Travel Terminology Decoder

An air ticket is seldom simple. It's often subject to an "advance purchase" restrictions, change penalties, no-show penalties, or non-refundable clauses. You may be limited by "capacity controls" or "yield management" - which means that the same seat on an aircraft on the same day and the same flight can have up to 20 different prices. And flying "direct" doesn't necessarily mean you're flying "nonstop".


While airline-speak may be old hat to the seasoned traveller, some people might find themselves puzzled on occasion. Here is a “decoder” for some common terms that crop up in the world of travel.


For anything we’ve missed, just give us a call and we’ll help you to decipher it!


2 letter codes (Two letter codes)

To simplify communication in the airline world, IATA (International Air Traffic Association) has designated all scheduled airlines with two letter codes. These are used in reservations, tickets, timetables and fare tables.


3 letter codes (Three letter codes)
IATA designated codes for airports and cities around the world. Example LON is London, LHR is London Heathrow, LGW is London Gatwick.
ABC Advance Booking Charter A charter that requires a minimum advance booking period. ABP Able Bodied Passenger. May be selected to sit at the emergency exit on an aircraft.


Accompanied/Unaccompanied Baggage.

Accompanied baggage is carried in the same aircraft as the passenger (and may be checked or unchecked). Unaccompanied baggage is carried separately as cargo. ACFT/EQT Aircraft Type


ACSA
Airports Company of South Africa


Advance purchase:

The ticket must be purchased at a specified number of days—usually three, seven, 14, or 21 days—in advance of the flight departure. The fare generally goes down the further out from the day of departure it is purchased.


Ad Hoc Schedule

A variation, addition or cancellation from the basic schedule of one or more flights on single dates.


Administrating Carrier

The airline which controls the operation of a flight.


Airline alliance:

An agreement between a group of airlines involving the sharing of flight codes, reservation systems, airline clubs, or frequent flyer benefits.


Alternative airport:

A secondary airport, generally smaller and/or farther away from the metropolitan center, than a major airport.


ATB
Automated Ticket and Boarding Pass. A cardboard “receipt” outlining your trip and fare paid. Unfortunatley is does not always act as a boarding pass despite its name. You still need to check in via an automated kiosk, on-line, or in the traditional “join the queue” manner for a check-in desk at the airport.


Air Passenger Duty

Charge payable on tickets for flights departing from the UK.

 

Air Passes

Designed for travelers who want to make many domestic flights in one country (ie USA). The flights all need to be on the same airline and have to be bought outside of the country in which they will be used.

 

Aircraft Configuration

Planned utilisation layout of aircraft interior space.

 

AIRIMP

Reservations Interline Message Proceedures - Passenger (ATC/IATA)

 

Airline Code

A two letter code indicating an airline, air company or air carrier - see 2 letter codes.

 

All-Cargo Aircraft

A version of an aircraft type which carries cargo and mail only. Alliance A term for airlines that have grouped together - formed an alliance - to give them a stronger identity and larger market share. examples are StarAlliance, Oneworld and Skyteam.

 

Alliances

Where two or more airlines collaborate in for example offering loyalty rewards. examples are StarAlliance, Oneworld and Skyteam.

 

AOC

Air Operators Certificate.

 

ARCS

Airline Routing and Connections Service

 

ARINC

Aeronautical Radio Incorporated


Arrival Times

All timetables give the time that the flight will arrive in local time.

 

ARS

Airline Reservation System


ASATA

Association of South African Travel Agents. ASATA acts as the quality assurance and representation body for the South African Travel Industry.


ASK

Available seat kilometres. A transport measure calculated as the product of the number of aircraft seats available for sale and the kilometres flown.

 

ASM

Ad hoc Schedules Message (IATA)

 

ATA

Air Transport Association of America Available Seat Miles A transport measure calculated as the product of the number of aircraft seats available for sale and the miles flown.

 

BAA

British Airports Authority

 

Baggage Allowance

The free luggage allowance an airline will carry for each traveller. Travellers are able to take more luggage by paying an Excess Baggage Charge. Depending on the route the allowance will either be by piece (numbers of bags or cases) or by weight.

 

Baggage Hold

The part of the plane where the baggage is stored. The traveller's luggage is handed over at the Check In desk at the departure airport.

 

Basing Point

A location to and from which air fares are established.


Blackout period:

A period during which the airlines won't let you fly using a frequent flyer award ticket (the term may also apply to certain promotional fares).

 

Block Spacing

An allocation by one airline to another of a number of seats on some of its flights, which the airline sells to the travelling public through its own marketing and distribution system.

 

BSP
Bank Settlement Programme – a system allowing the processing of multiple airline payments through one central facility owned and operated by IATA. Budget Airlines Also known as 'No Frills' or Low Cost' Airlines. They operate schedules (regular timetables) in the same way as the larger airlines, but with lower fares. They fly on shorthaul routes and sometimes in and out of less popular airports.

 

Bulkhead
A Rigid partition

 

CAA

Civil Aviation Authority Cabin Inside area of the aircraft. Usually there are separate cabins for First Class travellers, Business Class travellers and one or more cabins for Economy Class travellers.

 

Capacity Limitation

Agreement An agreement between carriers, commonly airlines, stipulating the maximum capacity to be offered by each carrier on a particular route.

 

Cargo

Any goods carried on an aircraft Carrier Another term for the airline or company that operates flights from one airport to another. The term is used in many legal documents.

 

CAT

Clear Air Turbulence. The disturbance caused to an aircraft when flying through inclement weather or air pockets


Capacity controlled:

A limited number of seats on a plane available at a particular fare (might also apply to passengers flying on a frequent flyer reward).

 

Change penalty:

A fee charged by the airlines in the event you change your ticket after purchasing it.

 

Coach, or economy class:

The cheapest, most abundant class of seats.


Code share:

An agreement between two airlines in which each shares its flight codes, which means travelers purchasing one airline's ticket might actually be flying on the other carrier's plane. Might also include other types of agreements, such as reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.


