Business travel
jargon explained

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If a ticket of lesser value is used toward the purchase of a ticket of greater value, the difference between the two fares is referred to as an additional collection or an “add-collect”. 

Adoption Rate

The percentage of tickets issued through an on-line booking system compared to more traditional booking channels.

Advance Purchase Fare

An airfare that requires the purchase of a ticket a minimum number of days prior to departure.


One of the four major Computerised Reservation Systems (CRS) or Global Distribution Systems (GDS)

Ancillary Fees

Amenities a consumer can order while travelling such as onboard sales of food and beverages; checking of baggage and excess baggage; assigned seats or better seats such as aisle rows; call centre support for reservations; fees charged for purchases made with credit cards, and early boarding benefits.


Advanced purchase excursion fare, usually seen in international markets.


irline Reporting Corporation, the agency that regulates ticket sales and reports to the airlines for travel agencies.

Around the World Fare

A flat fare that is restricted to a specific carrier and allows only eastbound or westbound travel with no change of direction.


The method and date a passenger arrives at a given destination.


Arrival Unknown, used for a surface segment of an itinerary.

Auditor Coupon

Coupon included in the travel agency ticket stock that is submitted with the sales report to ARC.


Term used to confirm that accommodation/flights are available for booking.


Automated Verification System, a Global Distribution System requirement for credit card processing.


Back Office

Within Corporate Fulfilment Services, that operational area comprised of MIS and ARC.

Barter Card Agreements

Incentives for booking international travel that provide for upgrades on

domestic and international tickets.

Base Fare

The fare without tax.

Black Out Dates

Certain dates or periods when travel on specific rates is not permitted (usually holidays).

Blackout Period

Specific dates that a discounted/promotional rate is not valid.

Blocked Space

Multiple reservations, often subject to deposit or forfeiture that agencies make with a supplier in anticipation of resale.


To reserve flights/accommodations for a passenger.

Booking Engines

Web-based products that allow an individual to make airline, hotel, train and/or car reservations.

Buffer zone

A fictitious zone, 225 miles into Canada and Mexico from the nearest point on the U.S. border; this becomes important when applying U.S. air ticket tax.

Bulkhead seats

The first row of seats in — after the partition between cabins.


The practice of denying boarding to confirmed passengers on an overbooked flight or the practice of removing a confirmed passenger from a full flight. Compensation may be offered to the bumped passenger.

Business Travel Direct

Booking business flights or hotels direct with the supplier, outside of company policy.

Business Travel Expenses

Expenses incurred on a business related trip to cover ancillaries.


Capacity Controlled

Used to describe any quantity restrictions related primarily to discounted airfares and hotel accommodations. Most suppliers stipulate that only a limited number of seats may be sold at any particular discounted rate.

Capacity Controlled Seating

In regard to discounted fares involving restrictions, only a limited number of seats are available at each discount level. Once these seats are sold, the discount price is no longer available.


Freight carried by air.


Airline carrier.


Flight not on permanent schedule that is operated for a specific group or individual for business travel.

Circle Trip

A flight making at least two (2) stopovers on same trip, example: Dallas to Denver to Chicago to Dallas.

City Pair

The departure and destination points of an air or rail journey.

Class Of Service

The inventory in which a passenger is booked according to the fare purchased, e.g., full fare coach cabin is usually Y class of service.

Coach Seating

Seating in the main, or coach cabin of the aircraft, this offers the widest variety of fares.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Optional insurance provided by car rental companies that eliminates all responsibility of the driver in case of an accident.


Money paid to a travel agency or ARC number by suppliers for generating bookings.

Commuter Air Carrier

An airline servicing destinations not generally flown by major airline jet service. Many commuter air carriers are affiliated with major airlines and may carry their identifiable colours/logos.


The individual or desk in a hotel that attends to guests’ special needs or requests, such as providing theatre reservations or tour information.

Concierge Level

Special service level normally offered at higher grade hotels that provide the guest additional amenities and information, usually at a higher rate.


The seating arrangement of an aircraft, such as the number of coach class and the number of first class seats on an aircraft.


To advise that requested space, airline or hotel accommodations, etc. are being held in the client’s name.


A confirmed hotel or car reservation exists when a supplier acknowledges (in writing or orally) that a booking has been accepted. A confirmation number is usually given for your records.

Conjunction Ticket

Two or more concurrently issued tickets that cover an entire itinerary.

Connecting Flight

A flight that makes a stop at an intermediate point where travellers must change planes to connect to another flight to reach their destination.

Connecting Times

When a travel itinerary requires a connection, the airlines consider the time it takes to transport luggage from one gate to another and the time a passenger would need to walk between gates. Minimum required connecting times are published and will change at each airport between combinations of airlines.


