Basics: Speed up Your Flight Search Thanks to IATA Codes

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Read this article in German on Travel-Dealz.de 🇩🇪

If you often search for flights online, it can become very annoying to type the name of a city each and every time. But there is a great way to save time: IATA codes. Abbreviations such as CDG, FRA, BCN, or EWR can help to speed up your flight search. Just type in the three letters, and the correct airport should come up first.

Every commercial airport has its very own three-letter code. This code is often also based on the airports’ or the city’s name and, therefore, easy to remember. For example: the airport code of Paris Charles-de-Gaulle is CDG, London Heathrow is LHR, and Madrid is MAD. Almost every online travel agency will work with these codes. And of course, Google Flights will as well. So instead of entering Barcelona, next time try BCN.

Tip: With your tab key, you can jump from one field to the next one. The field will then be populated with the airport you’re looking for – given that you’re using the right IATA code:

IATA Search
Search flights by using the IATA code

Codes to Remember

As a starter, you can memories some of the major airports in Europe:

  • Athens: ATH
  • Budapest: BUD
  • Zagreb: ZAG
  • Bratislava: BTS
  • Warsaw: WAW
  • Prague: PRG
  • Rome/Fiumicino: FCO
  • Amsterdam: AMS
  • Brussels: BRU
  • Paris/Charles-de-Gaulle: CDG
  • Barcelona: BCN
  • Lisbon: LIS
  • Helsinki: HEL
  • Oslo: OSL
  • Stockholm/Arlanda: ARN
  • London Heathrow: LHR
  • Dublin: DUB

If there is more than one airport in a city, you can select all of them by entering the first three letters (or the short version) of the city. Here are a few examples:

  • London: LON (Heathrow, London City, Gatwick, Luton, Southend)
  • Rome: ROM (Fiumicino, Ciampino)
  • New York City: NCY (John F. Kennedy, Newark, LaGuardia)

You can find a complete list of all IATA codes on Wikipedia. Check it out and memorize the ones you need frequently. You’ll see, it really does save you some time.

Cover Picture: © Markus Mainka - stock.adobe.com
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