Curbside check-in:

A place at the curb in front of the terminal—which might be staffed or feature an automatic kiosk—where travelers can check in and check their baggage, rather than at the regular counter inside the terminal.


Certificate of Airworthiness

Document issued by a national civil aviation authority to certify that an aircraft satisfies its safety and other criteria.

 

Certificate of Seaworthiness

Document issued by a national maritime authority to certify that a ship satisfies its safety and other criteria.

 

Charter Airlines

An aircraft which has been hired by one or more operators, usually for the package holiday market. Most seats are sold only as return flights for 7 or 14 night stays. The flights sometimes depart and arrive at inconvenient times and passengers are unable to change their bookings. Seats are normally sold with accommodation.

 

Circle Pacific

Fare A special fare offered by some Pacific carriers which allows passengers to fly to Pacific Rim destinations (Australia, Asia, North and South America) usually including four stopovers. Additional stopovers available at an extra cost, one condition is that the passenger must travel in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.

 

City Pair

The origin and destination cities of an aircraft flight.

 

Class

Segregation of passengers according to the fare paid or facilities and services offered.


Class Override

Class which overrides that from a previous board point Code Share Term used when two airlines share a flight operation. There are two flight numbers, but only one aircraft.

 

COM

Comment

 

Commercial Duplicate Flight

A flight where the operating airline allows seats/space to be sold by one or more than one airline and all participants to such an agreement sell their seats/space on that flight under their own flight designator.

 

Compartment

A space designated within the aircraft for the carriage of passengers or deadload.

 

Configuration

See Aircraft Configuration

 

Conjunction Tickets

A set of two or more airline tickets to cover a single itinerary. The tickets are stapled together and issued at the same time, which constitutes a single contract of carriage.

 

Connections/Connecting Services

Indicates that on a particular route, the traveller will have to change planes and flight numbers - make a transfer connection - at an airport enroute. Also known as Transfer.

 

Container

See Unit Load Device

 

CRS

Computer Reservation System

 

Daily Every day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday.

 

Data

A representation of facts, concepts or instructions in a formalised manner suitable for communication, interpretation or processing by human beings or by automatic means.


Direct flight, versus nonstop:

A flight which involves one or more stops (however, you stay on the same plane). "Nonstop" means there are no stops before you get to your destination.


Data Element

A data element is a sequence of alpha-numeric characters which, depending on their specific context and position, has a unique meaning, eg Flight Designator, Days of Operation

 

Deadhead

Aircraft or another vehicle travelling without passengers or cargo, or airline or another carrier's employee travelling free.

 

DEI

Data Element Identifier

 

Denied Boarding Compensation

Payment by an airline to a passenger with a confirmed reservation for a specific flight not honoured by the airline. Commonly given as a result of overbooking

 

Departure Times

All timetables give the time that the plane will depart in local time.

 

DES/DESI/DESIG

An Airline Designator code

 

Destination

The travellers final arrival city. A journey or itinerary can have many destinations but each flight sector has only one.

 

Direct Flight

Where the plane goes diretly from the departure city to the arrival city and the traveller does not need to change planes. Sometimes a direct flight makes an intermediary stop where the plane lands at an airport enroute, but if the passengerdoesn't have to change flights, its still known as a direct flight.

 

Domestic

A flight that takes off from one airport and lands at another airport in the same country. ie New York to Los Angeles is a domestic flight as both airports are in the USA.

 

Domestic Airline

An airline operating services entirely within one country


Domestic Flight

Leg A flight between two stations to which the same ISO country code applies.

 

Dry Lease

Refers to the leasing of an aircraft only

 

Dupe/Duplicate

Leg A single, non-operational leg of a flight that, for commercial/technical reasons is displayed under more than one flight number by the operating carrier, or is displayed by a different Airline Designator/Flight Number by an airline other than the operating airline.

 

Economy Cabin

For travellers with Economy Class tickets. On an aircraft, there may be two or more Economy Class cabins (Premium Economy and Economy).

 

EJT or EFT

Elapsed journey time or elapsed flying time. Elapsed (Journey) Time is the term used to explain 'real flying time' or 'actual journey time'. Because the flight timetables use local times for departure and arrivals, it is not easy to see how long each flight will actually take.


Electronic ticket:

A booking made through the Internet or other electronic means, in which there is no paper ticket. This doesn’t mean you don’t get any paper – normally you will have printed out your booking details or will have received a receipt from the airline or Travel Management Company.


Empty Leg

An empty flight between two consecutive scheduled stops Eg, occurs when a charter flight takes passengers in one direction but returns empty rather than waiting for a return load.

 

Excess Baggage Charge

An extra charge made by the airline if the travellers baggage exceeds the free allowance.

 

FAA

Federal Aviation Authority

 

FFP

Frequent Flyer Programme Where airlines offer rewards to regular travellers with the airline and its partners.

 

Flag Carrier

A carrier designated by a government to operate international services.

 

Flight Numbers

Letters and numbers unique to each flight. Flight numbers always begin with two letters which indicate the airline. Example, flight number MS865 is the flight number that Egyptair (MS) uses for their flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Cairo, Egypt.

 

FLT/Flight

The operation of one or more legs with the same Flight Designator Frequent Flyers Travellers who belong to airline Frequent Flyer Programmes.

 

Frequent Flyers

A range of rewards and incentives that encourage business travellers or regular travellers to use the same airline for all their requirements. The more frequently a traveller flies with the selected airline, the better will be the rewards or benefits.


Funnel Flight

A flight composed of two or more member flights which is identified by the Airline Designator and Flight Number of one of the members. Only one Airline Designator/Flight Number is operational on any one leg but a leg may have multiple, non operational Fl Also known as Complexing, Starburst, W or Y flights.

 

GDS

Global Distribution Systems.


Hub:

An airport in a large city through which major airlines will route their flights. (See "point-to-point" below.)


Hypothetical or Fictitious Fare Construction Points

Airline term to describe points (ie airport) included in an itinerary in order to construct a lower fare. Also known as fictitius construction points.

