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Codes: City, Airport, Airline, Car, and Hotel Codes

In aviation’s early days, airlines simply used the local weather station’s two letter code combinations.  In the 1930s, the rapid boom of the aviation industry taxed the two letter code designators prompting existing airports to add a third letter (most commonly the letter X) to expand the pool of airport designators.

At present, a lot of two and three letter codes are used in the travel industry.  Airports, cities, airlines, car companies, and hotels are identified by a two or three letter code.  In this section, we would familiarize with city and airport codes.

A volume of traffic and flights are monitored by Traffic Controllers everyday.  Tons of cargo and baggage are tagged and carried by baggage handlers day in and day out.  In addition to maintaining this data, there are millions of flight data processed by pilots, travel and airline agents daily.  It therefore makes the use of codes convenient and efficient.  For example, truncating Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport or Detroit to DTW.


After completing this module, you will be able to:

List city codes.

List airport codes.

List airline codes.

List car codes.

List hotel codes.

Identify hubs and spokes.

City, Airport, Airline, Car, and Hotel Codes

There are three different ways that city / airport codes can be derived:

The first 3 letters of the city

3 letters taken from the city and/or state

3 letters partially derived from the city name or the airport name.

Refer to the comprehensive code reference list [Jobaid_Code_Reference_List_012907.doc] handed to you.

Introduction To Travel15 of 57

Concepts and TerminologyConfidential, TRX Inc.7 November 2007

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