Fare Basis Codes - Explained

Cabin class:

Passengers:

Adults(12+)
1
Children(2-11)
0
Infants(0-1)
0

Please select an airport

Select a departure date

Search flights


Fare Basis Codes - Explained

Have you ever head the phrase 'fare basis code', but don't know what it is? In our handy guide, we explain what it is and how to figure out which fare basis code you have on your flight ticket.

What is Fare Basis Code?

plane ticket icon

When you buy a plane ticket, there will be a fare basis code assigned to your ticket and seat. This is because the plane cabin is divided up into categories of airfares, each with its own price and rules or features. These fare basis codes are given a one-letter fare code, the most common being Y, J and F.

What is an IATA fare basis code?

Previously, these booking fare codes were all standardised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This means that previously, J class would mean the same fare, regardless of the airline you were flying with. However, now, they are set by the airlines themselves, meaning each airline can have whatever letter they want for each different fare class.

What does a fare basis code mean for my flight?

Although each airline can set their own rules for each fare basis, generally, the letter of your fare basis will contain information about the price of your ticket, how many airline miles you can obtain by flying, how much flexibility your ticket has (changeable or refundable, for example).

How do you read a fare basis code?

Although each airline can set their own rules for each fare basis, generally, the letter of your fare basis will contain information about the price of your ticket, how many airline miles you can obtain by flying, how much flexibility your ticket has (changeable or refundable, for example).

What does each letter mean?

Unfortunately, each airline uses different letter codes for each ticket type. However, many airlines will use the same letters to mean a similar fare.

This means that you can use the following information as a general guide of what you can expect from your fare basis, but it may be best to contact us if you are unsure and want more information.

Fare Basis Code Letter Fare Basis Code meaning
K Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
L Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
Q Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
V Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
W Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
U Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
T Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
X Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
N Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
O Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
S Often refer to discounted economy class ticket
Y Often refers to full-fare economy tickets
B Often refers to full-fare economy tickets
M Often refers to full-fare economy tickets
H Often refers to full-fare economy tickets
W This ticket often refers to premium economy fares
E This ticket often refers to premium economy fares
D This fare will often indicate a discounted business class ticket
I This fare will often indicate a discounted business class ticket
Z This fare will often indicate a discounted business class ticket
J This letter will often mean that it is a full-fare business ticket
C This letter will often mean that it is a full-fare business ticket
D This letter will often mean that it is a full-fare business ticket
A This letter often means that the passenger is a full-fare paying first-class passenger
F This letter often means that the passenger is a full-fare paying first-class passenger

How to read the fare basis code on your ticket

When you receive your plane ticket, look for the spot that says 'Fare' which is followed or above a letter. This letter will refer to the main fare basis code in the table above.

There may also be a combination of other letters or codes next to your fare basis, which will give you an indication of features of your ticket. The table below provides some examples of these additional codes:

Code Code Meaning
E Indicates that the fare was sold as an 'Excursion Fare', meaning there is a minimum and maximum stay requirement. Often used for leisure travellers instead of business travellers.
Numbers Numbers will often mean the maximum fare stay, in either days or months.
H If not the first letter, this will mean the fare is within high season.
L If not the first letter, this will mean the fare is within low season.
W If not the first letter, a W will mean the fare is on a weekend.
X If not the first letter of the fare, an X will mean that the fare is valid on a weekday.
OW Indicates the ticket is a one-way fare.
RT Indicates the ticket is a return fare.
Two-letter country codes Sometimes airlines include this in the fare base when an airline has international fares in both directions. It indicates which direction the flight is going.
CH Indicates that is it a child fare.
IN Indicates a infant fare.
Airline specific common fares For example, SPRSVR may indicate a super-saver fare, referring to a fare of a specific airline.
ID/AD Industry discount ot travel agency staff discount.