 

IATA

International Air Transport Association, body which regulates many of the world's scheduled airlines.

 

ICAO

International Civil Aviation Organisation

 

Identifier

A character or group of characters used to identify or name an item of data and possibly to indicate certain properties of that data. Indirect Route Principle Airline term used to describe the general rule allowing passengers paying full fares on IATA airlines to deviate from the direct route between any two points without extra payment, as long as the maximum permitted mileage for the route listed in the tariff is not exceeded.

 

Infant

A child normally under the age of two.

 

Intermediate Stop

When the plane lands at airports between the departure city and the arrival city. The traveller does not usually have to change planes.

 

International Flight

Describes a flight which takes off from one country and then lands in another. The term is used to separate International Flights and Domestic Flights. Amsterdam, Netherlands to Athens, Greece is an example of an international flight.

 

Jetlag

Temporary state of feeling in ill health following a long journey across several timezones. The traveller has difficulty adjusting to the timezone of their destination and may feel sick, lethargic and have difficulty concentrating.

 

Joint Operational Flight

A flight on more than one airline operates one or more of its legs.

 

K

When shown as 23k is the weight allowance shown on a ticket. Example, 23k is a maximum free baggage allowance of 23 kilos.

 

Landing Card

A document which must be completed by a passenger prior to arrival in order to gain entry to the country.

 

Layover

Scheduled interruption of a journey, usually overnight, either at the passengers request or necessary because of a lack of a connecting service.

 

An air ticket is seldom simple. It's often subject to an "advance purchase" restrictions, change penalties, no-show penalties, or non-refundable clauses. You may be limited by "capacity controls" or "yield management" - which means that the same seat on an aircraft on the same day and the same flight can have up to 20 different prices. And flying "direct" doesn't necessarily mean you're flying "nonstop".


While airline-speak may be old hat to the seasoned traveller, some people might find themselves puzzled on occasion. Here is a “decoder” for some common terms that crop up in the world of travel.


For anything we’ve missed, just give us a call and we’ll help you to decipher it!


2 letter codes (Two letter codes)

To simplify communication in the airline world, IATA (International Air Traffic Association) has designated all scheduled airlines with two letter codes. These are used in reservations, tickets, timetables and fare tables.


3 letter codes (Three letter codes)
IATA designated codes for airports and cities around the world. Example LON is London, LHR is London Heathrow, LGW is London Gatwick.
ABC Advance Booking Charter A charter that requires a minimum advance booking period. ABP Able Bodied Passenger. May be selected to sit at the emergency exit on an aircraft.


Accompanied/Unaccompanied Baggage.

Accompanied baggage is carried in the same aircraft as the passenger (and may be checked or unchecked). Unaccompanied baggage is carried separately as cargo. ACFT/EQT Aircraft Type


ACSA
Airports Company of South Africa


Advance purchase:

The ticket must be purchased at a specified number of days—usually three, seven, 14, or 21 days—in advance of the flight departure. The fare generally goes down the further out from the day of departure it is purchased.


Ad Hoc Schedule

A variation, addition or cancellation from the basic schedule of one or more flights on single dates.


Administrating Carrier

The airline which controls the operation of a flight.


Airline alliance:

An agreement between a group of airlines involving the sharing of flight codes, reservation systems, airline clubs, or frequent flyer benefits.


Alternative airport:

A secondary airport, generally smaller and/or farther away from the metropolitan center, than a major airport.


ATB
Automated Ticket and Boarding Pass. A cardboard “receipt” outlining your trip and fare paid. Unfortunatley is does not always act as a boarding pass despite its name. You still need to check in via an automated kiosk, on-line, or in the traditional “join the queue” manner for a check-in desk at the airport.


Air Passenger Duty

Charge payable on tickets for flights departing from the UK.

 

Air Passes

Designed for travelers who want to make many domestic flights in one country (ie USA). The flights all need to be on the same airline and have to be bought outside of the country in which they will be used.

 

Aircraft Configuration

Planned utilisation layout of aircraft interior space.

 

AIRIMP

Reservations Interline Message Proceedures - Passenger (ATC/IATA)

 

Airline Code

A two letter code indicating an airline, air company or air carrier - see 2 letter codes.

 

All-Cargo Aircraft

A version of an aircraft type which carries cargo and mail only. Alliance A term for airlines that have grouped together - formed an alliance - to give them a stronger identity and larger market share. examples are StarAlliance, Oneworld and Skyteam.

 

Alliances

Where two or more airlines collaborate in for example offering loyalty rewards. examples are StarAlliance, Oneworld and Skyteam.

 

AOC

Air Operators Certificate.

 

ARCS

Airline Routing and Connections Service

 

ARINC

Aeronautical Radio Incorporated


Arrival Times

All timetables give the time that the flight will arrive in local time.

 

ARS

Airline Reservation System


ASATA

Association of South African Travel Agents. ASATA acts as the quality assurance and representation body for the South African Travel Industry.


ASK

Available seat kilometres. A transport measure calculated as the product of the number of aircraft seats available for sale and the kilometres flown.

 

ASM

Ad hoc Schedules Message (IATA)

 

ATA

Air Transport Association of America Available Seat Miles A transport measure calculated as the product of the number of aircraft seats available for sale and the miles flown.

 

BAA

British Airports Authority

 

Baggage Allowance

The free luggage allowance an airline will carry for each traveller. Travellers are able to take more luggage by paying an Excess Baggage Charge. Depending on the route the allowance will either be by piece (numbers of bags or cases) or by weight.

 

Baggage Hold

The part of the plane where the baggage is stored. The traveller's luggage is handed over at the Check In desk at the departure airport.

 

Basing Point

A location to and from which air fares are established.


Blackout period:

A period during which the airlines won't let you fly using a frequent flyer award ticket (the term may also apply to certain promotional fares).

 

Block Spacing

An allocation by one airline to another of a number of seats on some of its flights, which the airline sells to the travelling public through its own marketing and distribution system.

