Business travel glossary

Every industry has its jargon, but the travel industry has more than most.

Here’s a glossary of the key terms that every travel manager should know.

AAB – Agent-assisted booking.

ADR – Average daily rate.

Airport access fee – A fee paid by car rental companies for the use of shuttle vehicles. Paid to the airport authority, this often appears in customer’s car rental bills.

Airport code – Each airport has a unique code. See the list here.

ARC – The Airlines Reporting Corporation is responsible for supervising payments from travel agencies to airlines, and the process of issuing tickets to consumers.

ATP– Average ticket price.

BAR – Best available rate.

CDF– Customer data fields, used to collect specific company information such as an employee’s role and department. This information will pull into your travel data view.

City pairs – A pair of cities, the origin and destination on an itinerary.

CNR – Corporate negotiated rate.

Codeshare – An agreement between two or more airlines which allows one carrier to market and collect payment for a flight operated by another carrier.

COS – Class of service.

Deadhead – An off-duty airline employee traveling in a passenger seat.

Direct flight – Different from ‘a nonstop’, a passenger flying on a direct flight will not have connections or a change in flight number — but they may stop for refueling, to add/disembark passengers or to actually change aircraft.

ESTA – Electronic System for Travel Authorization, used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Wavier Program.

Fare basis (code) – The code that determines the price of an airline ticket.

Flag carrier – A loose term, referring to the airline registered within a specific country or state which may allow it certain privileges.

GDS – Global Distribution System, find out more about GDS in this short video.

HUB – A city in which an airline has a major presence.

IATA – The International Air Transport Association, a trade association for many of the world’s airlines.

IATAN – The International Airline Travel Agent Network, administers the IATAN card, the only widely accepted form of legitimate travel agent identification.

IFE – In-flight entertainment, such as seat back video monitors on airplanes, in-flight wi-fi and music channels.

Intercontinental travel – Travel between two continents, such as travel from the U.S. to the U.K.

Intracontinental travel – Travel within a continent, such as travel between the U.S. and Canada.

Interline connection – A trip with a connection flight from a different airline.

IROP – Irregular operations refers to flight disruptions such as delays or cancellations due to weather, ‘acts of God’, equipment changes or rest for the crew.

Land arrangements – All non-flying reservations upon arrival such as car rental, hotel and tourist reservations.

Layover – Different from a stopover, a layover is a short period of time between connecting flights. On domestic flights this refers to stops of 4 hours or less. For international flights, this refers to stops of less than 24 hours.

LCC– Low cost carriers.

LDW – Loss damage waiver – supplemental car rental insurance that covers theft, vandalism and accident damage.

Limited service hotel – A hotel without a restaurant on the premises.

LLF – Lowest logical fare.

LRA – Last room availability, the right to book the last room a hotel has available.

Metal – Industry slang that refers to the operating carrier of a flight.

Minimum connect time – The shortest time required to successfully transfer to a connecting flight at an airport.

Net fare, net rate – Implies the commission has already been added to the price of the fare.

Nonstop flight – A flight with no stops en route to a passenger’s final destination.

Non-Rev – A non-rev (revenue) passenger is an airline employee, or their friends or family, traveling on a deeply discounted airline ticket. These flights are generally on a standby basis only and for personal needs.

Non-transferable – A ticket that can only be used by the person who was originally scheduled to fly.

Occupancy rate – The number of reservations expected during any given period.

O&D – Origin and destination of a trip.

Offline connection – A connection that requires switching to both a new aircraft and carrier.

OLA – Online adoption.

Open-Jaw – An itinerary where the passenger flies into one city and out of another. For example, a ticket originating in JFK and flying to LJR and then returning MAN to JFK.

Personal effects coverage – Additional car rental insurance covering loss of personal property from the rented vehicle.

PFC – Passenger facility charge, an additional fee for the use of the airport.

Phonetic alphabet – Also known as ICAO (International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet) is used by the aviation industry and military to ensure the clear communication of letters internationally. The 26 letters of the English alphabet are: Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

Pitch – The legroom between airline seats as measured from the back of one airplane seat to the seat in front of it.

PNR – Passenger name record.

Point-to-point – Refers to the fares between two cities.

Published fare – A fare immediately offered for purchase by the airline. The does not include heavily discounted flights.

Rack rate – The price of a hotel prior to discount.

Record locator – The number assigned to a reservation in the airlines’ number. This number is unique and will never be assigned again.

Red-eye flight – A flight in which the travel takes place between the hours of 9pm and 7am.

Round the World Fare– An air ticket that allows travelers to make many stops on an itinerary using codeshare agreements, often at a lower cost. Typically, the passenger flies around the world instead of out and back.

Segment – A part or leg of an air itinerary, including one take off and one landing.

Shoulder season – The period of time between busy and quiet seasons in which prices are typically at a midpoint.

Snap codes – Air contract codes.

Split ticketing – Purchasing two separate tickets to build your itinerary, often to obtain a lower price. Travelers do this at their own risk, as if there is a missed connection both airlines may elect not to rebook the traveler unless they purchase a new ticket.

SSO – Single sign on – when a traveler logs in once and gains access to a website without being prompted to log in again.

STPC – Stopover Paid by Carrier – a program in which an airline might offer to encourage travelers to use a less optimal connection. The airline covers prearranged hotel, ground transportation and means during a stopover.

Through passenger – A passenger who remains on the plane at a connecting stop on the way to his/her final destination.

TMC – Travel management company, such as Egencia

ULCC – Ultra-low-cost-carrier, airlines that offer rock-bottom, no-frill fare prices. Seat selection, baggage or drinks on the flight may be charged as an additional fee.

Unrestricted fare – An airfare with no limitations. It is typically refundable and has no blackout days.

Over and out!

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