A flight that goes from a traveller’s origin to their final destination, which requires a change in aircraft at one or more intermediate stops. An “on-line” connection is when the same airline is used for the entire trip. An “off-line” connection is when the passenger connects from one airline to another.


Any inbound or outbound communication presented to an online fulfilment service by a customer or responded to by via telephone, e-mail or SSR comment.

Corporate Rate

A hotel rate that is designed to appeal to the needs of business travellers. It is not necessarily a discounted rate or the minimum rate offered by the hotel. Corporate rates normally guarantee the best available room at a fixed cost for a specific period of time.

Corporate Travel Department

Department within a company responsible for arranging travel, including air, hotel, car and cruise, for its employees and individuals performing work for it. It also refers to a special designation by ARC for those companies that have submitted the proper paperwork to hold their own ARC license.


Computerised Reservation System. System used to book and process travel reservation, also known as a Global Distribution System (GDS). The most commonly used systems in the United States are Amadeus, Apollo/Galileo, Sabre and Worldspan.


Corporate Travel Department. This acronym usually refers to a special designation by ARC for those companies that have submitted the proper paperwork to hold their own ARC license.


A government agency which inspects, restricts and/or imposes taxes on goods brought into a county.


Date of Issue

The date a ticket was printed. Tickets are usually valid for one year following this date.

Denied Boarding Compensation

If an airline sells more seats than are available on a given aircraft, those who cannot board the flight are often offered Denied Boarding Compensation. This is usually in the form of a travel voucher for use on that carrier on a later date.

Direct Connection

An immediate connection from one flight to another; no layovers.

Direct/Through Flight

A flight that goes from a traveller’s origin to their final destination with one or more intermediate stops. No change in aircraft is required.

Domestic Flight

That portion of an itinerary between cities with a state, a country or a sovereign state.

Drop-Off Charge

A fee that can be assessed for dropping off a rental car at a location other than the point of pick-up.

Duplicate (Double) Booking

Two or more reservations made for the same travellers for the same dates. Can be cancelled by the airlines if discovered as they consider this a violation of their ticketing rules.


Import tax paid on goods purchased out of the country.


Economy Fares

Several airlines offer reduced fares without restrictions. These fares are based on a limited allotment of seats throughout the aircraft available without restrictions. Reservations should be placed as far in advance as possible as these fares sell out very quickly.

Electronic Ticket

Also referred to as an E-ticket or Ticketless Travel. An electronic method of payment is sent to the airlines for the trip and a ticket number is attached to the reservation. No flight coupons are issued. The agency does issue a passenger receipt. The reservation number must be presented to the airline in exchange for boarding passes.

Emergency Service

An after-hours service provided by most travel agencies for their customers to use in the event of an emergency. This service is available when the regular travel office is closed and should be used for emergencies only.


The authority to reissue a ticket for travel on airlines other than the issuing carrier (the carrier on which the ticket was originally written).


Electronic Ticket Record.

Excursion Fare

Special airline fares with restrictions such as minimum and maximum stays, limited dates of travel and routing requirement. Fares and restrictions differ by carrier.


A Vice President or higher with the Nike, Inc. organisation, Athletes and Entertainers.



Amount charged a passenger for their itinerary.

Fare Basis

The letters and numbers assigned to a specific fare like an identification number.

Flight Coupon

A ticket that contains the itinerary of the passenger, including class of service, carrier, date of travel, flight number and applicable fare.


Within the travel industry, the primarily manual steps a travel agent must take between the time a reservation is made and the transaction completed, e.g. performing policy management, completing document reporting, providing quality assurance, issuing the ticket and delivering an itinerary performing ARC reporting. This process supports reservations made through either a travel agent or through an online booking engine.



Global Distribution System. System used to book and process travel reservation, also known as a Computerised Reservation System (CRS). The most commonly used systems in the United States are Amadeus, Apollo/Galileo, Sabre and Worldspan.

Government rate

Specific rates published for use in connection with official government business.

Gross Transactions

Within the travel agency industry, a traditional corporate definition involving total tickets issued in a period, less voids and refunds.

Ground Transportation

Any transportation travelled by surface, it may be ship, train, etc.


Several persons, usually more than ten (10), travelling together. Group travel is often available at reduced rates.


High season

Times of greatest traveller demand and most expensive rates.


An airport designated by an airline as a centralised base of operations, allowing efficient “hub and spoke” connections.



International Airline Transportation Association, the agency that regulates ticket sales and reports to the airlines for travel agencies.

In-Flight Service

Service offered a passenger while aboard an aircraft.