 

BSP
Bank Settlement Programme – a system allowing the processing of multiple airline payments through one central facility owned and operated by IATA. Budget Airlines Also known as 'No Frills' or Low Cost' Airlines. They operate schedules (regular timetables) in the same way as the larger airlines, but with lower fares. They fly on shorthaul routes and sometimes in and out of less popular airports.

 

Bulkhead
A Rigid partition

 

CAA

Civil Aviation Authority Cabin Inside area of the aircraft. Usually there are separate cabins for First Class travellers, Business Class travellers and one or more cabins for Economy Class travellers.

 

Capacity Limitation

Agreement An agreement between carriers, commonly airlines, stipulating the maximum capacity to be offered by each carrier on a particular route.

 

Cargo

Any goods carried on an aircraft Carrier Another term for the airline or company that operates flights from one airport to another. The term is used in many legal documents.

 

CAT

Clear Air Turbulence. The disturbance caused to an aircraft when flying through inclement weather or air pockets


Capacity controlled:

A limited number of seats on a plane available at a particular fare (might also apply to passengers flying on a frequent flyer reward).

 

Change penalty:

A fee charged by the airlines in the event you change your ticket after purchasing it.

 

Coach, or economy class:

The cheapest, most abundant class of seats.


Code share:

An agreement between two airlines in which each shares its flight codes, which means travelers purchasing one airline's ticket might actually be flying on the other carrier's plane. Might also include other types of agreements, such as reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.


Curbside check-in:

A place at the curb in front of the terminal—which might be staffed or feature an automatic kiosk—where travelers can check in and check their baggage, rather than at the regular counter inside the terminal.


Certificate of Airworthiness

Document issued by a national civil aviation authority to certify that an aircraft satisfies its safety and other criteria.

 

Certificate of Seaworthiness

Document issued by a national maritime authority to certify that a ship satisfies its safety and other criteria.

 

Charter Airlines

An aircraft which has been hired by one or more operators, usually for the package holiday market. Most seats are sold only as return flights for 7 or 14 night stays. The flights sometimes depart and arrive at inconvenient times and passengers are unable to change their bookings. Seats are normally sold with accommodation.

 

Circle Pacific

Fare A special fare offered by some Pacific carriers which allows passengers to fly to Pacific Rim destinations (Australia, Asia, North and South America) usually including four stopovers. Additional stopovers available at an extra cost, one condition is that the passenger must travel in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.

 

City Pair

The origin and destination cities of an aircraft flight.

 

Class

Segregation of passengers according to the fare paid or facilities and services offered.


Class Override

Class which overrides that from a previous board point Code Share Term used when two airlines share a flight operation. There are two flight numbers, but only one aircraft.

 

COM

Comment

 

Commercial Duplicate Flight

A flight where the operating airline allows seats/space to be sold by one or more than one airline and all participants to such an agreement sell their seats/space on that flight under their own flight designator.

 

Compartment

A space designated within the aircraft for the carriage of passengers or deadload.

 

Configuration

See Aircraft Configuration

 

Conjunction Tickets

A set of two or more airline tickets to cover a single itinerary. The tickets are stapled together and issued at the same time, which constitutes a single contract of carriage.

 

Connections/Connecting Services

Indicates that on a particular route, the traveller will have to change planes and flight numbers - make a transfer connection - at an airport enroute. Also known as Transfer.

 

Container

See Unit Load Device

 

CRS

Computer Reservation System

 

Daily Every day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday.

 

Data

A representation of facts, concepts or instructions in a formalised manner suitable for communication, interpretation or processing by human beings or by automatic means.


Direct flight, versus nonstop:

A flight which involves one or more stops (however, you stay on the same plane). "Nonstop" means there are no stops before you get to your destination.


Data Element

A data element is a sequence of alpha-numeric characters which, depending on their specific context and position, has a unique meaning, eg Flight Designator, Days of Operation

 

Deadhead

Aircraft or another vehicle travelling without passengers or cargo, or airline or another carrier's employee travelling free.

 

DEI

Data Element Identifier

 

Denied Boarding Compensation

Payment by an airline to a passenger with a confirmed reservation for a specific flight not honoured by the airline. Commonly given as a result of overbooking

 

Departure Times

All timetables give the time that the plane will depart in local time.

 

DES/DESI/DESIG

An Airline Designator code

 

Destination

The travellers final arrival city. A journey or itinerary can have many destinations but each flight sector has only one.

 

Direct Flight

Where the plane goes diretly from the departure city to the arrival city and the traveller does not need to change planes. Sometimes a direct flight makes an intermediary stop where the plane lands at an airport enroute, but if the passengerdoesn't have to change flights, its still known as a direct flight.

 

Domestic

A flight that takes off from one airport and lands at another airport in the same country. ie New York to Los Angeles is a domestic flight as both airports are in the USA.

 

Domestic Airline

An airline operating services entirely within one country


Domestic Flight

Leg A flight between two stations to which the same ISO country code applies.

 

Dry Lease

Refers to the leasing of an aircraft only

 

Dupe/Duplicate

Leg A single, non-operational leg of a flight that, for commercial/technical reasons is displayed under more than one flight number by the operating carrier, or is displayed by a different Airline Designator/Flight Number by an airline other than the operating airline.

 

Economy Cabin

For travellers with Economy Class tickets. On an aircraft, there may be two or more Economy Class cabins (Premium Economy and Economy).

 

EJT or EFT

Elapsed journey time or elapsed flying time. Elapsed (Journey) Time is the term used to explain 'real flying time' or 'actual journey time'. Because the flight timetables use local times for departure and arrivals, it is not easy to see how long each flight will actually take.


Electronic ticket:

A booking made through the Internet or other electronic means, in which there is no paper ticket. This doesn’t mean you don’t get any paper – normally you will have printed out your booking details or will have received a receipt from the airline or Travel Management Company.


Empty Leg

An empty flight between two consecutive scheduled stops Eg, occurs when a charter flight takes passengers in one direction but returns empty rather than waiting for a return load.

