A week ago I wrote about why codeshares are great for airlines, not customers, and why you should almost never book one. There are edge cases, but in general they’re a hassle – whether because you need to get rebooked due to a schedule change or even just have a seat assigned.
What prompted me to write about this is that American Airlines, despite its close alliance with JetBlue in the Northeast, is unable to assign seats on JetBlue flights.
Instead, agents get an error “Unable to retrieve Seat Map from Web Service”. At the time American offered its agents instructions on how to send a generic seat request (for aisle or window).
Only that wasn’t working so now there’s a new procedure: having American Airlines agents transfer customers over the phone to JetBlue to get their seats:
A warm handoff is better than just giving customers JetBlue’s phone number, to be sure. But the alliance clearly isn’t ready for prime time where customers are treated the same whether they’re flying American or JetBlue, or booking through either airline as well.