Incentive Travel

Trips offered by businesses to motivate employees and to reward them for superior performance.

International Date Line

An imaginary line through the Pacific Ocean roughly corresponding to 180° longitude, to the East of which, by international agreement, the calendar date is one day earlier than to the West.

International Rate Desk

Complex international reservations reviewed by tariff experts to determine opportunities for additional fare reductions over fares quoted by the international carriers.


A chronological record of a passenger’s trip from origin to destination, the record includes all stops, flights, hotels, car rental etc.


Joint Fare

Airfare published for travel via two or more carriers.


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Last-Seat / Room Availability

Information from CRS / GDS that reflects current hotel and airline availability.


A city on an itinerary where a passenger deplanes and spends time before continuing.


Last Day to Purchase a ticket against an existent reservation.


The part of a trip between two scheduled stops.


Lowest Fare Routing. The least expensive airfare available to the destination.

Load Factor

Measurement of ticketed passengers compared to aircraft capacity, airlines frequently change fares to encourage passengers to travel during off peak times.

Local Fare

An airfare published by a carrier between two cities.

Low Season

Times of the least traveller demand and less expensive rates.

Lowest Logical Airfare

The lowest airfare available within the guidelines of a company’s travel policy and the guidelines of the traveller.


Lost Ticket Application. An application to request a refund on a lost ticket, there is a additional charge for the application.


Maximum Permitted Mileage

The mileage a passenger is permitted to travel for a given fare.


Miscellaneous Charge Order, a document used by ticketing locations to record deposits, extra charges, hotel and pet fees etc.

Mid Office

The record finishing and quality control processing that occurs after the initial receipt in the front office, this processing is usually accomplished using software-based office products and MIS.

Minimum Connecting Time

The minimum time required for carriers to transfer passengers and baggage from one flight to another.

Missed Connection

A term to describe the situation when a passenger fails to transfer to a flight.

Multiple Airport Cities

Cities offering multiple airports for scheduled airline service e.g., New York has LaGuardia and JFK. Houston has Houston Intercontinental and Houston Hobby airports.



A term meaning a passenger had a reservation but failed to use it and did not cancel. Failure to cancel a hotel or corporate apartment reservation results in a penalty charge equivalent to at least one night’s room rate.

Non-Refundable Fare

A fare that, once issued, cannot be refunded. Most non-refundable tickets are re-usable to some degree and can be used toward future travel on the same carrier for the same passenger if rebooked prior to the original date of travel.

Non-Stop Flight

A flight that goes from the traveller’s origin to their final destination without making any intermediate stops.


A ticket that cannot be changed to another name once issued.


Off-Airport Location

Site or a car rental operation service an airport but not located on airport premises. Travellers are shuttled from the airport to the car rental site.

Off-Line Connection

Connection through a particular city with a change of aircraft and continuing on same airline.

On-Airport Location

A car rental operation at an airport terminal.

Open Jaw

An itinerary with flights into one city and departure from another e.g. travel from Dallas to Reno, return from Denver to Dallas.

Open Ticket

A ticket with a valid fare for transportation between points, but no specific reservation indicated.


The practice of confirming more seats or rooms than are actually available. Suppliers state they must overbook to compensate for the high rate of no-show passengers.


Paper Ticket

A physical ticket that is issued and presented to the airline representative in exchange for a boarding pass.


A government issued document that allows the citizen of one country to travel into other countries. Required for all international travel.


The fee imposed by an airline to change or cancel flights once the ticket (usually a discounted advance purchase) has been issued.


Passenger Name Record. Record travel counsellor creates in a CRS / GDS when making a reservation for a traveller. It contains information about a traveller’s itinerary that includes the identifying code letters and numbers assigned to the reservation. The PNR forms the basic unit of information from which travel management reports are compiled.

Pre-Reserved Seats

Pre-reserved seats are usually held until 30 minutes prior to departure. Because there are a number of revenue passengers that may want to stand by for flights, seats are held for passengers with boarding passes until 10 minutes before departure. Ten minutes before departure, it becomes necessary to begin processing standby passengers. This requires releasing previously held seats of those passengers who have not checked in.

Preferred Supplier

A service company that partners with a company to work toward mutually agreed upon goals.

Preferred Vendor

Travel companies with which a corporation sign agreements to provide travellers with discounted rates.

Prepaid Passenger

A passenger who has transportation paid for by someone else, usually in another city.


Detailed information about a traveller and/or company kept on file by a travel management company.

Promotional Fares

Reduced fares for travel to particular cities. The number of seats sold at the reduced fare is limited and, therefore, early booking is critical. These tickets also carry many restrictions.


