1937: IATA Airport Abbreviations
|IATA Airport Abbreviations|
Title text: IATA stands for International AirporT Abbreviation.
| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Expansion needed. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
This comic is making fun of the three-letter codes assigned to mostly all airports in the world. 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 appear to have been chosen (or invented) because they are also common abbreviations and acronyms.
If we use the table provided, Randall's friend is flying into Edwards Air Force Base and then down to whatever. This is not a typical flight. In actuality, the friend is flying into Newark tonight and Detroit tomorrow.
|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. "AMD" is also a brand of computer processors.|
|ANC||Anchorage||Ankh-Morpork||Ankh-Morpork is a fictional city-state featured in Discworld.|
|ATL||Atlanta||Atalantë||Another name for J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional island of Númenor (which is in turn a reference to the sinking of Atlantis). This may also be an intentional misspelling of "Atlanta".|
|BAE||Barcelonnette||Beijing||Beijing is the capital of China. Its airport has the IATA code PEK (possibly from Peking, alternate former spelling of its name). "Bae" is a slang term meaning girlfriend, boyfriend, or significant other.|
|BLT||Blackwater||Baltimore||A "BLT" is a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.|
|BUF||Buffalo||Sunnydale||Sunnydale is a fictional California city that serves as the primary setting for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.|
|CLT||Charlotte||[CENSORED]||The censored word may be "clitoris." Randall has used this word in the comic before (243: Appropriate Term), but it is censored here for comic effect.|
|DFW||Dallas/Fort Worth||Down For Whatever||"Down for Whatever" is an expression used to indicate that one is okay with doing whatever his or her friends are doing in a social situation, or whatever comes up during a social situation.|
|DTF||not assigned||Dartford||"DTF" is an acronym used to indicate "Down To Fuck". Dartford is a town in Kent, UK, about 10 miles SE of London.|
|DTW||Detroit||Down To Whatever||See "DFW". "Down to Whatever" could indicate that one is getting on a plane with the intention of being fine with whatever the plane's destination turns out to be.|
|DWI||not assigned||Delaware International||"DWI" is an acronym for "Driving While Intoxicated" or "Driving While Impaired." Randall notes in the what if? book that Delaware has no airports.|
|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||The string "fhqwhgads" appeared as the sender name in a spam email sent to Strong Bad in the Homestar Runner cartoons; Strong Bad ended up writing a song dedicated to the "character".|
|FYI||Fresno Yosemite International||Fayetteville||"FYI" often stands for "For Your Information". Fresno Yosemite International also has the code FAT|
|HGM||not assigned||Hogsmeade||Hogsmeade is a fictional location in the Harry Potter series.|
|HSV||Huntsville||Huntsville||This is one where Randall and the IATA agree. HSV is better known as the Hue-Saturation-Value color space or German soccer club Hamburger SV. It is also Herpes Simplex Virus, a venereal disease.|
|IAD||Washington (Dulles)||Idaho (Boise)||IAD is the symbol for Dulles Int'l Airport (which was originally "DIA" but it was felt that could be confused when hand-written with "DCA", the sign for nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport). The Idaho Falls airport is IDA, while Idaho (Boise) is BOI, so it's unclear why BOI was chosen instead of IDA.|
|IUD||Doha||Washington (Dulles)||An "IUD" is an "IntraUterine Device," or form of birth control. Doha is the capital of Qatar in the Middle East and Persian Gulf.|
|JFC||not assigned||Jefferson City||"JFC" is an acronym for "Jesus Fucking Christ." JFK is John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York's main airport and one of the most famous in the world.|
|KUL||Kuala Lumpur||Kingdom of Loathing||Kingdom of Loathing is an online, browser-based RPG. It contains an International Airport, previously lacking a three digit code.|
|LAX||Los Angeles||Las Angalas||"Las Angalas" is a "Los Angeles" with every vowel replaced with an "a" character. It's sometimes used as a joking nickname for "Los Angeles."|
