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Fares and Fare Basis Codes

Unrestricted Fares and Restricted Fares

Based on booking classes, fares can be divided into two categories:


Unrestricted or Normal Fares


Restricted or Excursion or Special or Discounted Fares

An unrestricted fare is a higher fare for a ticket offering maximum flexibility.  Typically, unrestricted fares require no advance purchase, no Saturday night stay, no roundtrip purchase, and are fully refundable without penalty or fee.

Restricted fares available between city pairs that require an advance purchase, minimum and maximum stay, are non-refundable, have change fees that apply, routing restrictions, and require that the same carrier be used in both directions.  In short, there are certain restrictions to be followed if these fares are to be availed.

Fare Basis Codes

A fare basis code consists of two basic elements – the booking code and applicable fare elements.  Together, they make up a fare basis that will be up to but no longer than eight (8) characters in length.  The booking code refers to the letter representing the class of service in which the fare has been published and the inventory that you will use to confirm the booked flight segment.

In general, the following table lists the most commonly used booking codes and the classes of service they represent.

P, F, A

First Class

J, C, D

Business Class

Y, S, W

Economy /Coach - Unrestricted

B, H, K, L, M, N, Q, T, V, X

Economy / Coach - Restricted

Caution should be used as there are some markets on some airlines, particularly internationally, that will have a fare basis listed and the booking code will not be the first letter of that fare basis.  Many business fares can start with J and yet require a C or D booking code.

Fare basis elements are individual letters and or numbers used in combination to further define, in basic terms, the rules that will accompany the fare that the code represents.  These elements often refer to the advanced purchase, seasonality, refund restrictions, and minimum and / or maximum stay requirements.  Further details on a fare’s rules can be found in the actual rules display.

Introduction To Travel41 of 57

Concepts and TerminologyConfidential, TRX Inc.7 November 2007

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