If you fly in and out of New York City, chances are you’re familiar with the city’s three airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
EWR, though technically in New Jersey, is also closer to some parts of Manhattan than JFK, so some travelers opt to arrive and depart from EWR.
However, starting October 2022, Newark will only be referred to as EWR, and it will lose its NYC code.
According to a memo circulated on Twitter that is reportedly from Lufthansa Group, International Air Transport Association (IATA) has introduced a new standard for ‘multi-airport cities’. A multi-airport city is a one with multiple airports that belong to one city code. NYC is an example.
The memo states that starting October 3, 2022, EWR, along with four other airports worldwide, will have its own city code, and will receive its own pricing structure. Based on the memo, EWR’s own city code is also EWR.
— CH (@tdh18ny) September 7, 2022
EWR’s new airport code will also affect passengers’ ability to make flight changes without incurring penalty fees. IATA told Travel + Leisure that, currently, many airlines allow flight changes within the same airport code without fees, so passengers can easily switch their ticket from JFK to LGA, for example, at no extra cost. With EWR acquiring a new airport code, though, travelers arriving or departing in EWR may have to pay if they want to change their ticket to another NYC airport.
What is behind IATA’s new standard for multi-airport cities?
IATA spokesperson Perry Flint advised AeroTime that the standard changes are due to pricing and fare construction:
“The Pricing Automation Working Group (a sub group of the Passenger Standards Conference) has been working over the past 3 years on creating a common viable industry standard for the consistent identification of cities for pricing and fare construction.”
Flint further explained: “Currently IATA defines Metropolitan Areas, which can include one or more airport locations. In the absence of clear standards, many airline and GDS systems have used this grouping as a catch-all, however, this may result in a loss of granularity in pricing and revenue management.”
Will passengers still be able to find EWR in NYC flight searches?
Many are concerned that Newark may no longer show up in flight searches for NYC. IATA’s Flint assured AeroTime that this is not the case.
“Metropolitan Areas will continue to be used for schedules and availability – for example, here EWR will remain in the Metropolitan Area of NYC and any GDS availability request for NYC will continue to show EWR,” Flint told AeroTime.