Ever wondered what the three letters code at an airport is? Often times you see these letters by the baggage claim areas at airports all over the world, but what are they?

These three or four letter acronyms are actually the International Air Transport Association (IATA) located in Montreal, Canada. The letters represent airports all around the world, what this means is that airports are given “names”. Using these letters you can easily identify which airport the bag or flight has gone or is going to.

An example of this is Seattle-Tacoma International airport in Seattle, Washington. The IATA code for this airport if SEA, this allows air-traffic officials and airport workers to know where the bags have come from and where they need to be sent on.

Now that we have established what they are; now we must ask ourselves how that helps us as passengers. The IATA is organizing the air transport industry, making it so that no matter where you fly and with what airline, you feel as if you have gone on a direct one way flight to your destination. When checking your bags in at the counter you now leave them and hope to see them at your destination when you land. What makes this possible are these codes. The tickets that are slapped on the bags have the IATA letters of each airport where you or your bags are going. This allows airport workers to easily redirect your bags to the correct flight and airline. The ultimate goal is for the airlines to work together as one and help ensure that you and your bags have a safe and happy trip to your desired destination. Avoiding the infamous situation where we land at our destination, only to learn that our bags are in a whole other country.