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Interpreting AA Fare Basis Codes (merged threads)

Old Jun 14, 17, 2:21 pm - Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
Last edit by: JDiver
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Interpreting AA Fare Basis Codes

At one time AA FT members accessed and maintained the offsite FlyerGuide Wiki; that Wiki has been subsumed by Milepoint, which has become InsideFlyer. Much of the information has been purged, including the Wiki page on AA fare basis codes. This thread, including merged threads, has been dedicated to interpreting fare basis codes; feel free to post and to update this Wikipost with more recent information.

American Airlines Fare Chart (vertically rolling table)

Code:
A: Discounted First Class fare. YUP- fares, RTW fares, SWU and Award Upgrades.
 
 B: Basic Economy - highly restricted, no seat choice, no rollaboard, etc. 
 link to FT thread 
 
 C: Business Upgrade - SWU, Award, and some Passenger Sales ('kiosk') Upgrades 
 from Economy to Business. Upgrades from Economy to Business on international 
 flights using certain travel agency certificates.
 
 D: Discounted Business, Round the World Explorer, or Y26nCUP fares
 
 E: Employee travelling on A12 (or A9 - family emergency). Also used to indicate 
 seats available for Confirmed Flight Change within 12 hours of the flight (but 
 passengers are rebooked in their existing inventory class). 
 
 F: Full unrestricted First Class Fare
 
 G: 9th tier Economy fare. The mysterious G code on American is a 
 federal government ticket. There are two government fares for all 
 federal travelers, they are the YCA and -CA. The -CA is the 
 capacity controlled government fare (limited number of tickets 
 per flight), which is much cheaper than the YCA and still allows 
 for full refund. This is the one that would be ticketed as G.
 
 H: 3rd Tier, discounted Economy Class with few restrictions.
 
 I: Business Class Fare - Discounted Business and group fare, 3rd tier fare. 
 YnCUP-fares.
 
 J: Full fare Business Class.
 
 K: 4th tier Economy; discount refundable changeable fare (e.g. K26d). 
 Also, Military fares
 
 L: 6th tier Economy fare. RTW fares.
 
 M: 5th tier Economy fare. Visit Another Country fares (any carrier), 
 Military fares.
 
 N: 11th tier Economy fare. Visit Another Country fares (alliance); 
 Government and Military fares.
 
 O: 12th tier Economy fare. Web specials. Consolidator fare typically 
 issued in Europe. 
 
 P: Discounted First Class Fare - Premium transcontinental Flagship 
 service. Domestic first class on 3-class flights. KUP- fares (formerly YUPP).
 
 Q: 12th tier Economy fare. Web specials. Consolidator fare typically 
 issued in Europe.
 
 R: Business Class Upgrade from coach using e-upgrades. EXP UDU, 
 500-mile, and some Passenger Sales / LFBU ('kiosk') Upgrades from 
 Economy to Business on 3-class transcons and 2-class short-haul 
 international flights (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America). 
 Operational Upgrades.
 
 S: 10th tier Economy fare. Transatlantic consolidator 2nd tier and 
 package tours fares.
 
 T: Coach / Economy Award.
 
 U: Business Class Award.
 
 V: 8th tier Economy fare. Bereavement fares (?), Transatlantic 
 consolidator 1st tier.
 
 W: 7th tier Economy fare.
 
 X: First Class Upgrade.
 
 X: Business Class Upgrade - EXP UDU and 500-mile Upgrades from 
 Economy to First on 2-class domestic U.S. flights. Upgrades from 
 Business to First on 3-class international flights using certain travel 
 agency certificates. Operational Upgrades.
 
 Y:.1st Tier, Full Fare unrestricted Economy class.
 
 Z: First Class Award.
 
 NA: Plan AAhead Award travel?
 
