Do you ever feel lost in a world of acronyms in the travel industry? What is a GDS? Is FIT travel for athletes? Well, relax because here is a guide for the most common terms that have been used for past decades and decades yet to come! Take some time to familiarize yourself with some travel jargon so you won’t feel like you are learning a new language.
|A selection, typically at an increased price, added to a travel reservation.
|Bordering hotel rooms that do not share a common door.
|Advance purchase requirement
|Ticket must be purchased a minimum number of days before the flight departs.
|Airport access fee
|A fee paid to the airport authority by car rental companies for the use of shuttle vehicles. This often appears in customer’s car rental bills.
|The Airlines Reporting Corporation – is responsible for supervising payments from travel agencies to airlines along with the manner in which tickets are issued to consumers.
|The total number of seats allowed to be sold at a particular rate.
|The cost of an airfare prior to addition of fees, taxes or surcharges.
|Bed Tax (Transient Occupancy Tax of TOT)
|City or county tax added to the price of a hotel room.
|Specific dates in which special fares or promotions do not apply. Typically exist around holidays or special events.
|Seats reserved to be sold to third party companies at a discounted group rate.
|A ticket issued at airport check-in that authorizes airplane boarding.
|An agreement whereby an airline sells large blocks of seats at a discount for resale by a third party.
|A reduced fare for purchases of a large number of tickets.
|While amenities vary based on the airline, business class generally falls between first class and coach.
|Travel for commercial, governmental or educational purposes with leisure as a secondary motivation.
|A member of the travel trade who reserves room blocks from accommodations or coordinates the development of a travel product.
|A fee to charged to customers that cancel flights after booking reservations. Fees typically vary based on the agency or carrier.
|Any provider of mass transportation, usually used in reference to an airline.
|Group travel in which a previously organized group travels together, usually on a custom itinerary.
|Advertising funded by two or more destinations and /or suppliers.
|A small fee that a travel agency or services adds to the total fee in order to make money.
|A business that has contracts with airlines to sell tickets in bulk, generally at a discounted rate.
|A travel agency that usually caters to medium-large sized businesses.
|Each diner at a restaurant.
|Marketing a city, state, country, area or region to consumers and trade.
|An additional fare added to national flights.
|A paperless ticket that allows travelers to fly with only a photo ID. Commonly referred to as “E-ticket’s”, they cannot be lost or stolen because it is an electronic reservation.
|Discounted airfares offered by travel consolidators.
|Organized trips for travel agents, tour operators, tour wholesalers or other members of the travel trade for the purpose of educating and “familiarizing” them with tourism destinations. By seeing the destinations where they are sending travelers, the travel trade is better prepared to answer customer questions and promote travel to the location. Also called “fams” or “familiarization tours.”
|Fare basis (code)
|The code that determines the price of an airline ticket.
|An outlying city which feeds travelers to hubs or gateway cities.
|The class which offers the most premium service. Enhanced seating, meal selection, and drink offerings staples of this services.
|FIT (Free Independent Travel)
|Individual travel in which a tour operator has previously arranged blocks of rooms at various destinations in advance for use by individual travelers. These travelers travel independently, not in a group, usually by rental car or public transportation.
|Gateway or Gateway City
|A major airport, seaport, rail or bus center through which tourists and travelers enter from outside the region.
|GIT (Groups Independent Travel)
|Group travel in which individuals purchase a group package in which they will travel with others along a pre-set itinerary.
|Global distribution system (GDS)
|An international computer reservation system that accesses many databases of suppliers, airlines, etc. in different countries, such as Sabre.
|Negotiated hotel rate for convention, trade show, meeting, tour or incentive group.
|Head in Beds
|Industry slang referring to the primary marketing objective of accommodations and most destinations – increasing the number of overnight stays.
|A city in which an airline has a major presence. Often, it is the city in which the airline was formed.
|International Airlines Travel Agent Network – Administers the IATAN card, the only widely accepted form of legitimate travel agent identification.
|Travel offered as a reward for top performance and the business that develops, markets and operates these programs.
|A tour program that includes a variety of feature for a single rate (airfare, accommodations, sightseeing, performances, etc.)
|A trip with a connection flight from a different airline.
|All non-flying reservations upon arrival such as car rental, hotel, and tourist reservations.
|The period of time spent between connecting flights.
|LDW – loss damage waiver
|Supplementary car rental insurance that covers theft, vandalism, and accident damage.
|Usually signifies traveling for relaxation, vacation, or to visit friends/family.
|Travel for recreational, educational, sightseeing, relaxing and other experiential purposes.
|Limited service hotel
|A hotel without a restaurant on the premises.
