The following is a list of common travel jargon used by the travel industry.

APD – Air Passenger Duty is a UK government imposed charge in addition to other airport taxes.
APEX FARE – Advance Purchase Excursion Fare (airline).This is a special fare at a lower rate. Restrictions will be in place which may prevent you from getting a refund or making any changes.
ARNK – Arrival Not Known is used to show a surface/sea sector in a flight booking. For example, Heathrow to JFK New York, then Los Angeles to Heathrow. There is a surface journey between New York and Los Angeles.
ATOL – Air Travel Organiser’s License. This is required by any company selling packaged holidays with flights included. It provides consumer protection if a Tour Operator goes into financial failure – if passengers have not travelled they will get their money back or if passengers are on holiday, arrangements will be made for their return.

CARRYON – This is hand luggage that passengers can take with them onto the aircraft. Size, number of bags and weight limits are set by the airline and by local government anti-terrorism instructions. Contents are also restricted, so make sure that you are fully aware of any restrictions before you check your hold baggage.
CHECKED BAGGAGE -This is baggage up to a specified limit that is carried in the hold of the aircraft. There are two systems in place for checked baggage allowances.

  1. The weight system is based on the total weight of baggage, no matter how many different pieces
  2. The piece system is based on the number of pieces of baggage. Each bag must not exceed a maximum length made up of all three dimensions (length + width + height). There may be a total length limit for all bags combined.

Both systems will have a maximum weight limit per bag for health and safety reasons. This varies dependent on country of departure as well as airline. Subject to space availability, airlines will carry amounts of baggage in excess of the free allowance for an excess baggage charge. The maximum amount depends on the class of ticket, with economy having the lowest limit and first class having the greatest limit.
CHILDREN – A reduction on the adult fare, depending on age. For most scheduled airlines children are aged between 2-12 years inclusive. Some hotels have a maximum child age of 16, so the flight could be full adult, but the room may be discounted. Do not assume that a child discount is applied. It may be cheaper to voluntarily pay an adult price for a room as in some cases this is cheaper than paying a child price and an under occupancy surcharge. Children have the same baggage allowance as adults.


DIRECT FLIGHT – A change of aircraft is not required but the aircraft is landing at an intermediate point.

E.T.A. – Estimated Time of Arrival
EXCESS BAGGAGE – An excess baggage fee on baggage greater than that allowed for the free allowance included in the ticket price. The charge is generally l.5% highest normal direct adult one way economy class (in local currency) for each kilogram in excess of the free allowance. There are exceptions so check the airline’s terms and conditions before booking.

FULLFARE – means that the passenger has paid in full. Full payment at the time of booking usually guarantees the price. Increased taxes will be passed on, so check terms and conditions before paying.

GROUPS – If 10 or more are on the same booking, a special group passenger’s fare may be applicable. For scheduled flights this may mean a higher price than when travelling separately. There are only so many seats at a certain price and there may not be enough to cover the whole group, so the next highest fare is used.

HEALTH – Always contact your GP before travelling for up-to-date advice. Private clinics may offer better advice, but do not leave it to your travel agent or tour operator as they may be out of date and are not qualified to give medical advice.

IATA – International Air Transport Association. Includes most of the world’s airlines and enables passengers to travel on different aircraft around the world after paying the fare at the start of their journey in one currency. It also promotes safety and cost cutting measures. An IATA License is required to sell scheduled flights, so your supplier may hold a license or may be an agent acting on a holder’s behalf.
INFANT – A child under the age of two on the date of return. An infant does not have its own seat or meal on the flight. Infants have a reduce baggage allowance but may also include one pushchair.

LONGHAUL – A flight of more than 5 hours.

MAXIMUM & MINIMUM (MAX/MIN) STAY – All return flight prices are governed by the length of stay and other conditions. For example, Minimum could mean that the passenger has to stay on a Saturday night or for seven days. Maximum could be up to one year. The more restrictions placed on the ticket, the cheaper the fare.

NONSTOP – The aircraft does not land on the way to the final destination.

OK – An airline ticket that is booked or confirmed.
OPENJAW – A term for a booking where the passenger arrives in one city and leaves from another i.e. travel from London to New York, with the return flight leaving from Boston to London.
OW – A one way flight.

PRE-BOOKABLE – On most scheduled airlines it is possible to pre-book seats, and also special meal requests.

RQ – A flight ticket that is requested but not confirmed.
RT – A return flight.
R.T.G – Routing – This describes a journey from start to finish.

SEAT PITCH – This is the distance between the back of your seat and the back of the seat in front of you.
SEGMENT – Each individual part of an itinerary is called a segment, for example a return flight will have two segments; the outbound and return flight.
SHORT HAUL – A flight of less than 5 hours.
SPECIAL FARES – Various lower priced fares with more restrictions and penalties on tickets.
STOPOVERS – If the flight is not nonstop, then it may be possible to stay one night or more in a destination en route to a final destination.

TAXES – This is all the extras that have to be added onto the price of the ticket. Recently the EU stated that advertised prices should have taxes added. All other types of charges are added as ‘taxes’, such as airport security charges, fuel surcharges, passenger service charges. There are cases, even with flag carrier scheduled routes, where these extras cost more that the ticket.
TOD – Ticket on Departure –When there is not enough time for tickets to be sent through the post, they will be ready for collection at the ticket desks at the airport. A charge is usually applied for this service.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINOR – Any children aged up to 12 who are travelling without an adult. The adult fare may apply and the airline may also charge a fee to look after the passenger. Not all airlines accept unaccompanied minors.

VISA – Some Countries require certain passport holders to hold a visa to allow entry into their country. This should be checked by contacting the local embassy or visiting their website. Visas can be free of charge and allocated on arrival, but they mostly involve a fee and application before travel. If a visa is required but is not issued, then the traveller will be sent back to their last destination/country of origin. Some tour operators may offer a Visa application service for a fee. In some cases this fee is worth the money as visa applications can be a complicated procedure.