 AA Economy fare codes order: Y, H, K, M, V, Q, S, N, L, O and B
 
 Fare codes sorted by type:
 
 Coach excursion fares are: H, K, M, V, N, L, Q
 Basic Economy: B
 Employees: E
 Government: Y/L
 Youth/student international: H/K
 Military: H/M 
 Promotional (e.g. VUSA - Visit USA): L
 NetsAAvers: L
 Bereavement: M
 Consolidator: K, W, V, L, O
 Air/sea: W, K
 RTW: M (coach), D (business), A (first)
American Airlines Fare Basis Code Detail (vertically rolling table)

On July 24, 2003, grouse posted and hillrider added here:

Ever wanted to decipher those tricky American fare codes efficiently without [quote]having to read through the fair rules? Help me make a guide to figuring out American fare codes!

Does anyone know what the 26 means in the Y26 fare basis code (or F26, Y26UP, etc.)? I've been told it means you can only use the fare on AA, but why use "26" for this?

Code:
 Here's my understanding so far. Parts may be inaccurate or 
 not apply to all fares.
 
 first letter: booking class (except for UP fares)
 
 first number (other than 26): domestic: advance purchase 
 requirement. if it is 0, same day ticketing is allowed, waitlisting is not.
 second number: minimum stay requirement
 third number: maximum stay requirement
 
 A: one-way
 R: round-trip
 
 AP: advance purchase
 BIZ/BZN: instant purchase non-refundable fares for 
 business travelers--no Saturday night stay requirement, 
 30-day maximum stay
 FS: flight-specific
 J/JFK: JFK only
 N/NR: non-refundable
 Z: restricted, which may mean confirmation required 
 (possibly refundable though)
 AA: Web-only fare
 UP: instant upgrade into different booking class
 
 GB: originate in GB, following number is year of fare applicability
 US: originate in US
 
 E: minimum stay requirement (Saturday unless overridden 
 by second number)
 M: Saturday stay requirement (second number becomes 
 maximum stay)
 C: next number is change fee
 
 second position:
 P: peak season
 H: high season
 K: shoulder season
 L: low season
 M: other seasonal restriction
 
 third position:
 W: Sun 12:01a-Mon 11:59a, Thu noon-Sat 11:59a
 X: not on Fri or Sun
 B: weekend (Thu/Fri-Mon, no Sun with X)
 S: midweek (Tue-Thu or Tue-Wed, also Mon with X)
 F: specific times (e.g. daily 8:45a-9:45a)
 O: specific times and dates (e.g. Tue/Wed 8:45a-9:45a)
 
 A: advance ticketing required
 R: reservation confirmation required
 D: ??? (appears on shorter flights)
 
 last position:
 S: fuel surcharge
 G: restricted day of first travel
 X: restricted day of first travel
Where can I find these detailed fare codes?

1) Booking on AA.com, before purchasing you can click on the "Detailed Fare Rules" link. This will reveal the detailed fare codes and rules (which can even vary by segment).

2) You can use Google Matrix ITA. (Related FT thread ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search Consolidated Information and Help Thread).

3) ExpertFlyer to determine detailed fare codes by matching flights and price. ExpertFlyer offers a five day trial, otherwise it's by paid subscription. (Related FT thread: ExpertFlyer.com - Master Information and Updates Thread.)

Updated 14 Jun 2017 - JDiver

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Old Apr 5, 17, 3:06 pm
#16

Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYZ/MGA
Programs: AA 1MM Lifetime Gold, WS Gold
Posts: 6,234
Originally Posted by mmxbreaks View Post
I think it roughly means "economy"...?

Thanks for any help, I can't decipher.
If you said the actual route and date one could find the exact fare rules other than it's discounted business.

The number of combos of advance book, minimum/maximum stay, refund fees, change fees are endless especially on I and D fares.
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Old Apr 6, 17, 9:31 am
#17
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, The Suggestion Box and Talkboard Topics

Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA EXP / 5.5 MM; HH <>; SPG Gold; Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 56,439
As fare basis codes get discussed from time to time, I've cobbled together a thread with information from various sources including the original ancient one in the closed AA forum.

