Q – I recently returned from a trip to London where I noticed that instead of saying I was flying in economy it said I was flying in Q Class. Then I looked carefully, and my connecting ticket home had an N instead of a Q. Anyway you can explain these letters the airlines use and what they really mean.
A – Airlines use codes so their gate agents and flight attendants will know exactly what kind of ticket you are flying. Special compensation offers might be made to certain code holders. Thet might indicate what kind of changes you are allowed to make on a ticket or how a refund is to be handled. These are known as “Fare Codes” or “Fare Basis”. It allows the gate agent to know exactly what kind of flyer you are and whether or not you should be considered for an upgrade. So they are fairly important yet most flyers have no idea of their meaning. Obviously, it will vary a bit from airline to airline but here is a short guide to the airline’s secret lingo – used primarily to identify you as a full-fare or discount flyer Fares codes are also used to determine how many miles and points you will be awarded on a flight.
Y – Full Fare Economy Guest
L,M,N,Q,T,T,V and X – Various levels of Discount Fare usually in order restrictions.
J,C – Refer to Full-Fare Business Class Guests
F – Is a non-restricted Full=fare First Class Guest
If you are flying a multi-segment ticket and you have more than one fare code, most airlines will enforce the most stringent rules that apply to anyone of your segment codes. They do that because they are so customer-service oriented and because they have almost zero appreciation of your loyalty or business.