The travel industry is replete with multiple acronyms where sometimes it becomes a bit difficult for a traveler to understand the meaning of that acronym. In this article, we have listed a glossary/dictionary for a few of the travel terms. I hope this article helps you out with the glossary terms you may be looking for.


A la carteThis usually refers to meals, an indication that each dish is priced separately; also that a choice of meals may be available, such as on a tour.
AbeamA directional term, used on ships and aircraft, which describes something off to the side of the vessel, such as the wings.
Add-onAn option, usually at extra cost, added to travel arrangements.
Adjoining roomsTwo hotel or accommodation rooms that have a door connecting them from the inside, allowing the guests to combine the two rooms into one larger room.
AvailabilityThe total number of seats allowed to be sold at a particular rate.
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.
AgentA person who has the power to act as the representative for another person.  Most Frequently in travel, a specific kind of agent such as a travel agent.
AftToward the rear of a ship.
Airport transferA transport service to/from an airport to hotel, etc., normally prepaid as part of a package tour, but available separately as well.
All InclusiveSold for one price that includes charges and fees that are often added separately.
All-inclusive packageA tour package in which most travel elements are purchased for set price. Also called an all-expense package.
AmenitiesA desirable or useful feature or facility of a building or place
Average room rateThe total guest room revenue for a given period divided by the number of rooms occupied for the same period.


Travel TermGlossary
Base fareThe cost of an airfare prior to addition of fees, taxes or surcharges.
Blackout datesSpecific dates in which special fares or promotions do not apply. Typically exist around holidays or special events.
Boarding passA ticket issued at airport check-in that authorizes airplane boarding.
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.
BabymoonA relaxing and romantic vacation or getaway taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born.
Baggage AllowanceThe amount of baggage a passenger may transport without having to pay extra charges, determined by the carrier.
Bed and breakfast (B&B)Overnight accommodations usually in a private home or boarding house, often with a full American-style or Continental breakfast included in one rate.
BerthUsually refers to the bed in a ship’s cabin; also space at which a ship is docked.
Boarding passA receipt with a seat number, now issued only at check-in at the airport. A ticket is not valid unless a boarding pass has been issued. A Boarding Pass is not a ticket but allows you to board a plane or ship or other modes of transportation.


Travel TermGlossary
CabinThe passenger area on an aircraft; the stateroom aboard a cruise ship.
Cabin CrewThe collective group of flight attendants and the purser as a whole. The cabin crew is responsible primarily for handling the duties within the cabin.
Cancellation penalty/feeThe monetary penalty due when travel plans are cancelled, usually after final payment has been made.
CaptainThe captain is the pilot or commander of an aircraft or a ship
CarrierGeneric term for any company that transports passengers and/or freight.
Corporate agencyA travel agency that usually caters to medium-large sized businesses.
Conventional ToursA gathering of professionals or others to discuss matters of common interest in a foreign land.
Carry-onCurrently, there are no uniformly enforced airline restrictions concerning carry-on luggage.
Certified Tour Professional (CTP)A designation conferred upon tour professionals who have completed a prescribed course of academic study, professional service, tour employment, and evaluation requirements. The CTP program is administered by the National Tour Association (Lexington, KY) and is open to individuals employed in any segment of the tourism industry.
Certified Travel Associate – (CTA)A travel professional certified by the Institute of Certified Travel Agents, who has passed a series of rigorous tests, assuring the traveling public of professional competence.
Circle tripAny trip that involves more than a single destination, but which returns to the initial point of departure.
City GuideA tour guide who points out and comments on the highlights of a city, usually from a motor coach or van.
Confirmed ReservationAn oral or written statement by a travel supplier that they have received and will honor a reservation.
Connecting FlightA flight that makes a stop at an intermediate point where the traveler must change planes in order to continue/connect to another flight to reach their destination.
Connecting RoomTwo rooms that are connected to each other by a door. These rooms can be sold as a connecting/adjoining room to the same party or separately to two different parties (in which case the doors are locked from both sides).


Travel TermGlossary
DatabaseA computerized, organized collection of individual customer information.
DeckThe floor area of a ship. Some cruise liners have as many as 11 or more decks.
DepositAn advance payment required to obtain and confirm a reservation.
DestinationThe geographic place to which a traveler is going.
Direct FlightA flight that goes from a traveler’s origin to their final destination with no intermediate stops.
Domestic FareAn additional fare added to an international flight/fare.
Double occupancythe way in which almost all cruise fares and tour packages are quoted, that is, based on two people traveling together. Most hotel rooms are quoted based on two adults to a room.
DowngradeTo move to a lesser level of accommodations or a lower class of service.
Duty-free importsItem amounts and categories specified by a government that are fee of tax or duty charges when brought into the country.


