I have now flown to airports with codes starting with 24 letters of the alphabet

Every airport possesses its own three letter unique code. For example:

  • Bos = Boston Logan
  • LAX = Los Angeles

For some travelers, these codes are mysterious:

  • BOM = Mumbai
  • EZE = Buenos Aires

For others, they represent hubs of business:

  • JFK = New York John F Kennedy
  • LHR= London Heathrow

I have now been to 215 airports from ABQ to ZRH.Back in April, I reflected that these airport codes started with 23 letters of the alphabet. Up to last weekend, I was only missing airport with codes starting with Q, U or X.

I have now added two airports with codes starting with U – in the one weekend!
Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 12.25.38 PM

A short Nokair 737-800 flight from Bangkok’s Don Meung (DMK) to Surat Thani International in the south of Thailand gave me airport code URT. Surat is a tourist destination in itself with beautiful nature. It is also the starting point for ferries to islands in the gulf of Thailand. URT is a fairly utilitarian airport with flights to Chinese, Malaysian and Thail destinations. IMG_7032-1

From URT we took a straightforward 90-minute mini bus transfer to the ferry wharf for a journey across to beautiful Koh Samui.


You can organise the transfer with most airlines that fly into URT or self-organise.

Two relaxing days at the beach and pool, and enjoying Thai food followed.


Departure was from Koh Samui Na Thon airport (USM) thus giving me my second U airport!


I travelled back to Bangkok with Bangkok Airways, my favourite Thai airline.


USM is a beautiful airport with two interesting characteristics:


  1.  it has almost no walls with terminal check in and waiting areas open to the elements and
  2. it is owned by Bangkok Airways itself.  The majority of flights are, of course, Bangkok Airways.  You also see Spring, Silk and Firefly planes. The airport is connected to Thailand cities, Singapore, Malaysia and China.


I now have to work on :

How many airports have you flown into and out of -and how many letters of the alphabet do your codes start with? Got 26 yet?

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  1. BOM is not mysterious, Mumbai was known as Bombay until shedding it’s British colonialism name in 1995.

  2. There is absolutely nothing mysterious about “BOM”. Much of the western world knows Mumbai as “Bombay”. In fact, in Romance languages such as Spanish, French, etc., ‘Mumbai’ isn’t accepted and ‘Bombay’ is the conventional way to refer to the city.
    Unbelievable how ignorant you are after having travelled to so many places.

  3. Yes I know that! Thanks! I have flown through BOM six times. I said: “For some travelers”. Was not including myself in that, I am afraid!

  4. Not sure how to thank you for your abusive comment. I clearly said “For some travelers”. I was not including myself in that category, to be honest!
    I was merely giving BOM as one example of how a code can be mysterious for some people. Have you never been stumped by an airport code?
    Thanks for the language lesson. As someone who studied linguistics in my undergraduate years, one of the thigs I love. Mumbai is the official name of the city and many people now refer to it as that. Travelling there, I hear both names used…sometimes interchangeably.
    Have a good day.

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