How To Read an Airline Ticket


Airline tickets have a language all their own. They are covered in codes meant to convey information to airline personnel. Most of it is gibberish to everyone else. While the things printed on airline tickets are confusing, they are not secret. If you know what to look for, it is easy to read an airline ticket.

Look for the long green box across the top half of the airline ticket. In the left side of the box is the departure airport with the destination airport underneath. Immediately to the right of the airports is the airline code and flight number. Every airline has its own two letter code. For example, American Airlines is AA and United Airlines is UA.

Find the letter that is printed just to the right of the flight number. This is the fare class. Few people outside the airline industry know what they mean. A, F, P and R stand for first class. C, D, I, J and Z represent business class. B, H, M, N and Y indicate full or standard fare economy class. Special fares or discount fares have code such as G, I, K, L, O, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W and X. The different letters within each fare class indicate a different price paid for the ticket.

Locate the date and time of the flight just to the right of the fare code. The date will appear with the day first and the month second. The time will be military time. This is a 24-hour clock. For example, PM times are listed as 1300, 1800 and 2000 instead of 1:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Move to the lower left corner of the airline ticket to see what you paid. The number at the top is what you paid the airline to fly. The numbers listed below it are various taxes on the fare. The number at the bottom of the list is the total. It is what you actually paid to get your ticket.

Discover the airline ticket number in the bottom middle of the ticket. It is a long string of numbers between two thick vertical lines. The 10-digit number in the middle is the actual airline ticket number. The other numbers contain other information, such as which leg of the trip the ticket represents.

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