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How Airline Partnerships Influence Compensation for Delayed Flights?

An airline partnership is a cooperation between two or even more airlines. It provides easy access to multiple destinations and guarantees more accessible and versatile airway connections. 

Basically, the participating airlines have outlined rules they must follow: corporate programs, coordination of listed flights, guarantee of high-quality services, and complete fulfilment of security norms. At the same time, the carriers preserve their monetary independence and brand identity. 

However, a carrier can only belong to one alliance at a time. While a carrier can surely expand its routes and offer more to clients by doing so, this situation would reduce the capability of other member airlines to stay competitive. 

Understanding how these partnerships work will help you get the full picture of possible delay compensation. As we know, delays can happen for unpredictable reasons beyond the passengers’ control. Hence, clients can depend only on the strict policies and agreements between partner airlines.

Understanding Airline Partnerships

Airlines tend to cooperate and form mutual agreements to form a team. With this they can help each other in difficult situations and attract more passengers by providing more options.

Partnership members may enter into other forms of cooperation, like alliances, code-sharing, or interline agreements, even if they already belong to the same alliance. For illustration, Air India is a member of Star Alliance and also has a common agreement with a lower Indian-based alliance, the Tata-SIA Vistara. Likewise, China Southern Airlines is a SkyTeam member and cooperates with American Airlines. 

  • Alliance partnerships are agreements between specific airlines about cooperation in different fields. For example, in marketing, route expansion and many more. The most prominent alliances are Star Alliance (26 members, formed in 1997), SkyTeam (19 members, formed in 2000) and OneWorld (13 members, formed in 1999)
  • Code-sharing allows the carriers to sell the seats of their partners upon mutual agreement. So, you can book a ticket via one airline, but another company will operate it. As a result, airlines can offer more options, and passengers can book different flights seamlessly
  • Interline agreements allow airlines to offer seats operated by various carriers. Travellers can get one ticket that includes multiple flights at once. Moreover, the carriers may not even have the code-sharing partnership to make it happen.

The main benefits are:

  • An airline can expect higher density on their flights
  • The revenue gets boosted as there are more destinations and routes offered to the clients
  • The travellers’ experience is more positive thanks to easy access to booking tickets. It also empowers future loyalty and huge interest in returning to the same airline for future trips
  • The carriers get important help with fleet, crew, technologies and maintenance. As a result, the expenses are reduced, and the business model becomes more efficient
  • New customers will hear about a carrier thanks to it being a part of a large group
  • More ways for mutual growth and development of other interesting ways of conducting the business for all members.

Legal Framework Governing Flight Delays and Compensation

All passengers must know that each time they travel, their rights are secured and that they can get help if an issue arises. That is why the European Union has Regulation 261/2004 that clearly states what the travellers are entitled to. It includes compensations, reimbursements and assistance from the accountable airline.

Moreover, the Regulation also indicates what travellers get in case of a delayed flight:

  • Passengers must get a compensation of 250-600 EUR in case of delay. The amount depends on the length of wait and distance of your flight
  • An airline must care about the clients by providing meals, refreshments, accommodation and means of connection
  • Customers have the right to choose whether they want compensation or re-routing.

Airline partnerships help bring seamless bookings and easy refunds. The strict regulations and rules make it possible and clear to the passengers. All these regulations also apply to all kinds of partnerships:

  • Code-sharing: the operating carrier is responsible for compensations and other requests. So, passengers must refer to them to fill the claim in case of delays
  • Alliances: typically, each airline is responsible for providing help. However, some alliances may help in communicating and getting to a mutual agreement
  • Interline agreements: first, clients must contact the airline that confirmed their booking, as they are the information receiver.

Impact of Partnerships on Compensation Processes

Profound case studies show patterns of handling difficult situations like delays. It is impossible to outline from the start that absolutely all alliances remain competent within their respective rights while being helpful to their partners. As a result, all clients can ask for compensation in the most suitable way, including using professional help via

For example, Star Alliance always empowers close connection and collaboration within its group, providing the undeniable expression that every issue will be solved in a second. When it comes to delay-related situations, passengers can rely most of all on the carrier they booked with.

SkyTeam also practices code-sharing agreements, so the assistance is very efficient here. Likewise, OneWorld coordinates all compensation according to EU regulations.

As a result, more people are involved in the issue, and procedures have a strict scenario.

Future Trends and Predictions

Since the industry never stops evolving, a bright future is inevitable. It will especially cover all compensation issues, as it is one of the most disturbing periods every traveller can experience. Such emerging trends are anticipated the most:

  • A more united group of companies to solve all issues quicker
  • Focused vision on the traveller’s needs
  • Digital evolvement of compensation claims
  • Different forms of refunds.


Partnerships are a common thing now, but the main focus must always be on bettering the clients’ experience. Especially when it comes to unfortunate delays. All airlines must remember that their business success depends on the traveller’s satisfaction. Hence, the set rights must not be broken and ignored in any situation.