Prepaid Ticket Advice. Reservations and prepayment arrangements made with an airline for a particular ticket for passenger pick-up at the airport: also issued when time does not permit delivery of a ticket via overnight delivery or regular mail. Most airlines impose a fee for issuing PTAs.


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Rack rate

The standard walk up rate for a hotel room or car rental.

Record Locator

An identifying number for the PNR in a file or record.

Red Eye Flight

A scheduled flight that departs late at night and arrives in the morning.


A ticket returned for credit to the original form of payment. A original ticket charge will appear on the credit card statement, with a subsequent credit appearing two – three billing cycles later.


To write a new ticket to accommodate changes.

Request status

May apply to seats, meals and reservations when they have been requested but not confirmed.


To change a passenger’s itinerary after they have begun their travel.


The authorised stamping or writing upon a flight coupon to show it has been officially altered by the carrier. Tickets can only be revalidated for those flights that reflect the same fare, city pair and advanced purchase requirement.

Revenue Management System

A sophisticated computer based pricing system that vendors use to adjust prices based on anticipated demand. Also referred to as Yield Management.

Room Block

A quantity of hotel rooms reserved for a group.

Round Trip

Travel from origin to destination and return to origin via the same cities.



One of the four major Computerised Reservation Systems (CRS) or Global Distribution Systems (GDS).

Secondary Airports

Some cities have secondary airports i.e. Houston-Hobby, Washington-Dulles, Los Angeles-Long Beach, and Chicago-Midway: reduced fares are sometimes applicable from these alternate airports.

Service Configuration

Onsite, offsite, service centre, reservation centre with either dedicated or shared resources.


Service Level Agreements, usually an adjunct document to a vendor contract.


Designated takeoff and landing times allocated to airlines at airports; the physical space at airports assigned to the airlines.

Split Ticketing

The agency practice of issuing two one-way tickets instead of a round-trip ticket, usually to obtain a lower fare. Used often on international flights due to foreign exchange rate differences.


Self-Service Reservations, also referred to as online self-service.


A term used to describe a passenger who either (1) holds tickets on reduced standby fares that do not allow them to confirm reservations, or (2) is on a waiting list seeking an available seat. Standbys are only good for the same day ticketed.


An intentional interruption of the trip that either prevents a continuous through fare or is permitted by the carrier with a through fare.


Satellite Ticket Printer, usually dedicated to a specific account to ensure complete accountability for all transactions processed and controlled by vendor.

Supersaver Fares

Marketing term used by some carriers to describe some categories of discount fares, usually applied to fares requiring seven (7), fourteen (14), twenty one (21) day advance purchase and stay over a Saturday night. The reservation is subject to cancellation if the ticket is not purchased before the time set by the carrier. If your reservation is booked by an agency, the airline considers it ticketed and sets no time limit.

Supplemental Liability Coverage

In a car rental agreement, additional coverage for injury and damage claims by third parties beyond the amount provided automatically under the contract terms.


Assessment by a vendor or governmental entity in addition to a published price or contracted rate.



A published list of fares or rates.

Ticketing Agreement

A contract between airlines to accept each other’s tickets for transportation.


Travel Management Company


An airline reservation that may or may not also include auto, hotel and ground transportation that has been ticketed.


Transportation service between two points such as airport and hotel; airport and pier; railroad station and hotel.

Turndown Service

Preparation of a bedroom for sleeping by hotel or cruise ship staff that includes turning down the sheets and placing a mint or candy on the pillow.



Accommodating a passenger in a higher class of service, often without an additional charge.

Upgradeable fare

Many carriers offer full coach fares that allow the passenger to upgrade to first class without an additional cost.



Travel agency’s ARC/IATA approved name and number imprinted upon the airline ticket.

Validity Period

The length of time of an airline ticket validity printed on the “pot valid after” column.


Value-Added Tax. A tax imposed by governments in many countries on goods and services. This tax can be a recoverable expense in some cases.


A government issued document issued by a country that allows a citizen of another country to enter. Example: A visa is required to travel to Australia. This is in addition to a passport. Not all countries require visas.


A ticket returned within the same calendar week it was issued but prior to the submission of the ARC sales report. Voided tickets do not appear on the traveller or corporate credit card.



An unconfirmed list of travellers waiting to clear a flight that is currently sold out, if availability occurs, the airline will advise the agents.


If a traveller’s preferred flight is completely full, in most instances it can be waitlisted and an alternative flight confirmed as “protection”.

Walk-Up Reservation

A traveller who makes a purchase from a supplier without the benefit of an advance reservation.


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Yield Management System

A sophisticated computer based pricing system that vendors use to adjust prices based on anticipated demand. Also referred to as Revenue Management.


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