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Travel topics > Transportation > Flying > Metropolitan area airport codes

In addition to individual-airport codes, IATA, the FAA, and various booking engines have assigned "metropolitan area codes" which represent several airports serving a metropolitan area. Not every region served with multiple airports is assigned a location identifier, however, nor are all IATA-recognized facilities necessarily included; furthermore, the inclusion or exclusion of a facility may depend on the booking system.

For example, the NYC IATA code, representing the New York City area, includes flights to John F Kennedy International Airport JFK IATA, Newark Liberty International Airport EWR IATA and LaGuardia Airport LGA IATA. In some systems, Westchester County Airport HPN IATA is also included; however, ZYP IATA (New York Penn Station), ISP IATA (Islip Airport), and JRA IATA (West 30th Street Heliport) are generally not.

Booking travelEdit

Metropolitan area airport codes are handy for simplifying flight searches into or out of a region. Some booking engines which include airports based on distance from a point can be tricked into extending the search through use of the city code.

Extra caution is advised when booking connecting flights, however, as the inbound leg may arrive at a different airport from the outbound leg, necessitating a ground transfer that may be costly or time-consuming. In particular, many major cities channel most international flights through one airport and most domestic or short-haul flights into a different one.

Smaller domestic airports are more likely to be served by low cost airlines but that might also force you to re-check your luggage. Ask your airline if they allow interlining tickets — checking your luggage through to the final destination on multiple tickets.

List of airport area codesEdit

This is not a listing of all airport codes; this is a list of those special codes that cover multiple airports.

Metropolitan areas are organised alphabetically; first by region then by area. Many flight search engines may not recognise all these group codes when making queries.


  • Tehran, Iran THR
    • Imam Khomeini International IKA
    • Mehrabad International THR


A new airport is currently (2018) under construction at the extended grounds of SXF. While no opening date is known yet and previous planned dates as early as 2011 have passed, the new airport will eventually have the IATA code BER with Tegel Airport most likely shutting down and its IATA code as well as that of Schönefeld Airport not being used any more

  • Basel, Switzerland and Mulhouse, France: EAP - This is a special case as all codes refer to (separate areas of) the same airport, which is shared between France and Switzerland. Flights may be priced (and treated) differently depending on the airport code you book and technically all flights from France to MLH are domestic whereas flights from France to BSL are not. For search engines that can handle it, EAP should find quotes for both BSL and MLH
  • London, United Kingdom LON
    • London Biggin Hill BQH (small general aviation airfield)
    • London City LCY
    • London Gatwick LGW
    • London Luton LTN
    • London Heathrow LHR
    • London-Liverpool Street Station (British Rail Terminal for STN) ZLS
    • London-Paddington Rail Terminal (British Rail Terminal for LHR) QQP
    • London-St Pancras Rail Terminal (Eurostar and British Rail Terminal for LTN) QQS
    • London Southend SEN
    • London Stansted STN
    • London-Victoria Station (British Rail Terminal for LGW) ZEP
    • London-Waterloo Rail Station (former Eurostar) QQW

North AmericaEdit

  • Edmonton, Canada YEA
    • Edmonton International YEG
    • Edmonton City Centre YXD
Recognized in Sabre and ITA
    • Houston Bush Intercontinental IAH
    • Houston Hobby HOU
Recognized in Sabre and ITA; elsewhere, QLA represents Lasham Airport in Lasham, United Kingdom
Recognized in Sabre and ITA
  • Montreal, Canada YMQ
    • Pierre-Elliott Trudeau International YUL
    • Central Station YMY
Recognized in Sabre and ITA; elsewhere, QSF represents Ain Arnat Airport in Setif, Algeria

South AmericaEdit

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil RIO
    • Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport GIG (better known as Galeão International Airport)
    • Aeroporto Santos Dumont SDU
  • São Paulo, Brazil SAO
    • Aeroporto Internacional Guarulhos GRU
    • Congonhas International Airport CGH
    • Viracopos International Airport VCP

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