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LH748
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Posts: 467
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:44 am

Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:45 pm

We're all familiar with Y being economy class, J being business class and F being first class but although F makes perfect sense to me, I never quite understood the logic behind the other letters.
Can someone explain this to me?
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AA AB AC AF AK AZ BA DE DL EW FD FR HF HG IB IR MF KU LH LT LX OD TG TK TP UA VJ VN WN W6 YP YW
 
mga707
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Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:22 pm

When 'air coach' service started in the US in the late 1940s, the fare codes were 'A' for First Class (previously the only class, so codes were unnecessary) and 'T' for coach. When jets were introduced in 1958/59, there was a surcharge for jet flights, so different codes were needed. 'F' was chosen for 'Jet First Class' and 'Y' for 'Jet Coach'. Withing a few years the jet surcharges were dropped so the old A/T fare codes went away. But I have no explanation of how/why 'Y' was picked for the jet Coach code. 'A' and 'T' made some sense, probably for 'Class' A' and 'Tourist Class'.
 
MO11
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Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:28 pm

LH748 wrote:
We're all familiar with Y being economy class, J being business class and F being first class but although F makes perfect sense to me, I never quite understood the logic behind the other letters.
Can someone explain this to me?


If you go way back, in the US, F was for "First" and T was for "Tourist" (or Coach). It was decided that jet service required a surcharge, so for jets First/Coach became F & Y, while for props it became A & T. There was domestic economy, in limited markets, which was K.
 
PartsGuy20
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Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:29 pm

Just some fun guesses... I've been curious about the real answer to this as well!

Y = You can't afford a better seat (Coach/Economy)

J = Just going to expense this trip (Business)
 
reality
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:01 pm

Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:43 pm

It might just be arbitrary, since there are so many fare codes these days:

The Fare Codes
Discount Economy: K,L,Q,V,W,U,T,X,N,O,S.
Full Fare Economy: Y,B,M,H.
Premium Economy: W,E.
Discounted Business: D,I,Z.
Full Fare Business: J,C,D.
First: A,F.
https://www.godsavethepoints.com/2015/0 ... sandmiles/

And no doubt others. As well as variations by airline/country.

Maybe someone knows why the original F, J and Y were chosen. I'm sure we'll find out since there are so many knowledgeable people on this forum whose memories go way back. Or not.
Last edited by reality on Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:58 pm

You have to wonder if "Y" became jet coach class because it's located in the middle of the keyboard and thus easy to use. "J" is also easy to access. Classes like "X", "W", "O" and "N" are newer classes for many carriers, and these happen to be less convenient to access on the keyboard relative to other keys.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:12 pm

usdcaguy wrote:
You have to wonder if "Y" became jet coach class because it's located in the middle of the keyboard and thus easy to use. "J" is also easy to access. Classes like "X", "W", "O" and "N" are newer classes for many carriers, and these happen to be less convenient to access on the keyboard relative to other keys.


Likely true! Remember the NYC area code was 212 because it’s where ATT was headquartered and that is the easiest on rotary dial. NJ was 201 as the next easiest to dial, followed by 202 (DC and very important then for regulated telephone company) and 203 for CT, where lots of execs lived.

GF
 
spacecadet
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Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:41 am

I always thought it was their relative position in the alphabet rather than their position on a keyboard. F comes first alphabetically, J next, Y last, corresponding to their positions on the airplane. F still was probably the only one that actually stood for something, which is why it's F and not, say, B. And at least at the time this system was introduced, that would have allowed for some room to add other fare classes above or below. I doubt anyone at the time thought there'd ever be a fare class below "Z", but there could be a few between "F", "J" and "Y".

I don't have any evidence for this, but it's a theory and the one I always thought made sense.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
n729pa
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Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:16 pm

Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:38 pm

I wondered if it was something to do with the old hand written tickets. F J Y are not too easy to confuse even with poor hand writing and there wouldn't have been so many variations 50 60 years ago and then typewriters and computers came the industry stuck with and developed on what they already had.
O Q K X U V I L P R A R could look similar if written by hand.
F J Y are more distinctive.

Just a theory....it avoids any confusion or trouble doesn't it.
 
1ffb2002
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: Booking class letters (why is y economy)

Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:57 pm

C was selected for "Clipper Class" by PanAm when they introduced this service between F and Y.

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