Economic Regulation - Airline Codesharing
Consumer aspects of codesharing
The Conference had considered codesharing as one of the areas whose implications should be considered with respect to future regulatory arrangements on market access. Using the Secretariat study, the Panel discussed the economic and consumer aspects of codesharing, but produced a Recommendation dealing only with the latter.
The Panel agreed that ensuring that consumers were aware of the details concerning codeshared flights at every stage in the passenger's journey was very important. Included in the necessary information are flights, operators, intermediate stops and changes of aircraft, airlines and airports. Several elements of international air transport in addition to the air carriers themselves were involved, including travel agents, computer reservation systems (CRSs), airports and others involved in facilitation. The Panel noted the applicable parts concerning consumer protection and information in the Secretariat study as well as the provisions of the ICAO CRS Code requiring that the consumer be informed of codeshared flights. Questions concerning compensation for denied boarding (for which ICAO guidance is contained in Doc 9587, Policy and Guidance Material on the Regulation of International Air Transport), safety and liability with respect to codeshared flights are also relevant.
The Panel RECOMMENDS:
that States take the necessary action to ensure that consumers are fully informed and protected with respect to codeshared flights operating to or from their territory and that, as a minimum, passengers be provided with the necessary information in the following ways:
orally and, if possible, in writing at the time of booking;
in written form, on the ticket itself and/or (if not possible), on the itinerary document accompanying the ticket, or on any other document replacing the ticket, such as a written confirmation, including information on whom to contact in case of a problem and a clear indication of which airline is responsible in case of damage or accident; and
- orally again, by the airline's ground staff at all stages of the journey.