Note that the Wikipost information may not be up to date. Anyone with information to correct the Wikipost is invited to edit and update (doing sonrequires 90 days and 90 posts, and being signed in to FlyerTalk).
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Old Apr 6, 17, 7:13 pm
#18

Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Hong Kong; United States
Programs: oneworld, gate lice, tsa hater, neoliberal elitist
Posts: 314
AA business class fare rules

Can I ask what the difference is in refunds, cancellations, and rebooking policy between these two fare classes?

D (flexible) and I (lowest).

I'm flying CLE-HKG, leaving May 30 and returning Aug 16.

However, I might be accepted into a certain program which would require me to fly into the NJ/NYC area on Jun 15 and spend eight weeks there (So PHL, EWR, JFK, LGA will do).

Unfortunately, I won't get notice on whether I will be accepted until May 27. So I'd be somewhat interested in a flexible ticket, but I have no idea where to start.
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Old Apr 6, 17, 7:28 pm
#19

Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 3,132
Every fare is different. It's impossible to know anything based on just "I" or "D". You need to check the detailed fare rules at aa.com, especially the penalties section of each fare.

Generally speaking, a D refundable fare will be changeable/refundable with no fee to a small fee (maybe $50-$100), while an I fare will be non-refundable but changeable with a much higher fee (think $250-$500). But again, without the detailed fare rules, it's impossible to know.
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Old Apr 6, 17, 7:39 pm
#20

Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Hong Kong; United States
Programs: oneworld, gate lice, tsa hater, neoliberal elitist
Posts: 314
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Every fare is different. It's impossible to know anything based on just "I" or "D". You need to check the detailed fare rules at aa.com, especially the penalties section of each fare.

Generally speaking, a D refundable fare will be changeable/refundable with no fee to a small fee (maybe $50-$100), while an I fare will be non-refundable but changeable with a much higher fee (think $250-$500). But again, without the detailed fare rules, it's impossible to know.
Where can I find those fare rules? I couldn't find them when I was trying to book on the aa website.
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Old Apr 6, 17, 7:58 pm
#21
Fly book Evangelist

Join Date: Jun 2001
Programs: DL 1 million, AA 1 mil, HH lapsed Diamond, SPG Plat
Posts: 24,881
Originally Posted by leungy18 View Post
Where can I find those fare rules? I couldn't find them when I was trying to book on the aa website.
Look for the link to

Detailed fare rules

at the bottom of the review and pay screen.

On hypothetical dates I saw 24 total published D and I fares for a round-trip CLE-HKG.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 10:42 am
#22

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Lewisville, TX USA
Programs: AA EXP 1MM; HH Gold; MR Plat Prm; SPG P100; Hertz PC; National EE; AXP Plat; Disney Premier Passport
Posts: 669
Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Look for the link to

Detailed fare rules

at the bottom of the review and pay screen.

On hypothetical dates I saw 24 total published D and I fares for a round-trip CLE-HKG.
Is it just me, or is the link to fare rules gone from aa.com? I'll admit I rarely use aa.com to book flights, as I typically use my corporate travel agency. But I just tried making a DFW-MSY booking and looked for links to the fare rules on every single page of the booking process. I could find them nowhere.

On the Review and Pay screen, there are links to AAdvantage earning terms & conditions, bag and optional fees, reservation and tickets FAQs, price and tax information, and conditions of carriage. No link to fare rules that I can see.

Am I just missing it? If so, would someone be kind enough to show me where to find the link?

Cheers,
LBBZman
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:41 am
#23

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southern California
Programs: WN CP, AS MVP Gold 75K, AA PLT, UA Silver. Marriott/SPG Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,487
Try using Matrix ITA to see fare rules details if they matter to you.

Rasheed
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:17 pm
#24

Join Date: Aug 2010
Programs: AA EXP, 2MM lifetime PLT, UA 1K, Expedia +gold +++
Posts: 968
Does anyone know what this fare is? INN5ISN1
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:22 pm
#25
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 20,189
Originally Posted by FAA1996 View Post
Does anyone know what this fare is? INN5ISN1
Probably an international or 3-class transcontinental business class fare.
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