👋 Get My FREE Flight Search Tool That Finds Hidden Flight Deals Like This...

...Unless you enjoy paying full price on tickets!

Published on

Fare Code : Everything You Ever Wanted To Know

  • avatar
    Jonathan Chum

Are you curious about how airlines decide if you are eligible for an upgrade? Do you want to learn more about how airlines decide what kind of awards you get? This could include miles, points, and other frequent flyer benefits. All of this is actually decided through something called a fare basis code. Also shortened to a fare code, this is an alphanumeric symbol that helps airlines figure out what to do with your flight. If you are interested in saving a lot of time, money, and headache at the airport, you may want to learn what these fare codes are. In this post, we are going to cover:

  • What exactly is a fare code?
  • How are fare codes assigned?
  • Is there anything you can do with your fare code?

We have been fortunate enough to fly all over the world. Therefore, we have learned a lot about the flying experience, including fare codes. Now, we are here to help you by sharing some important information.

What Exactly Is a Fare Code?

When you book a ticket, you are assigned a fare code. This fare code is something that is given to you based on where you are flying, how far you are flying, what class you are sitting in, and whether you have any specific status with that airline. It is true that you will have a different fare code if you are flying in economy, business class, or first class; however, there is so much more to a fare code than simply where you are sitting on the plane. Furthermore, different airlines have different fare codes. Therefore, they are going to vary from airline to airline as well.

For example, if you are sitting in the economy and you are not a frequent flyer and do not have a special credit card, you are going to be assigned a specific fare code. On the other hand, if you are sitting in first class, flying across the world, and fly on that airline once per week, there is a good chance you are going to have a completely different fare code.

Now, you may be wondering why this is important to you. No, your fare code doesn't decide how much you are going to pay for your seat. Instead, the fare code designates what upgrades you are eligible for, how many awards you get for a flight, and how the airline should respond to any customer service requests. Therefore, if you want to know if you are eligible for any upgrades or rewards, you may want to figure out what your fare code is.

How Do Airlines Decide How To Assign Fare Codes?

So, how do airlines decide how to assign fare codes to passengers? The answer is that every airline has a different way of doing exactly that. For example, some airlines will break down their passengers based on where they are sitting on a plane first. Then, they might further subdivide these passengers based on how far they are flying. After all, it is significantly more expensive for the airline to transport someone across an ocean than it is to simply fly turn up and down the seaboard.

After this, the airline my further break their passengers down based on how often they fly with the airline. For example, some people may have a frequent flyer account with the airline. Other passengers may have a specific credit card. Some passengers may have a specific status with that airline or airline group, such as the “Star Alliance” or “Admiral’s Club.” This is important to airlines because they want to make sure they treat people who fly with them on a regular basis with added respect.

Is There Anything You Can Do with Your Fare Code?

So, is there anything you should be doing with your fare code? While you do not need to know your code in order to get on an airplane, you do need to know your code if you want to see how many miles you are going to get, how many rewards you are going to receive, and whether you are eligible for any upgrades. The good news is that a lot of airlines will actually publish their fare codes on their websites. Therefore, you can simply go there and take a look to see if you are eligible for any upgrades or rewards.

Furthermore, your fare code is actually relatively easy to spot. All you have to do is take a look at your booking ticket or confirmation email. Next to where your class has been assigned, there should be a single letter or number next to it. There is a good chance that is your fare code. Then, you can take this to the website, compare it to what you see, and see what your fare code means to you. That way, instead of having to go to customer service to ask them if you are eligible for any upgrades, you will already have the answer to this question. Furthermore, if you are able to share your fare code with the customer service agent, they may appreciate the fact that you have gone the extra mile.

Know Your Fare Code The Next Time You Fly

Ultimately, there is going to be a lot of jargon when you decide to set foot on an airplane. Fortunately, a lot of this is easy to learn. If you are able to learn your fare code in advance, you can fly with a bit of extra information. That way, you will know exactly how you are going to be treated if you ask for something from the airline. Keep in mind that every airline does have a different set of fare codes. Therefore, one fare code on one airline might not be the same as the same fare code on a different airline. Think about learning your fare code the next time you get on an airplane.