Glossary of Travel Terms

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  • 1

  • 1L, 2L, etc. (Glossary Definition)
    On an aircraft with multiple cabin doors and emergency exits, the cabin crew typically refers to the each in this fashion. The boarding door on(...)
  • a

  • A/C
    Generally speaking, any machine capable of flight. However, in the travel industry, these often mean airplanes, though sometimes used to refer(...)
  • AA
    IATA Airline Designator Code: AA ICAO Airline Designator Code: AAL Headquarters/Main Hub: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport(...)
  • AB
    IATA Airline Designator Code: AB ICAO Airline Designator Code: BER Headquarters/Main Hub: Berlin, Germany Airline Alliance: Oneworld;(...)
  • Abeam
    A directional term, used on ships and aircraft, which describes something off to the side of the vessel, such as the wings, though usually at a(...)
  • Accessible Tourism
    Travel that ensures that there is high availability in destinations, accommodations, attractions, products, and services to all people,(...)
  • Accessible Travel
    Travel that ensures that there is high availability in destinations, accommodations, attractions, products, and services to all people,(...)
  • Actual Time of Arrival
    Literally, the actual time of arrival. As opposed to the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival), the ATA is the time that the flight or other mode of(...)
  • Add-On
    Aviation parlance. A member of the flight that was added to the itinerary at the last minute, such as a flight attendant who was not listed on(...)
  • Adjoining Rooms
    Two hotel rooms that have a door connecting them from the inside, allowing the guests to combine the two rooms into one larger entity. They may(...)
  • ADR
    The Average Daily Rate, or ADR, is the total revenue income from rooms sold, divided by the number of rooms. For instance, if a hotel made(...)
  • Advance Purchase Excursion
    Advance Purchase Excursion, or APEX, fares are typically the cheapest fare available, unless “Super APEX” is offered. Lower airfare prices(...)
  • Advance Purchase Requirement
    APR, or Advance Purchase Requirement, is the requirement that a ticket must be purchased a minimum number of days before the flight departs or(...)
  • Adventure Tourism
    Like its parent category (alternative travel), adventure travel means different things to different people. Dictionary.com says it best, a(...)
  • Adventure Travel
    Like its parent category (alternative travel), adventure travel means different things to different people. Dictionary.com says it best, a(...)
  • Adventure Traveler
    Adventure travelers travel to destinations with the specific purpose of active physical participation and exploration of new experiences. This(...)
  • Aero Bridge
    See “Jet Bridge.”
  • Aerobridge
    See “Jet Bridge.”
  • Affinity Card
    These are credit or debit cards issued by a banking institution in partnership and co-branded with a particular frequent traveler program, to(...)
  • Aft
    Directional word, meaning towards the rear of the craft, lengthwise, such as the stern of a ship or the tail of a plane. Opposite of “fore.”
  • Air Berlin
    IATA Airline Designator Code: AB ICAO Airline Designator Code: BER Headquarters/Main Hub: Berlin, Germany Airline Alliance: Oneworld;(...)
  • Air Bridge
    See “Jet Bridge.”
  • Air Traffic Control
    Usually refers to the control tower at the airport, but may also be a control center somewhere else in charge of controlling a large area of sky(...)
  • Airbridge
    See “Jet Bridge.”
  • Aircraft
    Generally speaking, any machine capable of flight. However, in the travel industry, these often mean airplanes, though sometimes used to refer(...)
  • Aircrew
    Sometimes called the aircrew, the flight crew consists of everyone hired by the airlines on a flight, including pilots, pursers, and flight(...)
  • Airline Alliance
    These are agreements of cooperation between groups of airlines. Alliances offer airlines more flexibility and larger networks, while giving(...)
  • Airline Code
    Abbreviated codes, most commonly referring to the ones assigned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). On airline boards and(...)
  • Airline Designator
    Abbreviated codes, most commonly referring to the ones assigned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). On airline boards and(...)
  • Airlines Reporting Corporation
    The Airlines Reporting Corporation, or ARC, is an industry organization which handles tasks such as supervising payments between travel(...)
  • Airport Code
    Abbreviated codes, most commonly referring to the ones assigned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The IATA provides 3-digit(...)
  • Airport Designator
    Abbreviated codes, most commonly referring to the ones assigned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The IATA provides 3-digit(...)
  • All Call
    A variation of the crosscheck, where all of the cabin crew report to the purser or head flight attendant about the doors and slides being(...)
  • Allemansrätten
    Literally “everyman’s right,” this Swedish concept stands for a cultural issue as well as a legal one. Similar to “freedom to roam” laws in(...)
  • Allophilia
    To go along with xenophilia is allophilia, which is to have a positive attitude or love for a group or people that is not one’s own.
  • Alternative Tourism
    Travel that is not conventional in nature, though that is hard to define. It can be a niche kind of tourism, such as going on a coffee(...)
  • Alternative Travel
    Travel that is not conventional in nature, though that is hard to define. It can be a niche kind of tourism, such as going on a coffee(...)
  • Ambassador
    The head of a state’s diplomatic mission in another state, usually with offices inside the main embassy; has some authority over the other(...)
  • Amenity
    Any item or service included in a hotel room or on a flight at the standard cost. Amenities may include coffee makers, hair dryers, etc.
  • American Airlines
    IATA Airline Designator Code: AA ICAO Airline Designator Code: AAL Headquarters/Main Hub: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport(...)
  • American Breakfast
    A breakfast, usually either a self-serve buffet-style, including juices, coffee, cereal, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and other various things.(...)
  • American Plan
    Sometimes referred to as the Full American Plan, Full Pension, or Full Board, this is a plan where the room rate includes three full meals per(...)
  • Amidships
    Directional term. Amidships, sometimes termed midships, is the center of the vessel or aircraft, not a central point, but rather an area that is(...)
  • Ancillary Purchase
    A purchase from a travel provider (airline, hotel, etc.) that is revenue to them from non-ticket sources, such as checked baggage fees, premium(...)
  • APEX
    Advance Purchase Excursion, or APEX, fares are typically the cheapest fare available, unless “Super APEX” is offered. Lower airfare prices(...)
  • APR (Adv. Purchase Req.)
    APR, or Advance Purchase Requirement, is the requirement that a ticket must be purchased a minimum number of days before the flight departs or(...)
  • APR (Avg. Pub. Rate)
    The Average Published Rate, or APR, is the rate obtained when a hotel averages all the various room-types they offer(single, double, suite,(...)
  • Apron
    The area surrounding the gate areas of a terminal, generally used for parking and maintenance of planes.  Sometimes used interchangeably with(...)
  • ARC
    The Airlines Reporting Corporation, or ARC, is an industry organization which handles tasks such as supervising payments between travel(...)
  • Archipelago
    An archipelago is a grouping of islands, essentially. Indonesia and Japan are both archipelago countries, as their borders are not connected to(...)
  • Arm the Doors
    "Arm the Doors" - Airline parlance, something you'll hear the flight deck call out over the intercom to the cabin crew. Pre-flight task meaning(...)
  • ATA
    Literally, the actual time of arrival. As opposed to the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival), the ATA is the time that the flight or other mode of(...)
  • ATC
    Usually refers to the control tower at the airport, but may also be a control center somewhere else in charge of controlling a large area of sky(...)
  • Average Daily Rate
    The Average Daily Rate, or ADR, is the total revenue income from rooms sold, divided by the number of rooms. For instance, if a hotel made(...)
  • Average Published Rate
    The Average Published Rate, or APR, is the rate obtained when a hotel averages all the various room-types they offer(single, double, suite,(...)
  • b