Travel TermGlossary
Early Check-InA perk that allows a guest to check in at an earlier time than the standard check-in time.
Electronic ticketA paperless ticket that allows travelers to fly with only a photo ID. Commonly referred to as “E-ticket’s”
English BreakfastBasic meal of cereal, juice, eggs, meats, and other beverages. Common with most hotels in the UK.
EscortSomeone who leads or conducts a tour of a group
ETAestimated time of arrival.
ETDestimated time of departure.
Excess BaggageChecked luggage that exceeds the weight limitation of the expressed baggage allowance policy by the specific airline. Excess baggage fees vary by carrier, but tend to be very expensive.
Exclusive fareDiscounted airfares offered by travel consolidators.


Travel TermGlossary
FAM TripFamiliarization Tour or Trip. FAMS are marketing initiatives, inviting either media or travel trade professionals to tour a region or destination to experience it firsthand.
Family PlanA plan offered by most hotels that allows children to stay in the same room as their parents at no additional charge. Age requirements vary between hotels.
Fare basisThe code that determines the price of an airline ticket.
First classThe class which offers the most premium service. Enhanced seating, meal selection, and drink offerings staples of this services.
Frequent FlierOne who flies frequently.
Full houseA hotel with all guest rooms occupied.


Travel TermGlossary
GalleyThe kitchen/kitchenette area of a plane or train or ship.
Gate-AirportThe specific area in an airport where passengers board a plane for a flight
GDSGlobal Distribution Systems
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)Solar based time in Greenwich, England
Group tourA travel package for an assembly of travelers that has a common itinerary, travel date, and transportation.
GuideA person or company qualified to conduct tours of specific localities or attractions.


Travel TermGlossary
Hard-copyA printed version of a document
Honeymoon TravelHoneymoon travel is a category of travel where a newly married couple travels while celebrating their marriage.
Hostelan inexpensive accommodation, usually dormitory style, popular with the student crowd
Huban airport or city in which an airline has a major presence and many flights to other destinations.


Travel TermGlossary
IATAThe International Air Transport Association supports aviation with global standards for airline safety, security, efficiency and sustainability.
ICTAInstitute of Certified Travel Agents located in Wellesley, MA.
In TransitEn route or in the process of traveling.
Inbound TourA tour for groups of travelers whose trip originates in another location and usually in another country.
ItineraryThe planned route for a trip. It is a pre-planned experience with where to go, when and what to expect when you get there.


Travel TermGlossary
Jet BridgeAn enclosed, movable connector which extends from a terminal gate to a plane, allowing passengers to board and disembark without having to go outside.
Jet lagA temporary sleep problem that can affect anyone who quickly travels across multiple time zones.
Jump SeatA flight term referring to an auxiliary (extra) seat for persons who are not operating the aircraft, such as the cabin crew or perhaps a trainee.


Travel TermGlossary
KilometerA measure of distance using the metric system
King RoomA hotel room that has a king-sized bed.


Travel TermGlossary
Land ArrangementsAll non-flying reservations upon arrival such as hotel, car rental, tour reservations, etc
Land DestinationsA land destination or travel destination is a place to which one is journeying,
Land OnlyA rate that does NOT include air transportation and usually refers to most other land-based charges such as hotel accommodations, transfers, taxes and perhaps other optional items like theme park tickets, car rental, etc
Land TransfersTravel by train, bus, limo, taxi, uber to/from an accommodation, airplane or cruise ship.
Late Booking FeeA fee due if travel arrangements are made at the last minute.
LayoverThe period of time spent between connecting flights on the ground.
Leisure travelUsually signifies traveling for relaxation, vacation, or to visit friends/family.
Lowest available fareThe most inexpensive flight currently available.
Luxury ClassThe most expensive, high class accommodations or category of fare, like a suite or first class.


