Monthly Archives: August 2012

How to decode travel agent speak

From the useless-trivia-department

My job takes me to strange foreign lands occasionally. As Australia is long way from anywhere, these trips are long and spine breaking. As a consequence, there is a great deal of negotiation with the travel agent to find the best (for relative values of best) flight with the least amount of time wasted in layovers and on a relatively modern aircraft. Along the way I’ve learn how to speak travel agent, a dialect that emerged in Texas in the late 1950’s.

Here is an example

BA  16  Q  17SEP  SYD  LHR   1545  0530+1 E1/744

Properly translated this reads; British Airways flight BA16 from Sydney, Australia to London Heathrow leaving at 3:45pm on the 18th of September and arriving at 5:30 am on the 18th. The aircraft will be a Boeing 747-400 and there is an unnamed stop en route (probably Singapore).

Here is another

EK 413  L  17SEP  SYD  DXB   2110  0540+1 E0/388

It reads; Emirates Airlines flight EK413 leaving Sydney at 9:10PM on the 17th flying direct to Dubai on an Airbus A380.

The +1 in both cases indicate that although it appears you are flying backwards in time, you’ve actually spent a day in the air.