Know the code before flying

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Airlines have recently been forming "alliances" with each other to increase their global reach and marketing efforts.

The trend, called code sharing, means that any international flight listed by one airline may actually be flown by one of its alliance partners.

These alliances can be beneficial, allowing you to travel somewhere your favorite airline does not fly while still earning frequent flier miles in its program.

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But before traveling, be sure to ask about flight restrictions. In some cases, only tickets for a full-fare coach or better will earn miles on an alliance partner flight.

And if your next international flight is a code share, call both participating carriers to check the airfare. Such a move can save you money.

Case in point: Consumer Reports Travel Letter recently checked the price of a ticket from Atlanta to Zurich on a flight shared by Delta and Swissair. Delta quoted a price of $1,243, but Swissair quoted only $758 for the same flight!

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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