 

Excess Baggage Charge

An extra charge made by the airline if the travellers baggage exceeds the free allowance.

 

FAA

Federal Aviation Authority

 

FFP

Frequent Flyer Programme Where airlines offer rewards to regular travellers with the airline and its partners.

 

Flag Carrier

A carrier designated by a government to operate international services.

 

Flight Numbers

Letters and numbers unique to each flight. Flight numbers always begin with two letters which indicate the airline. Example, flight number MS865 is the flight number that Egyptair (MS) uses for their flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Cairo, Egypt.

 

FLT/Flight

The operation of one or more legs with the same Flight Designator Frequent Flyers Travellers who belong to airline Frequent Flyer Programmes.

 

Frequent Flyers

A range of rewards and incentives that encourage business travellers or regular travellers to use the same airline for all their requirements. The more frequently a traveller flies with the selected airline, the better will be the rewards or benefits.


Funnel Flight

A flight composed of two or more member flights which is identified by the Airline Designator and Flight Number of one of the members. Only one Airline Designator/Flight Number is operational on any one leg but a leg may have multiple, non operational Fl Also known as Complexing, Starburst, W or Y flights.

 

GDS

Global Distribution Systems.


Hub:

An airport in a large city through which major airlines will route their flights. (See "point-to-point" below.)


Hypothetical or Fictitious Fare Construction Points

Airline term to describe points (ie airport) included in an itinerary in order to construct a lower fare. Also known as fictitius construction points.

 

IATA

International Air Transport Association, body which regulates many of the world's scheduled airlines.

 

ICAO

International Civil Aviation Organisation

 

Identifier

A character or group of characters used to identify or name an item of data and possibly to indicate certain properties of that data. Indirect Route Principle Airline term used to describe the general rule allowing passengers paying full fares on IATA airlines to deviate from the direct route between any two points without extra payment, as long as the maximum permitted mileage for the route listed in the tariff is not exceeded.

 

Infant

A child normally under the age of two.

 

Intermediate Stop

When the plane lands at airports between the departure city and the arrival city. The traveller does not usually have to change planes.

 

International Flight

Describes a flight which takes off from one country and then lands in another. The term is used to separate International Flights and Domestic Flights. Amsterdam, Netherlands to Athens, Greece is an example of an international flight.

 

Jetlag

Temporary state of feeling in ill health following a long journey across several timezones. The traveller has difficulty adjusting to the timezone of their destination and may feel sick, lethargic and have difficulty concentrating.

 

Joint Operational Flight

A flight on more than one airline operates one or more of its legs.

 

K

When shown as 23k is the weight allowance shown on a ticket. Example, 23k is a maximum free baggage allowance of 23 kilos.

 

Landing Card

A document which must be completed by a passenger prior to arrival in order to gain entry to the country.

 

Layover

Scheduled interruption of a journey, usually overnight, either at the passengers request or necessary because of a lack of a connecting service.

 

Leased or Blocked Space Flight

A flight where the operating airline leases (or blocks) some seats/space to one or more
other airlines and all participants to such an agreement sell their seats/space on that flight under their own designator (s).

 

Leg

A leg is another word for 'sector', ie each section of a journey or trip. Example, a traveller could be told that the London to Paris leg of their trip would be either by air or by Eurostar train.

 

Leg Room

Term used to indicate how much space there is between an aircraft seat and the one in front. The technical term is 'pitch'.

 

Links (OAG Links)

OAG propriety schedule update remote access system

 

Long Haul

A flight of more than 4 hours. On long haul flights the amount of space and comfort a traveller enjoys has a real effect on their feeling of wellbeing on arrival at their destination.

 

Lounge Airport

Lounge/Executive Lounge/VIP Lounge A part of the airport where travellers can spend time between check in and boarding the plane. Many airlines provide special lounges exclusively for Business and First Class passengers.

 

Loyalty Programmes

Reward programmes that encourage business travellers to use the same airline or hotel chain for all their travel arrangements. These programmes are also known as 'Frequent Flyer' or 'Frequent Lodger' programmes but each has a unique name.

 

Mail

All types of material communications carried on one aircraft, eg, General Post Office Mail, diplomatic mail, military mail and company (airline) mail

 

MCD

Multiple Carrier Designator MCT Minimum Connecting Time Indicates whether there is enough time for a traveller to change planes - make a transfer connection - at any airport.


Minimum stay:

The minimum time required for a traveler to stay at a destination in order to qualify for a certain fare. Some fares have maximum stay requirements as well which generally are one month.


Movement

The arrival or departure of an aircraft Non-Operational (commercial leg). See Operational Leg Multi Sector On a journey that includes one or more transit stops, each part of that journey is known as a sector.


Nonrefundable fare:

A fare that can't be refunded for any reason after it's purchased.


No-show penalty:

A fee charged by the airlines in the event you miss your flight and attempt to use your ticket for a different flight.


Nontransferable:

A ticket that can't be exchanged for another ticket or flight.


No Frills

Airlines Also known as 'Low Cost' or 'Budget' airlines.

 

No Show

Term used for a traveller who does not check in for the flight that they have a reservation for and has not cancelled the reservation.

 

Non Stop Flights Flights which fly from one airport to another without landing at any airport in between. As these flights are faster than those that make intermediate stops, they are preferred by business travellers.

 

Off Point

Station of disembarkation

 

Onboard

Inside the plane.


On-line check-in
A facility offered by airlines whereby you may check-in before you get to the airport by way of your PC.

 

One-way fare based on a roundtrip purchase:

The cost of an airline ticket from the point of origin to your destination (or vice versa), based on the total cost of the roundtrip flight. That is, you'd double the one-way fare to get the roundtrip price, which is actually what you'd pay.


Operation

The act of a transport vehicle travelling from point to point

 

Operational Leg

A flight leg which is physically operated and identified by its Airline Designator and Flight Number

 

Originating Flight

A flight designated by a Flight Designator, commencing at the station in question

 

Outbound/Outward

The first part of an itinerary or journey from the point of origin.

