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How to Get an IATA Code

The trade association International Air Transport Association serves airlines, passengers, shippers, travel agents, and governments. You can obtain a numeric code from IATA to describe your location, equipment, company, and time zone.


  • Step 1: Conduct an internet search Conduct an internet search using the keywords "IATA codes." Websites like list IATA codes by category.
  • Step 2: Consider one-character codes Look for a 1-character code to designate travel class.
  • Step 3: Consider two-character codes Look for 2-character codes to designate airlines, railway, bus and ferry companies, computer reservation systems, and companies that handle air cargo.
  • TIP: Two-character codes are used in reservations, timetables, tickets, tariffs, and air waybills.
  • Step 4: Consider three-character codes Look for 3-character codes to designate airports and world destinations. For example, New York, New York, is NYC and Dayton, Ohio, is DAY.
  • Step 5: Consider four-character codes Look for 4-character codes to designate types of meals served to passengers.
  • Step 6: Apply Complete any application forms necessary by downloading them from the IATA website. You can obtain a code whether or not you are a member, but non-members must fulfill yearly requirements. No matter which way you travel, IATA has a code for you when you are on the move.
  • FACT: IATA was founded in Havana, Cuba in April of 1945.

You Will Need

  • Internet access
  • Character codes

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