Travel TermGlossary
Maximum stayThe longest period of time a traveler can stay at a particular destination and still qualify for the promotion or discounted fare.
Meet-and-greet serviceA pre-purchased service for meeting and greeting clients upon arrival in a city, usually at the airport, pier, or rail station, and assisting clients with entrance formalities, collecting baggage, and obtaining transportation.
Meeting/conference tourA tour designed around a specific meeting or conference for the participants.
Minimum connect timeDefined as the minimum time necessary between connecting flights – 30 minutes domestically, usually – ideally, at least an hour
Multi-day tourA travel package of two or more days.


Travel TermGlossary
Net FareThe price/fare of an airline ticket before it has any commission or tax added to it.
Net RateThis refers to hotel room inventory that is sold via a third-party distributor at prices subject to commission
No ShowA traveler that does not appear or “show up” for their flight, hotel or car rental reservation, without officially canceling the reservation.
Non-RefundableA ticket in which no money will be refunded to the customer if they cancel the reservation.
Non-TransferableA ticket that can only be used by the person who was originally on the reservation.
NonstopA flight that travels directly to its destination without any stops, connections or layovers.


Travel TermGlossary
Occupancy RateThe percentage of all available hotel rooms at a given property that is either estimated/expected/projected or actual during any given day or period of time.
OperatorAny company that provides any transportation service
OutboundThe departure leg or segment of a journey.
Outbound TourA tour that takes travelers out of the area, usually from a domestic city to another country.


Travel TermGlossary
Passenger Facility Charge (PFC)An additional fee for use of the airport facility.
Passenger Name Record (PNR)The official name of a customer’s reservation in a computer reservations system (CRS).
Passport/Visa ServiceA service that will take your passport and hand carry, if necessary, to the appropriate embassy in order to expedite a visa.
Per Capita CostsCosts per person.
Point to PointRefers to the fare between two cities.
Published fareA fare immediately offered for purchase by the airline. This does not include heavily discounted flights usually offered to consolidaters.


Travel TermGlossary
QuadA room that accommodates four persons.
QueryThe process of sorting and retrieving information


Travel TermGlossary
Rack rateThe price of a hotel prior to discount.
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.
Round tripTwo flights: the destination flight and its return trip.
Room OccupancyA hotel term where a room has been booked or occupied


Travel TermGlossary
SabreThe world’s largest global distribution (reservation) system. Often referred to as a GDS
SafariThe journey that includes wild life viewing (and sometimes hunting).
Saturday Night StayRequires staying over a Saturday night to receive a special fare or discount.
Single RoomA room that is only guaranteed to comfortably accommodate one guest
SleeperRefers to the sleeping compartment on board a train.
SpaThe spa offers health and beauty treatments like steam baths, massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, etc.
Special FareAny fare that deviates from normal pricing.
SuiteA premium hotel room that usually offers a living room and kitchenette in addition to the bedroom.
Shoulder seasonThe period of time between busy and quiet seasons in which prices are typically at a midpoint.


Travel TermGlossary
TariffA schedule of prices/fares.
TerminalA building where customers report for their trips via airplane, train, bus etc. Also called a depot or a station.
TourA prearranged, prepaid journey to one or more destinations that generally returns to the point of origin,
Tour GuideA person qualified and often certified to conduct tours of specific locations or attractions.
TransferLocal transportation and porterage from one carrier terminal to another, from terminal to a hotel or from a hotel to an attraction.
Through passengerA passenger who remains on the plane at a connecting stop on the way to his/her final destination.
Ticket stockBlank airline tickets.
Travel agentAn individual or company that sell travel services on a commission basis.
Travel agencyUsually used in the travel industry to refer to an ARC-appointed storefront retailer.


Travel TermGlossary
Unlimited MileageA term used by car rental companies to denote that there are no mileage restrictions for the rental.
Unrestricted FareAn airfare with no limitations or restrictions.
UpgradeTo move to a better accommodation or class of service.


Travel TermGlossary
ValueThe relationship between the benefits of a product or service, and the price.
VillasA large and luxurious country residence that is often a fancy vacation home. The word literally means “country house for the elite”.
VisaA document that grants permission/entry to a country for a specific purpose and for a finite period of time.
VoucherDocuments that are exchanged for goods and services to substantiate payment that will be paid or has already been paid.


Travel TermGlossary
WaitlistA list of customers/clients awaiting a confirmed reservation for any transport
WaiverA written acknowledgement that a passenger has declined something.


Travel TermGlossary
Yield ManagementCalculating and analyzing the profits (or the yield) earned per customer.




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