 

Overbooking

Some airlines sell more tickets than there are seats on the plane. If every traveller tries to check in, some will be asked to travel on another flight in exchange for financial compensation.


PAX

Passengers


Peak, off-peak flights:

"Peak" refers to flights scheduled for times when demand is heavy, hence the fares tend to be higher. Off-peak fares are lower because they are scheduled for flights when demand is light.


Point-to-point:
A nonstop flight between two cities, one or both of which may be smaller destinations. Rather than fly lots of nonstop flights between two smaller city pairs, the larger airlines have tended to route their flights from smaller cities through a major airport, called a hub.

 

Piece System

One of the ways that airlines describe baggage allowances, the other term used is Weight System. The letters PC are shown on the ticket ie 2PC, indicating that the traveller can check in two cases or bags. These is a maximum size for these 'pieces'.


Pitch

The distance between a plane seat and the seat in front. The higher the figure, the more leg space the traveller will have.

 

PNR

Passenger Name Record

A unique code used by airlines to recognise a booking

 

Preclearance

Provision of customs and immigration proceedures in a foreign country of departure to ease the demand for such facilities in the country of arrival. Such arrangements exist for example between the USA and Caribbean.

 

PTA

Pre-paid Ticket Advice.

Notification by an agent or carrier that a person has paid for another person's transportation, usually from a place other than the one in which the fare was paid, thereby authorising the issue of an airline ticket by the recipient.

 

Recline

The measurement of how far a plane seat will push back. Some airlines measure the recline by inches, others by degrees. The higher the figure, the further the seat back can recline.

 

Red Eye

A phrase referring to lack of sleep, usually when the traveller lands at the arrival airport early in the morning following an overnight flight.

 

RES/RESTN

Restriction Re-validation Sticker An amendment attached to the flight coupon of an airline ticket showing a change such as change of flight made to the original reservation.

 

Rewards

The benefits that a business traveller gets for frequently using the same airline or hotel chain as part of a 'Frequent Fkyer' or Frequent Lodger' program. Rewards include free flights, discounts on holidays, gift certificates, tickets to leisure parts, hotel accommodation and more.

 

Rotation

The operation of consecutive legs in operational sequence between the station or origin and the station of destination of any flight

 

Routing

A list of consecutive legs in operational sequence between the station of origin and the station of destination of any flight


RSD

Release for Sale Date

 

SAD

Shared Airline Designator

 

Scheduled Airline/Flights

A scheduled airline operates on advertised routes, this may be several times a day and/or several days a week. The routes are fixed and each route is linked to a flight number.

 

SCR

A multi-volume set of documents which describe the protocols, standards and implementation issues related to inter-system communications for the airline and aeronautical communities.

 

Seat Plans

Diagrams of the inside of an aircraft showing seat locations etc.


Seat pitch:

A guide to leg room, pitch measures the distance between seats at the level of your knees. The industry standard in economy is 31—32 inches.


Sector

On a journey that includes one or more transit stops, each part of that journey is known as a sector.

 

Self Booking Tools
Systems that allow travel bookers within a corporation to view flight, hotel, car rental availability and process and request specific itineraries through their Travel Management Company. Not to be confused with “booking on-line” through the internet, which process has no management element attached.


Short Haul

A flight of less than 4 hours.


SISC

Schedules Information Standards Committee (IATA)

 

SKD/SKED/SKEDS

Schedule

 

SLOT

The scheduled time of arrival or departure available or allocated to an aircraft movement on a specific date at an airport.


Solari Boards
The large signs in airports that display flight times and boarding gates.

 

SPC

Scheduling Procedures Committee (IATA)

 

SSIM

Standard Schedules Information Manual (IATA)

 

SSM

Standard Schedules Message (IATA)


Stacking

Describes aircraft flying in large circles at two or more levels awaiting for permission to land Occurs at busy airports

 

Standby fare:

A ticket sold at a discount but which doesn't guarantee you a seat on the plane. Standby passengers are usually boarded on a first-come, first-served basis.


Standby

Term used for a traveller who does not have a firm reservation for a particular flight. (Firm reservations are indicated on the ticket by the letters 'OK'). These tickets are often held by airline staff who can only travel if there is space available. The passenger is asked to report to the gate or check-in desk at a specific time - shortly before departure.

 

Station

A place or airport to which a Location Identifier has been assigned – example JNB for Johannesburg.

 

Stopover

When a traveller leaves the airport at which they have arrived. The passenger must complete arrival formalities and when they return to the airport they must check in again. In this way, a stopover is different from a stop where the passenger stays 'in transit' and doesn't leave the 'airside' of the airport.

 

Taxi

The journey taken by an aircraft between its loading point and takeoff point. The aircraft also 'taxis' from its landing position to its unloading point.

 

TC's

Transfer Connections

 

Technical Landing/stop

A landing for non-traffic purposes eg, refuelling. Passengers cannot board or disembark at this point.

 

Terminating Flight

A flight, designated by a Flight Designator, ending at the station in question.

 

THRU FLT

Direct Flight

 

TIACA

The International Air Cargo Association


TIMATIC
An automated service used by Travel Management Companies to check VISA and Passport requirements for your destination/s and transit points relative to your nationality.

 

Traffic Conference

IATA's classification of the world's major airline routes. Area's (TCA's): TCA1=North and South America, TCA2=Europe and Africa, TCA3=Asia and Australasia

 

Transfer

See Connection


Transfer Connection

When a traveller must change flights at an airport enroute to their destination. OAG publishes details of single and double transferconnections in various products.

 

Transit Flight

A flight, designated by a Flight Designator, during an en route landing at the station in question

 

Transit Stop

An intermediate stop on a flight where the plane will only be on the ground for an hour or so. Sometimes passengers are invited to leave the aircraft, but usually they remain on board.

 

Transit Time

The time an aircraft remains in transit at the station in question


Travel Management Company

A company that specializes in corporate and business travel, with emphasis on the management components of travel. These would include Management information, accounting, Travel Policy, Service Level Agreements, Payment systems and so-on.

