THE-BES-TOF-AIR-POR-TCO-DES (The best of airport codes)

Here's our favourite three-letter airport code names found on your luggage tags.....

THE-BES-TOF-AIR-POR-TCO-DES (The best of airport codes)

Batman is among the first to try out the route BAT-MAN

Three-letter airport codes may appear like geeky abbreviations of their respective airports, from LGW (London Gatwick) to MIA (Miami International). But these abbreviations, assigned by IATA (International Air Transport Association) often make for amusing reading alone or when combined with other airport codes.

Here’s some of our favourites…

Some airport codes fit in well with the aviation industry:

  • AIR, BUS Aripuana (Brazil); Batumi (Georgia)
  • BOE, ING Boundji (Republic of the Congo); Lago Argentino (Argentina)
  • FLY, ING La Guaira (Venezuela); Lago Argentino (Argentina)
  • FOK, KER Suffolk County (USA); Kerman (Iran)

People are certainly not left out. How about the following line-up?

  • MRS Marseille (France)
  • MOM Moudjeria (Mauritania)
  • DAD Da Nang (Vietnam)
  • SON Espiritu Santo (Vanuatu)
  • BRO Brownsville (USA)
  • BOY Borgo, (Burkina Faso)
  • SIS Sishen (South Africa)
  • KID Kristianstad (Sweden)
  • DOC Dornoch (UK)
  • COU Columbia (USA) – SIN Singapore

Animals, insects and fish are also represented:

  • APE San Juan Aposento (Peru)
  • BAT Barretos (Brazil)
  • BEE Beagle Bay (Australia)
  • BUG Benguela (Angola)
  • CAT New Bight (Bahamas)
  • COD Yellowstone (USA)
  • COW Coquimbo (Chile)
  • DOG Dongola (Sudan)
  • PIG Pitinga (Brazil)

So is food and drink:

  • ALE Alpine (USA)
  • BBQ Barbuda (Antigua and Barbuda)
  • BUD Budapest (Hungary)
  • BUN Buenaventura (Colombia)
  • EAT Wenatchee (USA)
  • JAM Yambol (Bulgaria)
  • PIE St. Petersburg (USA)
  • TEA Tela (Honduras)

And some airport codes are just fun, strange or headshaking:

  • ATM Altamira (Brazil)
  • BAD Barksdale (USA)
  • BOO Bodø (Norway)
  • BUM Butler (USA)
  • CIA Ciampino (Italy)
  • FAT Fresno Yosemite (USA)
  • FAQ Frieda River (Papua New Guinea)
  • HOT Hot Springs (USA)
  • FUN Funafuti (Tuvalu)
  • KGB Konge (Papua New Guinea)
  • LOL Derby Field (USA)
  • OMG Omega (Namibia)
  • PEE Perm (Russia)
  • POO Pocos de Caldas (Brazil)
  • LUV Langgur (Indonesia)
  • SEX Sembach, (Germany)
  • THE Teresina, (Brazil)
  • WOW Willow (USA)

Sometimes there are stretches that you may or may not want to travel:

  • COP-KIL-LER Cooperstown (USA); Kilwa (Democratic Republic of Congo); Leinster (Australia)
  • FRA-NCE Frankfurt (Germany); Nice (France)
  • HOT-DOG Hot Springs (USA) – Dongola, (Sudan)
  • ILO-VEY-OUA-LOT Iloilo (Philippines); Vestmannaeyjar (Iceland); Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso); C
  • MAD-COW-DIS-EZE Madrid (Spain) – Coquimbo (Chile) – Loubomo (Republic of the Congo); Ezeiza (Buenos Aires)
  • NOR-WAY Nordfjordur (Iceland); Greene County (USA)
  • SIN-FUL (Singapore); Fullerton (USA)
  • THE-FAT-BUM Teresina (Brazil); Fresno (USA); Butler (USA)
  • TIC-TAC Tinak (Marshall Islands); Tacloban (Philippines)

Three-letter airport codes don’t get real far out until they are put together into rather specific and complicated itineraries:


Finley (Australia); Lago Argentino (Argentina); Guangzhou (China); Novato (USA); Benbecula (UK); Wenatchee (USA); Eneabba West (Australia); Yangambi (Democratic Republic of the Congo); Thompson (Canada); Lago Argentino (Argentina); Itambacuri (Brazil); Sucre (Bolivia); Alicante (Spain); Coolangatta (Australia)


Franz Josef (New Zealand); Dourados (Brazil); Waverney (Australia); Britton (USA); Tarama (Japan); Vernal (USA); Tonu (Papua New Guinea); Ormara (Pakistan); Ayawasi (Indonesia); Tompkins County (USA)

And finally, my favourite air itinerary:


Gunter (USA); Nare (Colombia); Garaina (Papua New Guinea); Pinto Martins (Brazil); Singapore; Teresina (Brazil); Aripuana (Brazil).

And I’ll leave it at that. Which ones did I miss?

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