Most significant routes
The most significant route is defined by IATA Resolution 302. IATA divides international travel into three large areas known as ‘Tariff Conferences’ (TCs). These are then divided into sub-areas:
IATA Tariff Conference 1 – TC 1: America and Greenland
Sub-areas in Tariff Conference 1: North America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America
IATA Tariff Conference 2 – TC 2: Europe, Africa and the Middle East
Sub-areas in Tariff Conference 2: Europe, the Middle East, Africa (including islands in the Indian Ocean)
IATA Tariff Conference 3 – TC 3: Asia and Oceania
Sub-areas in Tariff Conference 3: South Asia, Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea, the South West Pacific, Australia,
- The most significant route is the one that crosses a Tariff Conference area first.
Exception: if you cross all 3 TC areas during your journey, the most significant route is always the route between TC 1 and TC 2.
- If the first condition does not apply, the most significant route is the one that crosses a sub-area first.
- If the second condition does not apply, the most significant route is the one that crosses an international border first.
- If the third condition does not apply and no international border is crossed, the most significant route is the first route.
It is therefore possible that the longest route geographically is not the most significant route, as in the following example: you have booked flights from Bangkok (TC 3) via Frankfurt (TC 2) to Havana (TC 1).
- From Bangkok to Frankfurt with flight number LH 773 (LH = Lufthansa), operated by Lufthansa.
- Continue without a stopover from Frankfurt to Havana with flight number DE 2184 (DE = Condor), operated by Condor.
The route from Bangkok to Frankfurt is indeed the longest one geographically, but the Tariff Conference area between TC 2 and TC 1 is crossed on the flight from Frankfurt to Havana. For this reason, the baggage provisions for your journey comply with Condor’s free baggage regulations.
A stopover is defined as a stay or a break in a journey of more than 24 hours.
Example: you have booked flights from Frankfurt via Dubai to Bangkok. In Dubai you have a stay of two days (48 hours).
- From Frankfurt to Dubai with flight number LH 630 (LH = Lufthansa), operated by Lufthansa.
- Continue after two days from Dubai to Bangkok with flight number TG 518 (TG = Thai Airways), operated by Thai Airways.
The baggage provisions for your journey from Frankfurt to Dubai therefore comply with Lufthansa’s free baggage regulations. Because of your 48-hour stay in Dubai, Thai Airways’ free baggage regulations apply from Dubai to Bangkok.