for the partner airline as well as the American Airlines booking reference (record locator).
One of the small annoyances that arises when you book codeshare flights through a variety of different airlines is that the airline you’re booking through often doesn’t give you a booking reference (record locator) that the airline you’ll actually be flying with will recognize.
The issue with this is that without the booking reference that the carrier airline uses, a flyer usually can’t choose seats for their flights, and if they need to talk to the airline they’ll be flying with rather than one they booked through, the reference issued by the airline they booked through isn’t usually enough to allow a phone agent for the carrier airline to pull up their itinerary (there are ways around this but having the right booking reference speeds things up considerably).
Up until now, if you made a booking with American Airlines that, for example, included flights on British Airways, you would have to call up American Airlines to get the British Airways booking reference if you wanted to talk to BA about your trip or if you wanted to book seats. Not any more.
Earlier today I booked a tier point run (which also happens to be a trip home) that sees me flying mostly with British Airways but which I booked through American Airlines. When I head to my account on aa.com this is what I can now see:
My American Airlines record locator is in the same place it has always been (top left), but there’s now also a second “reservation code” that’s placed under the first codeshare flight.
The mobile app shows the same:
When you click on the information symbol, American Airlines confirms what this code is:
I’m not sure when this improvement was made as it’s been a while since I made a reservation through American Airlines but it’s a nice improvement to be given. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t something amazing or incredible, but it’s still a very useful, improvement to the American Airlines website (I got to choose my seats without having to call up American Airlines and without having to wait on hold for who knows how long).
As well as the usual American Airlines record locator that all trips booked through American Airlines are given, aa.com and the American Airlines mobile app now show customers the booking references associated with any partner airlines in an itinerary. This may not be huge news but for people who book codeshare flights with any great frequency, this will be a time saver.