  • B&B
    Typically, a home that a proprietor has converted into accommodation(s) for the public. Each room becomes a separate unit for rent. The(...)
  • B6
    IATA Airline Designator Code: B6 ICAO Airline Designator Code: JBU Headquarters/Main Hub: New York City, JFK Airline Alliance: None Airport(...)
  • Back-to-Back Ticketing
    An airfare booking ploy used by savvy fliers to circumvent high fares from airline’s fare system by purchasing two sets of R/T tickets for(...)
  • Backpacker
    Usually denotes budget, independent, and international travelers, especially when two of the three are true. Backpackers received the name from(...)
  • Baggage Allowance
    The amount of baggage a passenger may transport without having to pay extra charges, determined by carrier.
  • Base
    Flight crew term for their home airport; where the flights originate from and terminate at.
  • Base Fare
    Fare price of a flight before any taxes, fees, royalties, etc.
  • Bed & Breakfast
    Typically, a home that a proprietor has converted into accommodation(s) for the public. Each room becomes a separate unit for rent. The(...)
  • Bed Night
    In the hotel industry, a bed night, or bed/night, is a measure of occupancy of one person for one night.
  • Bed Tax
    Also known as Transient Occupancy Tax, it is a city or county tax added to the price of the room.
  • Bellboy
    Also called “Bellboy” or “Bellman,” a person that is hired by the hotel to assist guests, such as with luggage, running errands, etc.
  • Bellhop
    Also called “Bellboy” or “Bellman,” a person that is hired by the hotel to assist guests, such as with luggage, running errands, etc.
  • Bid
    When a flight attendant puts in a request for a specific route or schedule, they are bidding.
  • Black Tourism
    See “Dark Tourism.”
  • Blackout Dates
    Dates where special fares or promotions do not apply, typically existing around holidays, peak seasons, or special events. Many frequent flier(...)
  • Blue Juice
    Airline parlance. The water in the toilet in the restroom, presumably from the days when toilets used those disinfectant bricks in the tanks(...)
  • Blue Room
    In airline slang, it is used to refer to the lav/bathroom, due to the other popular term, "blue juice." The Blue Room can also refer(...)
  • Boarding Pass
    Pass that allows you to board a plane or ship; should not be confused with a ticket, which is usually just the record in the airline’s system.(...)
  • BoB
    Buy on Board, or BoB, is a term used amongst the flight or transit crew, rarely to passengers directly; usually a reference to the meals and(...)
  • Bottle to Throttle
    Curfew hours. In airline parlance, it is the time that a person has between the time they must not have another alcoholic beverage and the time(...)
  • Boutique Hotel
    A type of hotel, usually smaller, that conforms to a niche. Though the definition is abstract, a boutique will usually offer fewer rooms, but(...)
  • Bow
    Directional term. Front of a ship or the nose of an aircraft; specifically, the foremost point of the hull of the craft.
  • Bridge
    On a ship, the command and navigation center.
  • Budget Traveler
    Similar to a backpacker, a budget traveler is a traveler who is budget-conscious; they may stay in economy accommodations or hostels, eat cheap(...)
  • Bulkhead
    A partitioning wall, usually referring to one within the cabin of an aircraft, or perhaps on another mode of transportation; it may be a wall(...)
  • Bulkhead Seat
    Seats located directly behind a bulkhead wall separator. As these seats don't have the benefit of a seatback in front of them, conveniences such(...)
  • Bumping
    Regarding flights, the act where a passenger is denied boarding with a valid ticket due to an oversold flight. Many times, an airline will sell(...)
  • Business Traveler
    One who travels on their company’s dime to one or more destinations, perhaps with some frequency; business travelers take in a bit of culture(...)
  • Buy on Board
    Buy on Board, or BoB, is a term used amongst the flight or transit crew, rarely to passengers directly; usually a reference to the meals and(...)
  • c

