If you don't understand travel jargon you may end up spending more than you need to

The terms and conditions of booking can be confusing - here is a guide to help

The common travel jargon used by the travel industry

 
APD – Air Passenger Duty is a UK government imposed charge besides other 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 This shows 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. Any company selling flights with accommodation or hire car needs an ATOL. It provides consumer protection. If passengers have not travelled they will get their money back. If passengers are on holiday, the ATOL will bring them home

Keep calm when you carryon

CARRYON – This is hand luggage that passengers can take with them onto the plane. Size, number of bags and weight limits are set by the airline and local anti-terrorism laws. Contents are also restricted. Make sure that you are aware of any restrictions before you check your hold baggage

CHECKED BAGGAGE – This is baggage (up to a specified limit) stored in the hold of the plane. There are two systems in place for checked baggage allowances:

  1. The weight system uses the total weight of baggage, no matter how many different pieces
  2. The piece system uses 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 weight limit per bag for health and safety reasons. This varies dependent on country of departure as well as airline. Airlines may sometimes carry baggage over the free allowance for a fee. The permitted amount depends on the class of ticket. Economy has the lowest limit and first class having the greatest limit

CHILDREN – A reduction on the adult fare, depending on age. Usually, this is between 2-12 years inclusive on a scheduled flight. With some hotels the child limit is 16 years old. Do not assume you have paid a child fare. Also, due to under adult occupancy charges it may be cheaper to pay an adult price for a room. Children have the same baggage allowance as adults

Why can group tickets be more expensive than travelling solo?

DIRECT FLIGHT – A change of plane is not required but the plane is landing at an intermediate point
 
E.T.A. – Estimated Time of Arrival
EXCESS BAGGAGE – A fee on baggage greater than that allowed for the free allowance. included in the ticket price. Usually l.5% of the highest one way economy fare (in the local currency) for each kilogram over the 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. The airline will add any increased taxes after the booking. 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 alone. There are only so many seats at a certain price, there may not be enough to cover the whole group. In these cases airlines use the the next highest fare

Check the health advisories

HEALTH – Always contact your GP before travelling for up-to-date advice. Private clinics may offer better advice for a fee. Do not rely on your travel agent or tour operator. They may be out of date and are not qualified to give medical advice
IATA – International Air Transport Association. Most of the world’s airlines are members. It enables passengers to travel around the world by paying the fare in one currency. It also promotes safety and cost cutting measures. Ticket suppliers need an IATA License to sell scheduled flights. Your ticket supplier may hold a license or may be an agent acting on a license 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 – The length of stay permitted by the ticket’s terms and conditions (rules). 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 plane does not land on the way to the final destination

OPENJAW is not an ‘all you can eat’ buffet

OK – A booked or confirmed airline ticket
OPENJAW – A term for a booking where the passenger arrives in one city and leaves from another. For example, 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 requests
RQ – A requested, but not confirmed flight ticket
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 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 – Lower priced fares that come with more restrictions and penalties

STOPOVERS – A nonstop flight it is possible to stay a night or more in a destination en route to a final destination

Taxes – the blame hound of the travel industry

TAXES – This is all the extras added onto the price of the ticket. Such as airport security charges, fuel surcharges and passenger service charges. There are cases where these extras cost more that the seat. Advertised prices should have taxes added

TOD – Ticket on Departure. If there is not enough time to post the tickets 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 – When travelling to some countries passport holders must hold a valid visa to enter the country. Check with the local embassy or visit their website. Visas can be free of charge and allocated on arrival. They can involve a fee and application before travel. Travellers that do not meet the entry requirements will denied entry. 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