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.

Add-onA selection, typically at an increased price, added to a travel reservation.
Adjoining roomsBordering 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 feeA 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.
ARCThe Airlines Reporting Corporation – is responsible for supervising payments from travel agencies to airlines along with the manner in which tickets are issued to consumers.
AvailabilityThe total number of seats allowed to be sold at a particular rate.
Base fareThe 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.
Blackout datesSpecific dates in which special fares or promotions do not apply. Typically exist around holidays or special events.
Blocked spaceSeats reserved to be sold to third party companies at a discounted group rate.
Boarding passA ticket issued at airport check-in that authorizes airplane boarding.
Bulk contract  An agreement whereby an airline sells large blocks of seats at a discount for resale by a third party.
Bulk fareA reduced fare for purchases of a large number of tickets.
Business classWhile amenities vary based on the airline, business class generally falls between first class and coach.
Business TravelTravel for commercial, governmental or educational purposes with leisure as a secondary motivation.
BuyerA member of the travel trade who reserves room blocks from accommodations or coordinates the development of a travel product.
Cancellation penaltyA fee to charged to customers that cancel flights after booking reservations. Fees typically vary based on the agency or carrier.
CarrierAny provider of mass transportation, usually used in reference to an airline.
Charter GroupGroup travel in which a previously organized group travels together, usually on a custom itinerary.
Co-op AdvertisingAdvertising funded by two or more destinations and /or suppliers.
CommissionA small fee that a travel agency or services adds to the total fee in order to make money.
ConsolidatorA business that has contracts with airlines to sell tickets in bulk, generally at a discounted rate.
Corporate agencyA travel agency that usually caters to medium-large sized businesses.
CoverEach diner at a restaurant.
Destination MarketingMarketing a city, state, country, area or region to consumers and trade.
Domestic fareAn additional fare added to national flights.
Electronic ticketA 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.
Exclusive fareDiscounted airfares offered by travel consolidators.
Fam ToursOrganized 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.
Feeder Airport/CityAn outlying city which feeds travelers to hubs or gateway cities.
First classThe 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 CityA 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.
Group RateNegotiated hotel rate for convention, trade show, meeting, tour or incentive group.
Head in BedsIndustry slang referring to the primary marketing objective of accommodations and most destinations – increasing the number of overnight stays.
Hub  A city in which an airline has a major presence. Often, it is the city in which the airline was formed.
IATANInternational Airlines Travel Agent Network – Administers the IATAN card, the only widely accepted form of legitimate travel agent identification.
Incentive TravelTravel offered as a reward for top performance and the business that develops, markets and operates these programs.
Inclusive TourA tour program that includes a variety of feature for a single rate (airfare, accommodations, sightseeing, performances, etc.)
Interline connectionA trip with a connection flight from a different airline.
Land arrangementsAll non-flying reservations upon arrival such as car rental, hotel, and tourist reservations.
Layover  The period of time spent between connecting flights.
LDW – loss damage waiverSupplementary car rental insurance that covers theft, vandalism, and accident damage.
Leisure travelUsually signifies traveling for relaxation, vacation, or to visit friends/family.
Leisure TravelTravel for recreational, educational, sightseeing, relaxing and other experiential purposes.
Limited service hotelA hotel without a restaurant on the premises.
Lowest available fareThe most inexpensive flight currently available.
Maximum stayThe longest period of time a traveler can stay at a particular destination and still qualify for the promotion or discounted fare.
Minimum connect timeThe 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.
MotorcoachDeluxe 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 rateImplies the commission has already been added to the price of the fare.
Net RateThe rate provided to wholesalers and tour operators that can be marked up to sell to the customer.
No showA traveler that doesn’t appear for their flight, hotel, or car rental reservation.
No ShowA customer with a reservation at a restaurant, hotel, etc. who fails to show up and does not cancel.
Non-refundableA ticket in which no money will be returned if the customer no longer intends to use the ticket.
Non-transferableA ticket that can only be used by the person who was originally scheduled to fly at the time of purchase.
NonstopA flight that travels directly to its destination without connections or layovers.
OccupanciesA percentage indicating the number of bed nights sold (compared to number available) in a hotel, resort, motel or destination.
Occupancy rateThe proportion of reservations expected during any given period.
Off-peakA less expensive time to travel as result of lower consumer volume during these periods.
Offline connectionA connection that requires switching to both a new aircraft and carrier.
OperatorAny company that provides any transportation service. Not just limited to flights, it also includes trains, buses, and cruise ships.
OverbookingWhen a carrier books more reservations than available seats.
PackageA 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 coverageAdditional car rental insurance covering loss of personal property from the rented vehicle.
Point-to-pointRefers to the fares between two cities.
Press TripsOrganized 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.
Published fareA fare immediately offered for purchase by the airline. This does not include heavily discounted flights usually offered to consolidaters.
Rack rateThe price of a hotel prior to discount.
Rack RateThe rate accommodations quote to the public. Group rates, convention, trade show, meeting and incentive travel rates are negotiated by the hotel and program organizers.
Reconfirmto double-check a reservation.
Record locatorThe number assigned to a reservation in the airlines number. This number is unique, as it will never be assigned again.
Red-eye flightA flight in which the travel takes place between the hours of 9pm and 7am.
ReissueWhen a new ticket is issued as a result of a change of plans. This can often require fees or penalties from the airport.
Round tripTwo flights: the destination flight and its return trip.
Sabre®The world’s largest travel reservation system.
Saturday night stayIn order to receive a specialty fare, a Saturday stay over is sometimes required.
Scheduled carrierAn airline that offers regularly scheduled flights between destinations.
Shoulder seasonThe period of time between busy and quiet seasons in which prices are typically at a midpoint.
Special fareAny fare that deviates from normal pricing (typically discounted).
SuiteA hotel room that usually offers a living room and kitchenette in addition to the bedroom.
SupplierA company that offer travel services to the general public.
TariffRate 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.
Through passengerA passenger who remains on the plane at a connecting stop on the way to his/her final destination.
Ticket stockBlank airline tickets.
Tour OperatorDevelops, 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.
Tour WholesalerAn 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.
Travel agencyUsually used in the travel industry to refer to an ARC-appointed storefront retailer.
Travel agentAn individual or company that sell travel services on a commission basis.
Unlimited mileageSignifies there are no mileage restrictions for renters.
Unrestricted fareAn airfare with no limitations. It is typically refundable and has no blackout days.
Visitors CenterTravel 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.
VouchersForms 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.
WaiverA written acknowledgement that a passenger has declined something.

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