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Airline Terminology

Advanced Purchase Excursion (APEX) Fare
An airfare published by the airlines. It is restricted by availability, advance purchase, and minimum and maximum stay requirements.

Advance Purchase Fare
An airfare that requires a ticket to be purchased a minimum period of time prior to departure date.

Blackout Period
Specific dates that a discounted or promotional airfare is not offered.

Boarding Pass
A document attached to a ticket, which permits the passenger to board the aircraft and claim a specific seat. Not all airlines issue boarding passes.

The practice of denying boarding to a confirmed passenger on an overbooked flight. Carrier: A company that deals in the transporting of passengers or goods.

Capacity-Controlled Fares
A limited number of airplane seats to which a special fare has been assigned. This percentage may change depending upon how quickly seats are selling on the flight.

A specifically defined division in a classification system (class). Can apply to cruise ship cabins, rail accommodations or airline seating configurations.

City Code
A three-letter designation given to airport cities.

City Pair
Departure and arrival cities.

Connecting Flights
Flights necessitating a change of aircraft at some intermediate point before arriving at the final destination. An acceptable connecting time must meet a minimum standard agreed upon by the airlines and the airport in that city.

Direct Flight
A flight that may make an intermediate stop or stops before reaching its final destination but requires no change of aircraft.

Double Booking / Duplicate Booking
Two reservations for the same traveler on the same day or on overlapping dates. Airlines will cancel both reservations if they discover a duplicate booking.

Hidden City Faring
The use of a connection through the intended destination city, while appearing to travel to a third city, in order to obtain a lower overall fare. The passenger de-planes in the city of destination. It is a practice that the airlines consider illegal. The airlines look for offending travelers and, if caught, the traveler can be subject to a number of penalties, including loss of all further reservations, denied boarding on the next flight on the itinerary, and additional charges for the ticket used.

Lowest Fare Routing (LFR)
The least expensive legal airfare available to the traveler’s destination.

Minimum Connecting Time
The standard amount of time needed to make a connecting flight in a particular airport. This standard is determined by the air traffic conferences and varies according to the airport and the airline.

A ticket that is not valid for travel on another carrier.

A ticket that cannot be returned for cash or credit if unused but may be changeable for a fee.

Non-Stop Flight
A flight that proceeds directly to the final destination without any stops at intermediate points.

A ticket issued in a particular name that cannot be used by another passenger.

A traveler who does not appear for a flight on which he or she has a reservation and fails to cancel that reservation properly. Airlines will cancel all further flights on a traveler’s itinerary if a reservation is not cancelled.

A ticket valid for travel between specified points without a reservation or a specific flight number.

The practice by the airlines and hotels of confirming more seats on an aircraft or rooms in a hotel than are actually available. Overbooking is designed to protect the airlines and hotels from no-shows.

Passenger Coupon
The last coupon of an airline ticket. The coupon is clearly marked and serves as the passenger record for expense reports.

Penalty Fare
A fare that carries a penalty for any changes or cancellations once the ticket has been issued. Penalties can range from a dollar amount to a percentage of the ticket’s value to the total loss of the value of the ticket.

Prepaid Ticket Advice (PTA)
Authorization number (document) used by the travel agency to ensure that a fully paid ticket is awaiting the passenger at the airport. Airlines impose a non-refundable service charge in connection with the issuance of such tickets.

Promotional Fare
An airfare introduced to increase an airlines market share or to promote service to a particular destination.

A rewriting of an existing ticket due to a change in fare, class of service or routing.

Restricted To Airport Check-In
Aircraft seat assignments and boarding passes that can only be secured at time of airport check-in.

A sticker applied to a ticket indicating a change of date and/or flight number but retention of the original routing.

A traveler who does not have a confirmed reservation and must wait at the airline gate for a seat to become available.

An international intermediate stopping point on a journey.

Ticket Issuance
Actual purchase of ticket for flights previously reserved.