Tutorial – Understanding Fare Buckets And Fare Codes

by Zac George
a bowl of fruit in a room with a boy sitting on a couch

Wouldn’t it be so amazing to see how many business class seats are left for sale or what’s the chance of my upgrade clearing? Well, fortunately,  there are program’s enabling everyday people to do this.

Expertflyer and KVS Tool are programs that will change how you fly.

Each program has different levels of membership which may seem expensive at first but is definitely worth it!

If you’ve flown before you may notice a letter on your boarding pass. This is known as a ‘booking or class code.’ Airlines have a large list of all different letters, and they are all unique.

As an example, these are all of Qantas’s booking codes.

Screenshot 2016-08-23 21.00.40

All airlines will have different codes so you’ll need to make sure you’re looking at the airline’s list.

A few things to note:

  • Not all fare’s earn points and status credits/EQM’s
  • Not all fares are upgradeable
  • Not all fares have the same change/cancellation policy

Expertflyer however, does the hard work and will simplify all the codes into a bucket. This is what it will look like:

Screenshot 2016-09-06 19.36.23

If you look at the Available Classes table you’ll see a series of numbers and letters that look very similar/identical to this:

J9 C9 D9 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S9 N9 G0

For Qantas (Domestic) flights:

Classic Flight Reward (Economy) – X

Red-e Deal (Economy) – E, G, L, N, O, Q, S, V

Flexible (Economy) – B, H, K, M, Y

Classic Flight Reward (Business) – U

Business – D, I

Flexible Business – C, J

For Qantas (International) flights:

Classic Flight Reward (Economy) – X

Economy Sale – N, O, Q

Economy Saver – G, K, L, M, S

Economy Flex – B, H, Y

Classic Flight Reward (Premium Economy) – Z

Premium Economy Sale – T

Premium Economy Saver – R

Premium Economy Flex – W

Classic Flight Reward Business – U

Business Sale/Saver – D, I

Business Flex – C, J

Classic Flight Reward (First) – P

First Sale/Saver/Flex – A, F

If you see either a U, Z or P fare open, you can request an upgrade on an eligible fare and your upgrade may be confirmed instantly.

The fare bucket won’t show every single fare code, but it will shorten them down, and you’ll be able to see if the particular fare you’re after is available.

Expertflyer will also show Award or Redemption seats and if one isn’t showing you can enter your email for when one opens up.

Both programs also give you the ability to see the seat maps and which seats are taken and empty. Blocked seats are usually reserved for elites, bassinets, etc..

Screenshot 2016-09-06 20.15.22

Bottom Line

I use these tool’s everytime I fly, and it’s such a fantastic tool to have. Even if you don’t travel frequently, it is still a worthwhile product to buy.

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1 comment

How To Travel In Business Or First To The USA From Australia With Points | Points From The Pacific September 11, 2016 - 12:30 pm

[…] talked a little about this in my Expertflyer post. An excellent feature of Expertflyer is the ability to set alerts for award seat’s […]

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