  • Cabin
    (Aircraft) - The section of the aircraft in which passengers travel. Cabins in an aircraft are pressurized to maintain a normal breathing(...)
  • Cabin Crew
    The collective group of flight attendants and the purser as a whole. The cabin crew is responsible primarily for handling the duties within the(...)
  • Cape
    A small version of a peninsula, usually long and narrow, that juts far out into a body of water.
  • Captain
    (Aircraft) The captain is the pilot in command (PIC), which is the person in the cockpit sitting on the left with 4 stripes on their shoulder(...)
  • Cash Bar
    Also known as a “À la Carte Bar,” a bar located within one’s hotel room that is pre-stocked with an assortment of snacks and beverages (and(...)
  • Catholic
    An adjective, meaning to be free from prejudice, embracing everything without bias.
  • Cay
    Pronounced interchangeably like "key" or "caye"and also spelled as either “caye” or “key,” it is a type of island that is a low bank or reef(...)
  • Chancery
    The physical building that houses an embassy and its diplomatic delegation.
  • Change of Equipment
    See “Equipment Change.”
  • Citizen
    A person who has full and complete legal status in a country. A person may be a citizen by birth or by a citizenship process. For a deeper look(...)
  • Code Share
    An agreement between two or more airlines to share the same flight, though with different flight numbers. A ticket may be purchased on one(...)
  • Codeshare
    An agreement between two or more airlines to share the same flight, though with different flight numbers. A ticket may be purchased on one(...)
  • Commute
    In airline parlance, the process of getting to starting destination or base. Pilots and flight attendants may live in one city but have another(...)
  • Competitive Travel
    Travel for sport. Basically, it is travel to see how many places one can get to, or how many stamps one can accrue in their passport, perhaps(...)
  • Computer Reservation System
    A system for reserving and booking seats on commercial flights electronically, as well as storage and retrieval of itineraries. Several airlines(...)
  • Concierge
    An employee of the hotel whose primary task is to serve as the liaison between the hotel and non-hotel attractions, facilities, services, and(...)
  • Concourse
    The airport area(s) in an airline terminal where the gates are located.
  • Confluence
    A confluence, also known as a conflux, is the meeting point of two flowing bodies of water, such as streams or rivers; the place where they come(...)
  • Conflux
    A confluence, also known as a conflux, is the meeting point of two flowing bodies of water, such as streams or rivers; the place where they come(...)
  • Consul
    Head diplomat of the consulate.
  • Consul-General
    Head diplomat of the consulate-general.
  • Consulate
    Essentially a satellite office of the embassy, but its roles are limited in scope, usually pertaining to and prioritizing the interests and(...)
  • Consulate-General
    A mix between a regular consulate and a full-fledged embassy. Located in most of the major cities where the embassy isn't, a consulate-general(...)
  • Continent
    Large landmasses that the world is divided into, by convention, although it is generally-accepted that there are seven. The continents are(...)
  • Continental Breakfast
    A small breakfast, offered usually at holiday accommodations, including items such as coffee, tea, juices, pastries, bagels, rolls, and fruit.(...)
  • Continental Plan
    A hotel rate that includes a continental breakfast, but no other meals.
  • Control Tower
    Often referred to as simply the tower, the people in the Control Tower oversee aircraft movements at the airport, including ground traffic,(...)
  • Conventional Travel
    Centered more on the person(s) doing the traveling, whereas alternative travel, in its many variations, usually refers to a journey where the(...)
  • Cosmopolitan
    To feel comfortable anywhere around the world, or with people and cultures from anywhere around the world.
  • Couchsurfing
    This is a neologism. Couchsurfing, the travel version, is when a traveler, often due to budget restrictions, stays at a private house in a spare(...)
  • Crash Pad
    The term used by flight attendants (and sometimes pilots) to refer to a rented apartment; crash pads are usually shared by several flight(...)
  • Crosscheck
    This is simply one person of the cabin crew verifying another member of the crew’s actions, such as making sure the cabin doors are armed;(...)
  • Crotch Watch
    Airline parlance. Also referred to as a "groin scan," this is the rounds that the flight attendants make prior to liftoff and descent that(...)
  • CRS
    A system for reserving and booking seats on commercial flights electronically, as well as storage and retrieval of itineraries. Several airlines(...)
  • Crumb Crunchers
    Airline parlance. A not-so-diplomatic term that flight attendants use to refer to children passengers.
  • Cultural Tourism
    This is travel with regard to a region’s culture and history. It has been defined as ‘the movement of persons to cultural attractions away from(...)
  • Cultural Travel
    This is travel with regard to a region’s culture and history. It has been defined as ‘the movement of persons to cultural attractions away from(...)
  • Culture
    Similar shared traits or characteristics unique to an ethnic group, region, or nation. For a deeper look at this and similar terms,(...)
  • d

