Interline is an agreement between two or more transportation companies, often airlines, to coordinate and facilitate the transfer of passengers or cargo when their journey involves multiple carriers. It allows for a seamless transition between different modes or companies without requiring separate bookings or handling.

Detailed Explanation

Interlining is crucial in the transportation industry, particularly in air travel, where passengers or cargo might need to switch between different airlines to reach their final destination. With an interline agreement in place, the initial carrier accepts responsibility for the entire journey, even if it involves other carriers. This means passengers can check in once, and their baggage will be transferred automatically between the connecting flights.

For cargo, interlining ensures that goods are transferred efficiently between different carriers, reducing handling time and potential for damage.

Benefits of interlining include:

Convenience: Passengers or shippers make a single booking for the entire journey.
Cost-Effective: Often, interline tickets or shipments can be more economical than booking separate segments.
Flexibility: Allows passengers and shippers access to destinations not directly served by a single carrier.
Reduced Handling: Especially for cargo, fewer touchpoints mean reduced risk of damage or delays.


A passenger flying from City A to City C, with no direct flight available, might fly Airline X from City A to City B and then Airline Y from City B to City C. With an interline agreement, the passenger would check in once at City A, and their baggage would be automatically transferred at City B.

A shipper sending goods from Country A to Country C might use a trucking company to reach a port in Country A, then a shipping line to cross the sea, and finally a rail company in Country C. Interlining ensures the cargo moves smoothly between these carriers.

Related Terms and Concepts:

Code Share, Multimodal Transportation, Transfer, Transit

Frequently asked questions about Interline

How does interlining differ from code-sharing?
While both involve cooperation between airlines, interlining refers to the logistical aspect of transferring passengers or cargo. In contrast, code-sharing is a marketing arrangement where two airlines share the same flight, each using its own flight number.

Do all airlines have interline agreements?
Not necessarily. While many major airlines have extensive interline networks, some low-cost carriers might not participate in interline agreements to keep their operations simple and costs low.

Is interlining only for airlines?
While commonly associated with airlines, interlining can also apply to other modes of transportation, like rail, shipping, or trucking, especially in multimodal transportation scenarios.

How does interlining affect ticket prices or shipping costs?
Interlining can sometimes offer cost savings due to the efficiencies and agreements between carriers. However, prices can vary based on the specific carriers and routes involved.

What happens if there’s a delay and I miss my connection in an interline booking?
Typically, if the delay is due to reasons within the airline’s control and you have an interline ticket, the airline will rebook you on the next available flight without additional charges.

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