|Lowest available fare
|The most inexpensive flight currently available.
|The longest period of time a traveler can stay at a particular destination and still qualify for the promotion or discounted fare.
|Minimum connect time
|The shortest time required in order to successfully transfer to a connecting flight. It is recommended to select a connecting flight that exceeds the minimum connection time.
|Modified American plan (MAP)
|Meal plan that includes two daily meals, usually breakfast and dinner.
|Deluxe equipment used by most tour operators in group tour programs. Amenities include reclining seats, bathrooms, air conditioning, good lighting and refreshment availability.
|Net fare, net rate
|Implies the commission has already been added to the price of the fare.
|The rate provided to wholesalers and tour operators that can be marked up to sell to the customer.
|A traveler that doesn’t appear for their flight, hotel, or car rental reservation.
|A customer with a reservation at a restaurant, hotel, etc. who fails to show up and does not cancel.
|A ticket in which no money will be returned if the customer no longer intends to use the ticket.
|A ticket that can only be used by the person who was originally scheduled to fly at the time of purchase.
|A flight that travels directly to its destination without connections or layovers.
|A percentage indicating the number of bed nights sold (compared to number available) in a hotel, resort, motel or destination.
|The proportion of reservations expected during any given period.
|A less expensive time to travel as result of lower consumer volume during these periods.
|A connection that requires switching to both a new aircraft and carrier.
|Any company that provides any transportation service. Not just limited to flights, it also includes trains, buses, and cruise ships.
|When a carrier books more reservations than available seats.
|A fixed price salable travel product that makes it easy for a traveler to buy and enjoy a destination or several destinations. Packages offer a mix of elements like transportation, accommodations, restaurants, entertainment, cultural activities, sightseeing and car rental.
|Passenger facility charge (PFC)
|an additional fee for the use of the airport.
|Passenger name record (PNR)
|The official name of one’s reservation in a computer reservation system (CRS).
|Personal effects coverage
|Additional car rental insurance covering loss of personal property from the rented vehicle.
|Refers to the fares between two cities.
|Organized trips for travel writers and broadcasters for the purpose of assisting them in developing stories about tourism destinations. Often, journalists travel independently, though with the assistance of a state’s office of tourism of a DMO.
|A fare immediately offered for purchase by the airline. This does not include heavily discounted flights usually offered to consolidaters.
|The price of a hotel prior to discount.
|The rate accommodations quote to the public. Group rates, convention, trade show, meeting and incentive travel rates are negotiated by the hotel and program organizers.
|to double-check a reservation.
|The number assigned to a reservation in the airlines number. This number is unique, as it will never be assigned again.
|A flight in which the travel takes place between the hours of 9pm and 7am.
|When a new ticket is issued as a result of a change of plans. This can often require fees or penalties from the airport.
|Two flights: the destination flight and its return trip.
|The world’s largest travel reservation system.
|Saturday night stay
|In order to receive a specialty fare, a Saturday stay over is sometimes required.
|An airline that offers regularly scheduled flights between destinations.
|The period of time between busy and quiet seasons in which prices are typically at a midpoint.
|Any fare that deviates from normal pricing (typically discounted).
|A hotel room that usually offers a living room and kitchenette in addition to the bedroom.
|A company that offer travel services to the general public.
|Rate of fare quoted and published by a travel industry supplier (i.e. hotels, tour operators, etc.) Usually an annual tariff is produced in booklet form for use in sales calls at trade shows.
|A passenger who remains on the plane at a connecting stop on the way to his/her final destination.
|Blank airline tickets.
|Develops, markets and operates group travel programs that provide a complete travel experience for one price and includes transportation (airline, rail, motorcoach, and/or ship), accommodations, sightseeing, selected meals and an escort. Tour operators market directly to the consumer, through travel agents and are beginning to be listed on computerized reservation systems.
|An individual or company that sells tour packages and tour product to travel agents. Tour wholesalers usually receive a 20% discount from accommodations, transportation companies and attractions and pass on a 10 to 15% discount to the retail agent.
|Usually used in the travel industry to refer to an ARC-appointed storefront retailer.
|An individual or company that sell travel services on a commission basis.
|Signifies there are no mileage restrictions for renters.
|An airfare with no limitations. It is typically refundable and has no blackout days.
|Travel information center located at a destination to make it easier for visitors to plan their stay; often operated by a convention and visitors bureau, chamber of commerce or tourism promotion organization.
|Forms or coupons provided to a traveler who purchases a tour that indicate that certain tour components have been prepaid. Vouchers are then exchanged for tour components like accommodations, meals, sightseeing, theater tickets, etc. during the actual trip.
|A written acknowledgement that a passenger has declined something.