What fare codes should you look for when booking an award ticket?


In the award booking world, it’s alphabet soup when it comes to booking tickets. Z class on one airline is different than Q class on another…and so on. To look for availability, I highly suggest using ExpertFlyer. ExpertFlyer will tell you what fares are available under which code, but won’t tell you what each code is for.

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To make this easy, I’ve defined many of the most popular (and some, unique) airline’s award codes for you, so it can help your booking process. I’ve tried to include business/first class award codes, business/first class upgrade codes, and economy codes, where available and known.


Aerolinas Argentinas: “U” (business class award), “X” (economy award), “I” (business class upgrade)

Aer Lingus: “U” (business class award), “T” (economy award)

Aeromexico: “R” (business class upgrade)

Aeroplan: “R” (business class upgrade)

Aircalin: “O” (business class award), “X” (economy award)

Air Europa: “Z” (business class award), “A” (economy award)

Air France: “O” (business class award)

Air Tahiti Nui: “A” (first class award), “I” (business class award), “W” (economy award), “Z” (business class upgrade)

Alaska Airlines: “A” (first class award), “U” (first class upgrade), “W” (economy award)

Avianca: “A” (business class award), “Z” (economy award)

Bangkok Airlines: “Y” (economy award)

Brussels Airlines: “I” (business class award or upgrade), “X” (economy award)

CCM Airlines: “X” (economy award)

China Eastern: “A” (first class award), “D” (business class award), “I” (economy award)

China Southern: “P” (first class award), “I” (business class award), “O” (economy award)

Czech Airlines: “Z” (business class award), “E” (economy award), “I” (business class upgrade)

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El Al: “P” (first class award), “X” (business class award), “E” (economy award), “A” (first class upgrade), “R” (business class upgrade)

Etihad: “R” (first class upgrade), “X” (business class upgrade)

Gol: “I” (business class award), “X” (economy award)

Gulf Air: “P” (business class award), “T” (economy award)

Hainan Airlines: “A” (business class award), “S” (economy award)

Hawaiian Airlines: “U” (economy award), “P” (first class upgrade)

Icelandair: “Z” (business class award)

Korean Airlines: “A” (first class award/upgrade), “Z” (business upgrade)

Martinair: “W” (economy award)

Saudi Arabian: “A” (first class award), “D” (business award), “L” (economy award)

Shanghai Airlines: “O” (first class award), “I” (business class award), “X” (economy award)

Tarom: “Z” (business class award), “X” (economy award)

Transaero Airlines: “E” (economy award)

Turkish: “J” (business class upgrade using Miles & Smiles miles)

Virgin Australia: “H” (business class award)

Find those elusive Awards & Upgrades - Find Flight Availability, Flight Upgrades & Awards, Frequent Flyer Information and more with ExpertFlyer.com

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  1. mbh says

    I was so excited to see a post on this, but where are the airlines we actually fly? Delta, AA, United? Those are the ones we need. Thanks.

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