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Legal routing from LAX-IST
This one has me stumped. Before suggesting alternate routings, please know that I’m posing this question purely from a desire to better understand why something I’m doing isn’t working, not necessarily because I’m attempting to fly to a particular place.
I understand Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has a route between LAX and ADD via DUB, and has fifth freedom rights to sell tickets on their route between LAX and DUB. I understand that Turkish Airlines (TK) has a route between DUB and IST.
I also understand that both ET and TK are Star Alliance carriers. There are published fares for sale between LAX and DUB, as well as DUB-IST. I can find revenue tickets for both these individual segments.
For some reason though, even with a multi-city search on ITA Matrix or Google Flights, I cannot get LAX-DUB-IST on a single itinerary for a revenue ticket. Is this because there’s no published fare for this combined routing by either of these carriers? Is it because fifth freedom rules might somehow preclude ET from selling LAX-DUB paired with anything other than DUB-ADD?
It shouldn’t be because of MPM, as it seems to only differ 2.1% between the two routings.
Alternatively, assuming I fed these flights to an agent in a typical Star Alliance award program and was otherwise wholly within their award routing rules, would an agent be unable to issue a single itinerary from LAX-DUB-IST due to some invisible rule I’m not seeing here?
I could be wrong, but I don’t think TK publishes data to google, so you wouldn’t see any google flight/ita options that require combining a TK flight with another. That having been said, fare rules on combinations can be tricky to decipher, so it’s often best to just play around. TK DUB-IST will combine with just about any (other) star carrier’s xxx-DUB flight. ET will combine LAX-DUB with any flight into LAX. However, there seem to be restrictions on DUB-elsewhere. (Of academic interest, ASKY (KP) codeshares ET’s LAX-DUB flight and will sell a ticket LAX-DUB-IST using the ET/TK combination, but the price is insane. ASKY is managed under contract to ET and seems to have access to all ET Y fares).
But, what you are really asking for is whether a star carrier would be able to issue a single *award* ticket manually entering in those two segments, and I have no idea if that would work. Star alliance award ticket rules don’t necessarily require a published fare like AAdvantage.