1937: IATA Airport Abbreviations

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IATA Airport Abbreviations
IATA stands for International AirporT Abbreviation.
Title text: IATA stands for International AirporT Abbreviation.


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This comic is making fun of the three-letter codes assigned to all airports. These codes are overseen by the IATA (International Air Transport Association). Some airport codes are very intuitive, taking letters from the city name (e.g. DEN for Denver). Other codes are somewhat intuitive, taking a letter or two from the nearby city name but adding an additional letter (e.g. LAX for Los Angeles). Other codes make seemingly no sense at all (e.g. ORD for Chicago's O'Hare International, due to it formerly being named Orchard Field). In many cases, the airport codes are being conflated with various abbreviations and acronyms.

IATA Code Actual Assigned City/Airport Description in the comic Explanation
AMD Ahmedabad Amsterdam Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Its Airport (called Schiphol) has the IATA code AMS.
ANC Anchorage Ankh-Morpork
ATL Atlanta Atalantë
BAE Barcelonnette Beijing Beijing is the capital of China. Its Airport has the IATA code PEK.
BLT Blackwater Baltimore
BUF Buffalo Sunnydale Sunnydale is the fictional setting of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
CLT Charlotte [CENSORED] The censored word may be "clitoris."
DFW Dallas/Fort Worth Down For Whatever
DTF not assigned Dartford "DTF" is an acronym used to indicate "Down To Fuck".
DTW Detroit Down To Whatever
DWI not assigned Delaware International "DWI" is an acronym for "Driving While Intoxicated" or "Driving While Impaired."
EWR Newark Edwards Air Force Base Edwards Air Force Base (which has the IATA code EDW) is a United States Air Force installation in southern California, about 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Lancaster and 15 miles (24 km) east of Rosamond.
FFS not assigned Flagstaff Station "FFS" is an acronym for "For Fuck's Sake".
FHQ not assigned FHQWHGADS
FYI not assigned Fayetteville "FYI" often stands for "For Your Information".
HGM not assigned Hogsmeade Hogsmeade is a fictional location in the Harry Potter series.
HSV Huntsville Huntsville
IAD Washington Idaho (Boise)
IUD Doha Washington Dulles
JFC not assigned Jefferson City
KUL Kuala Lumpur Kingdom of Loathing
LAX Los Angeles Las Angalas
LOL Lovelock Louisville "LOL" often stands for "Lauging Out Loud".
MDW Chicago (Midway) Midway Atoll
MIA Miami Colombo, Sri Lanka
OMW not assigned Omaha
ORD Chicago (O'Hare) Orlando
PDX Portland Pordlanx
PHL Philadelphia Pittsburgh
SAN San Diego San Diego
San Juan
San Jose
San Francisco
San Antonio
SEA Seattle [Indicates Water Landing]
SMH Sapmanga Smithfield
STL St. Louis Silent Hill
SWF Newburgh, New York Sherwood Forest
TBA Tabibuga Tribeca
TMI Tumlingtar Turkmenistan International "TMI" often stands for "Too Much Information".
YYY Mont-Joli Toronto Downtown The small airport in downtown Toronto is Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport which has an IATA code of YTZ.
YYZ Toronto Toronto Pearson


Confused by those airport abbreviations used by your friends who fly a lot? Just memorize this list.

Aside 1: I'm flying into EWR tonight, then DTW tomorrow.
Aside 2: Ok, Cool. I definitely know what those mean without Googling.
AMD Amsterdam
BAE Beijing
ORD Orlando
IAD Idaho (Boise)
JFC Jefferson City
IUD Washington Dulles
FYI Fayetteville
LOL Louisville
ATL Atalante
HGM Hogsmeade
OMW Omaha
ANC Ankh-Morpork
HSV Hunstville
SAN San Diego
SAN San Juan
SAN San Jose
SAN San Francisco
SAN San Antonio
DWI Delaware International
DFW Down for Whatever
DTW Down to Whatever
TMI Turkmenistan International
LAX Las Angalas
EWR Edwards Air Force Base
PHL Pittsburgh
SWF Sherwood Forest
KUL Kingdom of Loathing
STL Silent Hill
BUF Sunnydale
TBA Tribeca
SMH Smithfield
BLT Baltimore
YYY Toronto Downtown
YYZ Toronto Pearson
MIA Colombo, Sri Lanka
CLT Censored
FHQ Fhqwhgads
FFS Flagstaff Station
DTF Dartford
MDW Midway Atoll
PDX Pordlanx
SEA Indicates Water Landing