What's 'LUV' Got to Do With Flying?

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"Sure," I can hear some of you saying, "Why not use the symbol FEE?" Or perhaps Southwest could swap LUV for FREEBAG? Okay, too long. But maybe JetBlue could change its rather pedestrian JBLU to WHEE -- symbolizing the sound a flight attendant makes as he slides down an emergency chute.

Okay, that's not really fair to this extremely popular airline. Maybe FUN would be more appropriate, or, it would be if it wasn't already co-opted by Cedar Fair, an operator of amusement parks.

What if we junked all the codes and symbols altogether and just went with pictures? Think of Aer Lingus' shamrock or Air Canada's maple leaf or Qantas' kangaroo and koala.

It's not as farfetched as you might think: Delta used to push a character called Dusty the Air Lion (say air lion real fast). And Frontier has enough "tail animals" to share with all the airlines (Larry the Lynx, Grizwald the Bear, et al.).

On second thought, maybe we should just stick to the basics: you know, just keep the stock symbol AMR for American (AMR Corporation is the carrier's parent), or DAL for Delta Air Lines, or LCC for US Airways. Wait, what? Yes, that's the airline's stock symbol and please don't confuse the carrier with the proud Palominos of Laredo Community College.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and does not reflect the opinion of ABC News.

Rick Seaney is one of the country's leading experts on airfare, giving interviews and analysis to news organizations that include ABC News, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the Associated Press and Bloomberg. His website, FareCompare.com, offers consumers free, new-generation software, combined with expert insider tips to find the best airline ticket deals.

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