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What 11 Mysterious Flight Codes Really Mean

Flying can be a really stressful experience—and once we get to the plane, sometimes there's a lot of jargon being used that we simply don't understand that can add to an already frustrating experience. Here, a pilot explains those terms, and why we don't have to worry about any of them.

11-What-Mysterious-Flight-Codes-Really-Mean,-According-to-a-Pilot-shutterstockNicole Fornabaio/rd,com, shutterstock

ABP

This is a common term used by cabin crew to make sure those who are seated in exit rows are classified as "able-bodied passengers," says Boland. "This is important as those passengers need to be able to assist by opening the doors in an emergency evacuation," says Boland. So don't think that faking an injury will get you the extra leg room! Here are 18 more things you should never do on an airplane.

12-What-Mysterious-Flight-Codes-Really-Mean,-According-to-a-Pilot-shutterstockNicole Fornabaio/rd,com, shutterstock

Code-share

You may have experienced the confusion of arriving at the airport and seeing two or three different flight numbers attached to the same flight. This is a code-share, and it means that a few airlines have agreed to advertise and share the profits of a single flight. "A flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong might be on a American Airlines aircraft, but passengers from Cathay Pacific can be booked on it as well, so there will be a mix of both airlines passengers. Usually the flight number with fewer digits will be the airline whose aircraft will be used," says Boland. Don't miss these 22 other things your flight attendant won't tell you.

13-What-Mysterious-Flight-Codes-Really-Mean,-According-to-a-Pilot-shutterstockNicole Fornabaio/rd,com, shutterstock

Overbooked

Most passengers don't realize that almost all flights are oversold by 10 to 20 percent to ensure the flight is as full as possible. "The reason it is oversold or overbooked is because on average, 10 to 20 percent of passengers do not show up (for various reasons). Should your flight be oversold and most passengers show up then the airline will need to start offering seat upgrades, free hotels or cash for taking a later flight," says Boland.

14-What-Mysterious-Flight-Codes-Really-Mean,-According-to-a-Pilot-shutterstockNicole Fornabaio/rd,com, shutterstock

Bulkhead

Bulkhead seating refers to the area of seating that divides each class of travel (first, business, premium and economy). Sometimes when the economy section is quite large, an extra bulkhead will divide the extra galley in the middle. "Usually these bulkhead seats are reserved for passengers with disabilities, the elderly, or parents with babies as there is usually a bassinet holder against the bulkhead," says Boland. Next, check out the very best airplane seats for every single need.

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