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  • Fare Rules - The Basics

    Described here are the basic facts you need to know about fare rules.  See the glossary for more complex terms and scenarios.
    Rule
    Explanation
    Booking Code What is the booking class required for booking this fare?  Using booking classes, the airlines control how many seats on each flight are available for each fare.
    e.g. F,P,J,C,Y,B,M,Q,V,H,L
    Penalty What part of the fare, if any, is refundable?
    Can the value of the ticket be used as a credit for future travel?  If so, what is the service charge?
    What is the change fee?  (Must also read Rerouting - See Glossary.  You can't always change the ticket for the change fee.)
    Res/Ticketing When must the reservation be made? (e.g. 7,14,21 days in advance)
    When must the ticket be issued? (e.g. 24 hours after making reservation)
    Usually the earlier of the two deadlines takes precedence.
    Minimum Stay e.g. must stay over a Saturday night
    (often stated technically as "return travel valid on the 1st Sun after 12:01 am")
    Maximum Stay e.g. 30 days, 60 days, 365 days
    Day/Time Some fares are only valid on particular days of the week, or at particular times.  For example, some fares are valid Mon-Thu only, or from 7 pm - 6 am only.
    Season Some fares, particularly overseas fares, have an associated season (e.g. 15SEP-12DEC).  For overseas travel, usually the departure date determines the season for the round trip fare.
    Blackout Dates Some fare are not valid on certain dates - e.g. over a holiday weekend.
    Eff/Exp Effective/Expires:  Many seat sale fares must be purchased by a certain date.  Find this date in this section of the rules.
    Flt Appl Certain fares are only valid for particular flights - e.g. nonstop only, or flight 123 only.