After the shocking announcement that Delta will buy 20% of Latin America’s largest airline LATAM while that carrier will leave the oneworld alliance and their joint venture with American is off, strange things started happening.
- American zeroed out inventory for their codeshares on LATAM flights. Doing this right away, even after promising a “seamless experience for customers” seemed petty.
- Word went out that American wouldn’t through-check bags onto LATAM, or accept bags from LATAM, even where customers were on the same ticket. American said they didn’t do this, and that wasn’t their policy, however.
UPDATE: @AmericanAir tells me that they didn't do this. I've tried to ask @LATAMAirlinesUS but I don't expect an answer. It would be strange for LATAM to cut this off since it hurts their pax most. https://t.co/dlRzvawJu3
— Brett Snyder (@crankyflier) September 27, 2019
Copyright: artzzz / 123RF Stock Photo
American’s denial notwithstanding, there are reports of customers having problems with their itineraries already. Here’s one regarding a LATAM codeshare on American Airlines-operated flights:
I feel terrible for customers.
Look at what happened to my poor friend.
All his AA-operated segments were cancelled for his trip to GIG, and now he’s left with no options.
He asked me for help because neither airline or Expedia are willing to help. pic.twitter.com/OmvqaVlFLD
— Saianel (@saianel) September 27, 2019
Following the recent announcement of a partnership with LATAM Airlines, Delta became aware that LATAM customers who had purchased tickets under their former partnership are seeing canceled flight segments or itineraries. To provide assistance to these customers, Delta will honor these previously purchased tickets.
…Delta is committed to doing right by people and will do everything possible to ensure that impacted customers are cared for.
American, though, denies anything is wrong.
- They aren’t aware of anyone actually being denied travel. (Of course any itineraries with problems are likely for future travel.)
- They continue to honor tickets and their interline agreement.
- Their frequent flyer and club lounge agreements remain in place.
American insists that anyone booked with one of their tickets, for travel on LATAM via an American AIrlines codeshare, can continue to do so. Having zeroed out inventory on these flights, that means no new bookings can be made. If you want to make a change to an existing itinerary, and American serves the market, they’ll put you on the American Airlines flight instead of a codeshare.
This has certainly gotten interesting.
Update: American tells me they are “still marketing AA*/LA/JJ/4M/XL for legs requiring LATAM metal and has not restricted that availability. If the ticketed leg is AA*/LN/JJ/4M/XL and can be served by American the passenger will need to be rebooked on American metal.” So they’ve eliminated codeshare inventory only in markets where they offer flights also. Fewer options are less convenient for customers, and may cost customers more, but they haven’t eliminated destinations altogether.