Airport codes are the bread and butter of travel consulting, and sooner or later most Travel Agents know them like the back of their hand (or the label on their favourite bottle of wine).

They can be funny, rude, or just down-right scary.

But they can also be enlightening, especially when you have a guide that truly explains what an airport is REALLY all about (like we did with our guide to Australian airports recently).

Here are six European airport codes and a little explanation on what the three letters actually represent…


1. Paris Charles de Gaul (CDG)



C – is for being so well connected to Paris and the rest of France (and Europe).

D – is for the dismissive staff that greet you upon arrival: Welcome to France!

G – is for the grimy bathrooms and missing toilet seats.


2. Rome (FCO)



F – is for the fast security clearance, because there is (usually) no security clearance at FCO.

C – is for the chaos and confusion that greets you every step of the way through this airport.

O – is for the “Oh my god, look at these crazy Italians drive!” once you’re outside the terminal.


3. London Heathrow (LHR)



L – is for the long wait to clear customs, the long wait to clear security, and the long wait to use the loo.

H – is for the hours you’ll spend here, whether you like it or not.

R – is for the really clean toilets and terminals though.


4. Barcelona (BCN)



B – is for the bad first impression you’ll have of the city after having to deal with incompetent airport staff.

C – is for the Catalan that greets you as soon as you land.

N – is for the nothing (bar for a couple of shop and restaurants) that awaits you once you pass into the international departures lounge.


5. Frankfurt (FRA)



F – is for the fast processing times you’ll experience at this airport.

R – is for its really BIG size, like over 2,000 hectares big.

A – is for the abundant signage through this airport. If you can’t find your gate, then you’re just an idiot.


6. Amsterdam (AMS)



A – is for the advanced biometric screening this airport is trialling out at the moment.

M – is for well managed queues that cut down waiting times at all checkpoints.

S – is for the friendly and upbeat staff that keep this airport running smoothly.

Do you have your own interpretation of these European airport codes?