|LOL||Lovelock||Louisville||"LOL" often stands for "Laughing Out Loud".|
|MDW||Chicago, IL (Midway)||Midway Atoll||Midway Atoll was the site of one of the most significant World War II Pacific naval battles. Its actual IATA code is MDY.|
|MIA||Miami||Colombo, Sri Lanka||MIA is a rapper who is of Sri Lankan heritage. It also frequently stands for "Missing In Action".|
|OMW||not assigned||Omaha||Eppley Airfield in East Omaha, Nebraska, has an IATA code of OMA. "OMW" is an acronym for "On My Way."|
|ORD||Chicago, IL (O'Hare)||Orlando||O'Hare was once known as Orchard Place/Douglas Field, hence ORD|
|PDX||Portland||Pordlanx||Consider how LAX has a random "X" at the end. And "ORD" is an actual IATA code. Randall messes with "Portland" here in much the same way.|
|PHL||Philadelphia, PA||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh International Airport has a IATA code of PIT. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are the two largest cities in Pennsylvania and are at opposite ends of the state.|
|SAN||San Diego|| San Diego
| San Diego International Airport has SAN; nearby airports include Montgomery Field (MYF), MCAS Miramar (NKX), NAS North Island (NZY), Brown Field (SDM), and Gillespie Field (SEE)|
There are several cities named San Jose. Their airport codes: Puerto Rico: SJU and SIG. Argentina: UAQ. California, USA: SJC. Costa Rica: SJO. Mexico: SJD. Philippines: SJI
|SEA||Seattle/Tacoma or SeaTac||[Indicates Water Landing]||This is possibly a reference to the fact that "SEA" could be interpreted as "Sea". Like some other major airports (e.g., San Francisco International Airport and LaGuardia Airport), SEA is very close to a large body of water, in SeaTac's case Puget Sound: thus, missing the airport may end up in a water landing. SeaTac is also a city in WA, adjacent to the airport.|
|SMH||Sapmanga||Smithfield||"SMH" often stands for "Shaking My Head".|
|STL||St. Louis||Silent Hill||Silent Hill is a fictional city appearing in the series of video games and movies with the same name.|
|SWF||Newburgh, New York||Sherwood Forest||.swf is the file extension for ShockWave Flash files. "SWF" can also stand for "Single White Female" in personal ads. Sherwood Forest, mentioned in the comic, is known as the forest where Robin Hood's hideout was located. According to the legend among his band of Merry Men there was a single white female, the Maid Marian.|
|TBA||Tabibuga||Tribeca||"TBA" often stands for "To Be Announced". Tribeca (original styled TriBeCa) is an area in New York City. Angie Tribeca is an American comedy television series.|
|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||This one is correct. The band Rush is from Toronto and named an instrumental song after the airport call sign. See YYZ (instrumental)|
The title text is a pun about the abbreviation IATA stating it stands for International AirporT Abbreviation. This is wrong as everything else here because the real International Air Transport Association is not an organization only responsible for abbreviations in aviation.
|This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.|
- [A list with abbreviations and their meaning is shown in two columns.]
- [On top left the header reads:]
- Confused by those airport abbreviations used by your friends who fly a lot? Just memorize this list.
- [On top right some social media conversation is shown:]
- I'm flying into EWR tonight, then DTW tomorrow.
- [Answer (in blue):]
- Ok, cool. I definitely know what those mean without Googling.
- [The list:]
AMD Amsterdam TMI Turkmenistan International BAE Beijing LAX Las Angalas ORD Orlando EWR Edwards Air Force Base IAD Idaho (Boise) PHL Pittsburgh JFC Jefferson City SWF Sherwood Forest IUD Washington Dulles KUL Kingdom of Loathing FYI Fayetteville STL Silent Hill LOL Louisville BUF Sunnydale ATL Atalante TBA Tribeca HGM Hogsmeade SMH Smithfield OMW Omaha BLT Baltimore ANC Ankh-Morpork YYY Toronto Downtown HSV Hunstville YYZ Toronto Pearson SAN San Diego MIA Colombo, Sri Lanka SAN San Juan CLT Censored SAN San Jose FHQ Fhqwhgads SAN San Francisco FFS Flagstaff Station SAN San Antonio DTF Dartford DWI Delaware International MDW Midway Atoll DFW Down for Whatever PDX Pordlanx DTW Down to Whatever SEA Indicates Water Landing
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