Air Travel Tip – IATA City Codes

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Luggage Tags

Every airport in the world that gets commercial traffic has a 3 letter IATA (International Air Transport Association) code. San Francisco is SFO, San Jose, California is SJC. The tag that the United Airlines agent had just put on my bag was SJO. I spent the next 15 minutes there at the desk in JFK (New York’s John F. Kennedy airport trying politely to insist that he was about to send my bags to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO).

It is useful on every trip to know what the 3 letter code for your final destination is. It is also, as you can see, a good idea that if you check bags you make sure the code for that final destination is on your bags.

But another useful trick to know about IATA codes is that some cities with multiple airports also have an IATA code for the city itself. You are not likely to find this code on your suitcase but it is useful to know when you are using online ticketing systems. So NYC, for instance, is a code that means New York City. If I use an online ticketing system (like the one I work on at TripAdvisor) and book a flight from SFO to NYC then I am saying that I want to go to any of the 3 airports in New York City. Now of course, if I really only want to go to one specific airport then I don’t want to use the city code. Note that not all airports for a city are actually “in” that city. Sometimes they can be an hour or so away by train or car.

Some cities have a city code but only one airport. These codes can be used to map to an old airport name or an old city name such as in the case of Beijing because of the renaming of the city in the non-Chinese speaking world from Peking.

The following are the cities with IATA codes and the codes for their component airports (note that I have skipped some codes like QDF for Dallas and QSF for San Francisco Bay area which while official codes won’t work in most online systems):

Buenos Aires, Argentina – BUE

  • EZE – Ezeiza International Airport
  • AEP – Jorge Newbery Airport

Berlin, Germany – BER

  • TXL – Tegel Airport
  • SXF – Schoenefeld Airport
  • THF – Tempelhof Airport

Beijing, Peoples Republic of China – BJS

  • PEK – Capital Airport

Bucharest, Romania  – BUH

  • OTP – Henri Coandă International Airport
  • BBU – Baneasa Airport

Chicago, Illinois, USA – CHI

  • ORD – O’Hare International Airport
  • MDW – Midway Airport

Detroit, Michigan USA – DTT

  • DTW – Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
  • London, United Kingdom – LON
  • LHR – Heathrow Airport
  • LGW – London Gatwick Airport
  • LCY – London City Airport
  • STN – Stansted Airport
  • LTN – Luton Airport

Milan, Italy – MIL

  • MXP – Malpensa Airport
  • LIN – Linate Airport
  • BGY – Orio Al Serio Airport
  • PMF – Parma Airport

Moscow, Russia – MOW

  • SVO – Sheremetyevo International Airport
  • DME – Domodedovo Airport
  • BKA – Bykovo Airport
  • VKO – Vnukovo International Airport

New York City, New York USA – NYC

  • JFK – John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • LGA – LaGuardia Airport
  • EWR – Newark Liberty International Airport

Orlando, Florida USA – ORL

  • MCO – Orlando International Airport
  • SFB – Orlando Sanford International Airport

Osaka, Japan – OSA

  • KIX – Kansai International Airport
  • ITM – Itami Airport / Osaka International Airport

Paris, France – PAR

  • CDG – Charles de Gaulle Airport / Roissy Airport
  • ORY – Orly Airport
  • BVA – Beauvais Airport

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – RIO

  • GIG – Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport
  • SDU – Santos Dumont Airport

Rome, Italy – ROM

  • FCO – Fiumicino Airport
  • CIA – Ciampino Airport

Sao Paulo, Brazil – SAO

  • GRU – Guarulhos International Airport
  • CGH – Congonhas International Airport

Seoul, South Korea – SEL

  • SEL – Gimpo International Airport
  • ICN – Incheon International Airport
  • GMP – Gimpo International Airport

Stockholm, Sweden – STO

  • ARN – Arlanda Airport
  • BMA – Bromma Airport
  • NYO – Skavsta Airport
  • VST – Vasteras Airport

Tokyo, Japan – TYO

  • NRT – Narita International Airport
  • HND – Haneda Airport

Washington D.C. USA – WAS

  • IAD – Dulles International Airport
  • DCA – Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Montreal, Canada – YMQ (trivia almost all Canada IATA codes start with Y)

  • YUL – Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

Toronto, Canada – YTO

  • YYZ – Pearson International Airport
  • YTZ – Toronto City Centre Airport

Houston, Texas USA – HOU

  • HOU – Hobby Airport
  • IAH – George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Dallas, Texas USA – DAL

  • DAL – Dallas Love Field Airport
  • DFW – Dallas Fort Worth Airport
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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

4 Responses to “Air Travel Tip – IATA City Codes”

Magiel Venema

Says:

Milan is in Italy, not in Spain!!!

viktor

Says:

who decides if one airport is under one city or not?

darioandradewp

Says:

is this an extensive list? if not, where can I find it? (I mean city iata codes)

chris2x

Says:

it is extensive but not exhaustive, you might try the IATA site http://www.iata.org/

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