Two Airline Codes that Will Get You Cheaper Plane Tickets

Some multi-letter codes are more useful than others. ORD means you’re at Chicago’s O’Hare.  Those in finance know LUV is the stock symbol for Southwest Airlines. And MSP stands for either tiny Manners Creek Airport in Australia’s Northern Territory or a warning that your flight only offers “meals for purchase” only. So how about codes or acronyms that can save you cash?

Here are two and you don’t even have to search for them. The translation from airfare pricing geek-speak to  plain English is crystal clear so you can start saving right away.

LISTEN: More from code-cracker Rick Seaney to save you money.


Read Podcast Transcript here.

Airline Acronym #1 – XFS

Stands for: Excludes Fridays and Sundays

What it means: This phrase frequently appears in airline sale ads and it means the discounted prices do not apply to flights on Fridays and Sundays. These are typically the most popular days to fly and airlines know they don’t have to discount Fridays or Sundays to fill up planes because plenty of travelers who will snap up seats on those days regardless of cost.

Tip: Fly Monday through Thursday or Saturday and you will almost always save money over Friday/Sunday flights.

At ORD but need to be at the other Chicago airport? 7 common travel problems.

Airline Acronym #2 – TWO

Stands for: Tuesdays and Wednesdays Only

What it means: This phrase is rarer; it limits sale prices to Tuesday and Wednesday flights only (fans of Jet Blue know its sales almost always include this condition). These two midweek days are almost always the cheapest days to fly (with Saturday a close second) because they are the least popular days to fly. Airlines fill those seats by aggressively discounting fares, whether there is a sale or not.

Tip: Whenever possible, fly Tuesdays or Wednesday for maximum savings. If you can only fly one of those days, you can still reap half the benefits.

 See more on this in Rick Seaney’s latest column for ABC News – and see all his columns here.


Published: May 27, 2014