 

TTB

Timetable Turnaround time The time spent by an aircraft between landing and taking off.

 

UN/ECE

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

 

Unit Load Device

A load carrying device which interfaces directly with aircraft loading and restraint systems and meets all restraint requirements without the use of supplementary equipment. As such, it becomes a component part of the aircraft. These are the metal containers you see at airports.

 

Upgrade:

Switching your ticket from economy class to business or first class (or from business to first).

 

UTC

Universal Time Coordinates (same as GMT)


VAT
Charged on South African Domestic airfares, but not on International flights.
May be applicable to domestic flights within other countries – consult your Travel Management Company for a breakdown of prices on your tickets within other countries.

 

Wait-Listing/Wait List

When all seats on a flight have been sold, a traveller may ask to be 'waitlisted' or 'put on the wait list'. They would then be notified if a seat becomes available.

 

Warsaw Convention

An agreement approved in 1928 that restricts the liability of airlines on international flights.

 

Weight System

One of the ways that airlines describe baggage allowances.

 

Wet Lease

Refers to the leasing of an aircraft and includes the provision of crew & supporting services.


Wide body

A type of aircraft which has two aisles in the passenger cabin.


Yield management:

A system of calculating fares based on the supply of available seats versus the demand. As planes fill up and the supply of seats dwindles, fares increase. Conversely, if seats are not selling, the system will reduce fares in order to attract passengers.

 

Zulu

Same as GMT

A flight where the operating airline leases (or blocks) some seats/space to one or more
other airlines and all participants to such an agreement sell their seats/space on that flight under their own designator (s).

 

Leg

A leg is another word for 'sector', ie each section of a journey or trip. Example, a traveller could be told that the London to Paris leg of their trip would be either by air or by Eurostar train.

 

Leg Room

Term used to indicate how much space there is between an aircraft seat and the one in front. The technical term is 'pitch'.

 

Links (OAG Links)

OAG propriety schedule update remote access system

 

Long Haul

A flight of more than 4 hours. On long haul flights the amount of space and comfort a traveller enjoys has a real effect on their feeling of wellbeing on arrival at their destination.

 

Lounge Airport

Lounge/Executive Lounge/VIP Lounge A part of the airport where travellers can spend time between check in and boarding the plane. Many airlines provide special lounges exclusively for Business and First Class passengers.

 

Loyalty Programmes

Reward programmes that encourage business travellers to use the same airline or hotel chain for all their travel arrangements. These programmes are also known as 'Frequent Flyer' or 'Frequent Lodger' programmes but each has a unique name.

 

Mail

All types of material communications carried on one aircraft, eg, General Post Office Mail, diplomatic mail, military mail and company (airline) mail

 

MCD

Multiple Carrier Designator MCT Minimum Connecting Time Indicates whether there is enough time for a traveller to change planes - make a transfer connection - at any airport.


Minimum stay:

The minimum time required for a traveler to stay at a destination in order to qualify for a certain fare. Some fares have maximum stay requirements as well which generally are one month.


Movement

The arrival or departure of an aircraft Non-Operational (commercial leg). See Operational Leg Multi Sector On a journey that includes one or more transit stops, each part of that journey is known as a sector.


Nonrefundable fare:

A fare that can't be refunded for any reason after it's purchased.


No-show penalty:

A fee charged by the airlines in the event you miss your flight and attempt to use your ticket for a different flight.


Nontransferable:

A ticket that can't be exchanged for another ticket or flight.


No Frills

Airlines Also known as 'Low Cost' or 'Budget' airlines.

 

No Show

Term used for a traveller who does not check in for the flight that they have a reservation for and has not cancelled the reservation.

 

Non Stop Flights Flights which fly from one airport to another without landing at any airport in between. As these flights are faster than those that make intermediate stops, they are preferred by business travellers.

 

Off Point

Station of disembarkation

 

Onboard

Inside the plane.


On-line check-in
A facility offered by airlines whereby you may check-in before you get to the airport by way of your PC.

 

One-way fare based on a roundtrip purchase:

The cost of an airline ticket from the point of origin to your destination (or vice versa), based on the total cost of the roundtrip flight. That is, you'd double the one-way fare to get the roundtrip price, which is actually what you'd pay.


Operation

The act of a transport vehicle travelling from point to point

 

Operational Leg

A flight leg which is physically operated and identified by its Airline Designator and Flight Number

 

Originating Flight

A flight designated by a Flight Designator, commencing at the station in question

 

Outbound/Outward

The first part of an itinerary or journey from the point of origin.

 

Overbooking

Some airlines sell more tickets than there are seats on the plane. If every traveller tries to check in, some will be asked to travel on another flight in exchange for financial compensation.


PAX

Passengers


Peak, off-peak flights:

"Peak" refers to flights scheduled for times when demand is heavy, hence the fares tend to be higher. Off-peak fares are lower because they are scheduled for flights when demand is light.


Point-to-point:
A nonstop flight between two cities, one or both of which may be smaller destinations. Rather than fly lots of nonstop flights between two smaller city pairs, the larger airlines have tended to route their flights from smaller cities through a major airport, called a hub.

 

Piece System

One of the ways that airlines describe baggage allowances, the other term used is Weight System. The letters PC are shown on the ticket ie 2PC, indicating that the traveller can check in two cases or bags. These is a maximum size for these 'pieces'.


Pitch

The distance between a plane seat and the seat in front. The higher the figure, the more leg space the traveller will have.

 

PNR

Passenger Name Record

A unique code used by airlines to recognise a booking

 

Preclearance

Provision of customs and immigration proceedures in a foreign country of departure to ease the demand for such facilities in the country of arrival. Such arrangements exist for example between the USA and Caribbean.

 

PTA

Pre-paid Ticket Advice.

Notification by an agent or carrier that a person has paid for another person's transportation, usually from a place other than the one in which the fare was paid, thereby authorising the issue of an airline ticket by the recipient.

