Cracking The Airline Code

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 8:54am

Your ticket reveals your chances of being bumped or upgraded.

Before you fly you check the departure time and gate assignment, but there's one more thing you might want to look at.

The complicated string of letters and numbers on your ticket can tell you your chances of getting an upgrade or getting bumped.

If you see a "Y," you have little chance of getting bumped and big chance of scoring a free first class upgrade.

"Y" is the universal code for full fare coach, meaning you probably paid a steep price for that back of the plane ticket, but the airlines will often reward you for it, sometimes even awarding you frequent flyer miles.

If your ticket shows a code like "L" or "V," you're in the sub-class.

"L" is usually a deepest discounted ticket with few rights and lots of restrictions which means you're often the first to go if you show up late.

The only way to improve your code is to pay more, something most leisure travelers don't want to do.

If you see an "F" or a "P" in the code on your ticket, you're most likely booked in first class already.

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