About 10 minutes after the Wright Brothers put their first airplane into the air, American and British Airways applied for blanket codesharing and antitrust immunity. More than 100 years later, their wish has finally been granted, at least by the US authorities. Yes, they have to give up some slots, but it’s a very minor number. I would be very happy if I were them.

Wright Brothers

Assuming this ruling becomes final and the EU goes along with it, American and British Airways frequent fliers should be able to burn their own miles on the other airlines’ airplanes between the US and Europe. You will also start to see American Airlines codes popping up on British Airways transatlantic flights and vice versa. Oh yeah, and it’s not just these two. BA’s darling Iberia, Royal Jordanian, and Finnair are a part of this as well, but they were never the hold-up. It was always all about access to Heathrow.

So what made it go through this time when it’s failed so many times in the past? Well, the open skies agreement between the US and the EU played a big part. Without it, the DOT said the outcome would likely have been different. With a new round of talks on opening the skies even further about to begin, I imagine the EU will be very conscious about the connection here when they decide to rule.

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  • Cranky Flier

    My name is Brett, and I’m an airline dork. I’ve had the bug since I was young. As a kid, I never missed a chance to go to LAX a…

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