 

Recline

The measurement of how far a plane seat will push back. Some airlines measure the recline by inches, others by degrees. The higher the figure, the further the seat back can recline.

 

Red Eye

A phrase referring to lack of sleep, usually when the traveller lands at the arrival airport early in the morning following an overnight flight.

 

RES/RESTN

Restriction Re-validation Sticker An amendment attached to the flight coupon of an airline ticket showing a change such as change of flight made to the original reservation.

 

Rewards

The benefits that a business traveller gets for frequently using the same airline or hotel chain as part of a 'Frequent Fkyer' or Frequent Lodger' program. Rewards include free flights, discounts on holidays, gift certificates, tickets to leisure parts, hotel accommodation and more.

 

Rotation

The operation of consecutive legs in operational sequence between the station or origin and the station of destination of any flight

 

Routing

A list of consecutive legs in operational sequence between the station of origin and the station of destination of any flight


RSD

Release for Sale Date

 

SAD

Shared Airline Designator

 

Scheduled Airline/Flights

A scheduled airline operates on advertised routes, this may be several times a day and/or several days a week. The routes are fixed and each route is linked to a flight number.

 

SCR

A multi-volume set of documents which describe the protocols, standards and implementation issues related to inter-system communications for the airline and aeronautical communities.

 

Seat Plans

Diagrams of the inside of an aircraft showing seat locations etc.


Seat pitch:

A guide to leg room, pitch measures the distance between seats at the level of your knees. The industry standard in economy is 31—32 inches.


Sector

On a journey that includes one or more transit stops, each part of that journey is known as a sector.

 

Self Booking Tools
Systems that allow travel bookers within a corporation to view flight, hotel, car rental availability and process and request specific itineraries through their Travel Management Company. Not to be confused with “booking on-line” through the internet, which process has no management element attached.


Short Haul

A flight of less than 4 hours.


SISC

Schedules Information Standards Committee (IATA)

 

SKD/SKED/SKEDS

Schedule

 

SLOT

The scheduled time of arrival or departure available or allocated to an aircraft movement on a specific date at an airport.


Solari Boards
The large signs in airports that display flight times and boarding gates.

 

SPC

Scheduling Procedures Committee (IATA)

 

SSIM

Standard Schedules Information Manual (IATA)

 

SSM

Standard Schedules Message (IATA)


Stacking

Describes aircraft flying in large circles at two or more levels awaiting for permission to land Occurs at busy airports

 

Standby fare:

A ticket sold at a discount but which doesn't guarantee you a seat on the plane. Standby passengers are usually boarded on a first-come, first-served basis.


Standby

Term used for a traveller who does not have a firm reservation for a particular flight. (Firm reservations are indicated on the ticket by the letters 'OK'). These tickets are often held by airline staff who can only travel if there is space available. The passenger is asked to report to the gate or check-in desk at a specific time - shortly before departure.

 

Station

A place or airport to which a Location Identifier has been assigned – example JNB for Johannesburg.

 

Stopover

When a traveller leaves the airport at which they have arrived. The passenger must complete arrival formalities and when they return to the airport they must check in again. In this way, a stopover is different from a stop where the passenger stays 'in transit' and doesn't leave the 'airside' of the airport.

 

Taxi

The journey taken by an aircraft between its loading point and takeoff point. The aircraft also 'taxis' from its landing position to its unloading point.

 

TC's

Transfer Connections

 

Technical Landing/stop

A landing for non-traffic purposes eg, refuelling. Passengers cannot board or disembark at this point.

 

Terminating Flight

A flight, designated by a Flight Designator, ending at the station in question.

 

THRU FLT

Direct Flight

 

TIACA

The International Air Cargo Association


TIMATIC
An automated service used by Travel Management Companies to check VISA and Passport requirements for your destination/s and transit points relative to your nationality.

 

Traffic Conference

IATA's classification of the world's major airline routes. Area's (TCA's): TCA1=North and South America, TCA2=Europe and Africa, TCA3=Asia and Australasia

 

Transfer

See Connection


Transfer Connection

When a traveller must change flights at an airport enroute to their destination. OAG publishes details of single and double transferconnections in various products.

 

Transit Flight

A flight, designated by a Flight Designator, during an en route landing at the station in question

 

Transit Stop

An intermediate stop on a flight where the plane will only be on the ground for an hour or so. Sometimes passengers are invited to leave the aircraft, but usually they remain on board.

 

Transit Time

The time an aircraft remains in transit at the station in question


Travel Management Company

A company that specializes in corporate and business travel, with emphasis on the management components of travel. These would include Management information, accounting, Travel Policy, Service Level Agreements, Payment systems and so-on.

 

TTB

Timetable Turnaround time The time spent by an aircraft between landing and taking off.

 

UN/ECE

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

 

Unit Load Device

A load carrying device which interfaces directly with aircraft loading and restraint systems and meets all restraint requirements without the use of supplementary equipment. As such, it becomes a component part of the aircraft. These are the metal containers you see at airports.

 

Upgrade:

Switching your ticket from economy class to business or first class (or from business to first).

 

UTC

Universal Time Coordinates (same as GMT)


VAT
Charged on South African Domestic airfares, but not on International flights.
May be applicable to domestic flights within other countries – consult your Travel Management Company for a breakdown of prices on your tickets within other countries.

 

Wait-Listing/Wait List

When all seats on a flight have been sold, a traveller may ask to be 'waitlisted' or 'put on the wait list'. They would then be notified if a seat becomes available.

 

Warsaw Convention

An agreement approved in 1928 that restricts the liability of airlines on international flights.

 

Weight System

One of the ways that airlines describe baggage allowances.

 

Wet Lease

Refers to the leasing of an aircraft and includes the provision of crew & supporting services.


Wide body

A type of aircraft which has two aisles in the passenger cabin.


Yield management:

A system of calculating fares based on the supply of available seats versus the demand. As planes fill up and the supply of seats dwindles, fares increase. Conversely, if seats are not selling, the system will reduce fares in order to attract passengers.

 

Zulu

Same as GMT

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