As air travellers are aware, airports are marked by a three digit code managed by IATA. This system allows for 17,576 airport codes with all the combinations. Apparently there are 43,982 airports in the world so many apparently do not have commercial service!
Some of these three digit codes are “logical” eg SYD for SYDNEY, SEA for Seattle and EDI for Edinburgh. Some are less so EZE for the Buenos Aires suburb that the airport is located in. Toronto Pearson, Canada is YYZ for historical reasons and IAD is Washington-Dulles.
I was struck by a post on Boardingarea site: Pointswithacrew about a guy who has been to airports whose codes start with all 26 letters of the alphabet.
It got me thinking as to how I rate. According to Flightmemory.com, I have been to 212 airports in 48 countries. Further investigations shows that I have managed to travel to and from airports that have codes starting with 23 letters of the alphabet! See map below for examples of those 23. I am missing just three letters: Q, U and X
Across the globe: 23 letters: A-P, R-T, V-W and Z
How to get my three missing letters:
- The U is pretty easy to fix. A flight from Bangkok to Ko Samui Island will land me at Na Thon airport (USM).
- Querétaro Intercontinental (QRO) in Mexico seems to be the only feasible choice for Q with flights from Dallas, Houston and Cancun.
- XNA Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville has non-stops to 14 destinations or XCH Christmas Island, off the West Coast of Australia has non stops from Perth, Australia (PER) and sometimes from Kuala Lumpur (KUL).
Just for interest, I have included maps of my A-Z for the USA, Europe and Asia-Pacific below: