In planning some offline travel, I've come to realize how few IATA codes I actually know. Or maybe I'm just looking up airlines I normally don't use. In any case, I'm getting somewhat tired of wasting >30 mins. online trying to find the darn codes for the airlines I need! For example: Icelandair = 'FL'. Just what I would have picked. I’m not really that ignorant…I know sometimes a choice code (i.e. United = UA) may not be available, as was likely the case for FL and they had to grab something else.
Another question, what are the number codes used for? Example: Star Alliance = '2R', Atlas Air = '5Y', United Express, US Air express and Delta Connection = '9N'.
My hypothesis for the codes beginning with numbers has something to do with the airline being a non-major airline. I only tend to say this because I don't recognize any of the number-first designated carriers as being your typical passenger airline. Most of them have names like “Ukraine Airservice Airlines”, “Gill Airways”, “Pelangi Air” and the like. This excludes the last three express carriers, designated '9N'. What's the reasoning behind making United, US Air and Delta share a code for their feeder ops? Perhaps because a feeder airline such as Skywest is used in common by United, US Air and Delta? (showing my ignorance yet again, I have no idea if US Air and DL use the same feeders we have at UA: Skywest, Atlantic Coast, etc.)
Okay, now that I've let on to my befuddlement, I could use a little explanation. And if anyone knows of a great website containing all of the IATA codes for every airline, that would be even better help!
Thanks for your time,