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Book with United vs Air Canada to Greece and Turkey

I am mapping out a multi-city trip. The main option I have is Air Canada but Google Flights point me to booking it through United. I am leery of this as I usually like to book through the airline direct. I have had issues booking 3rd party before and trying to make changes. Interested in thoughts on this or if anyone has had a similar experience?

Posted by
508 posts

What route are you hoping to follow? I see you live in Oregon. If doing a Canadian connection I wanted to mention that Turkish Airlines has a daily (I think it’s daily) flight Vancouver to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines codeshares with AC and United so you could have a different option back for example.

Posted by
1796 posts

This is not the same context as if you were booking with a third party, United and Air Canada are Star Alliance members airlines, which is why you can with some flights book a United flight with Air Canada or vice versa. If you have miles with one airline they can be counted when flying on the other member airline.

If Google flight found it, it means that you can book your flight directly on the website of either United or Air Canada, it will be the same flight even if it does not have exactly the same flight number.

Note that Aegean, the main Greek airline and Turkish Airlines are also Star Alliance members.

https://www.staralliance.com/en/members

Posted by
125 posts

Ah, thanks JoLui, I hadn't realized.

And Claire, thanks for the tip. Part of the flight back is on Turkish Air from IST To Heathrow.

Posted by
11136 posts

We find that Air Canada costs less with the exchange rate.

Posted by
1802 posts

It’s called code share. The same flight can have one or more flight numbers and be marketed by multiple airlines. I would suggest that you check the change and cancellation policies of both airlines prior to booking. For instance, I often fly Virgin Atlantic but I book on the Delta website. Same flight but Delta has no change fees and if I cancel the flight I get a credit for future use. Credit is good for one year from my original purchase date.

Posted by
4593 posts

I would also look at who is operating each leg. I prefer to book my flights with the carrier that is operating the long haul legs so that I get the best access to seat selection on those flights.

Since I fly from a United hub, I usually have the best options by booking directly with United on flights that United operates the international legs.

The downside is that my connections are often on Lufthansa and I don't get (free) seat selection on those (shorter) legs until checkin.

So my recommendation is to book with the carrier operating your longest flight legs.

Posted by
248 posts

I had a United booking for what turned out to be a Lufthansa codeshare. One leg cancelled and issues arose with rebooking that wouldn't have if it had been pure United.

Posted by
379 posts

It's not really 3rd party, you're still booking on a Star Alliance platform. You will be able to make changes on the United website

Posted by
2326 posts

Have you checked Delta for flights going through Amsterdam? It is usually a bit more expensive, but the time/hassle factor of that direct PDX-AMS flight is often worth it. I flew that way to Istanbul this fall and it sure was nice to get 10 hours out of the way in one fell swoop. Depending on when you're going there is also seasonal British Airways (Heathrow) and Lufthansa (Frankfurt) flights that provide similar large hops.

Posted by
125 posts

Let me ask this way, any disadvantage in booking with Air Canada rather United?

Delta is not an option. They have no flights to help me during the period I'm planning or I would book that way. I have always used them to travel to EU when not for business. I checked directly on their site.

Posted by
508 posts

RC, what time of year and which Canadian airport would you be going through on the Air Canada part of your journey?

Posted by
125 posts

My trip is in September. Toronto en route and Vancouver on return.

Posted by
508 posts

RC, thanks for the extra details. My one suggestion for the Toronto connection is to allow a decent amount of time there between flights because if you are delayed and miss your connection, the next flight may not be until the next day. Having said that, with it being September, AC may have more than one flight a day to your destination in Europe which would alleviate that concern. The AC website would give you that information for your travel day.

You mentioned above that one leg of your flight is Istanbul to Heathrow (to Vancouver from your last post?). Can you do Turkish Airlines to Vancouver and have it still be affordable? As others have mentioned, AC and Turkish are in the same alliance.

Posted by
87 posts

Let me ask this way, any disadvantage in booking with Air Canada rather United?

I don't think there is. In the past year we have made two trips to Canada and when comparing price of the same AC flights booked through United or directly through AC, the AC was cheaper so we booked direct with AC. This may not always be true but check your flights through both. AC changed the flights significantly and I was able to choose new flights easily on the AC website. I have a feeling (but no proof) that it would not have been as easy going through United if I had purchased through them. Your baggage rules, seat selection rules, etc will be for the actual company flown not the codeshare partner so I think it can be simplified booking direct. If dramatically cheaper through United, I would go ahead with the codeshare arrangement and deal with any inconveniences.