  • Dark Tourism
    Also referred to as “Black Tourism” or “Grief Tourism”, it involves travel to places that have a grim history, such as past battlefields or(...)
  • Dauntless (Glossary Definition)
    An adjective, meaning to be fearless, intrepid, and bold (according to dictionary.com). To be such is to be unintimidated, and not easily discouraged.
  • Deadhead
    A crew member, usually uniformed, flying while not working, often to get back to their base; this crew member is considered to be deadheading.
  • Decompression
    Loss of air pressure in the aircraft cabin; depressurization.
  • Delta Air Lines
    IATA Airline Designator Code: DL ICAO Airline Designator Code: DAL Headquarters/Main Hub: Atlanta, Georgia Airline Alliance: SkyTeam Airport(...)
  • Demi Pension Plan
    See “Modified American Plan”.
  • Demonym
    An adjectival word that describes the people of the place in question. A person from New York is a New Yorker; a person from Bolivia can be(...)
  • Deplane
    Verb. To disembark, or get off, a plane.
  • Diaspora
    A flung-out population that comes from the same national or ethnic origin (depending on the usage).
  • Diplomatic Mission
    An agency, like an embassy or a consulate, which sets up shop in one country, state, or governing body to represent the citizens, politics, and(...)
  • Direct (Flight)
    Flight that must keep the same flight number throughout, though it may stop for a change of aircraft (equipment). Differs from a nonstop flight,(...)
  • Disaster Tourism
    Travel when tourists go to an area that may be or may have been affected by natural disasters, civil strife, or warfare. This is a voyeuristic(...)
  • DL
    IATA Airline Designator Code: DL ICAO Airline Designator Code: DAL Headquarters/Main Hub: Atlanta, Georgia Airline Alliance: SkyTeam Airport(...)
  • Doom Tourism
    Travels to places that are potentially endangered, or “doomed” towards extinction, due to natural and/or man-made causes. Such sights may(...)
  • Double Room
    A basic room, but outfitted to easily and comfortably accommodate two guests, usually with one Queen-sized bed or two double- or twin-sized(...)
  • Double-Double Room
    A "Double Room" that is guaranteed to have two beds, while a standard "Double Room" is only guaranteed to sleep two people.
  • Dromomania
    Traveling fugue; an uncontrollable, psychological urge to travel.
  • Dépaysement
    Feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country. (A French word with no comparable English counterpart)
  • e

  • E-Ticket
    Regarding transportation, especially on airlines, an electronic ticket, or e-ticket, is the digital version of a paper ticket, issued via email,(...)
  • Early Check-In
    A perk that allows a guest to check in at an earlier time than the standard check-in time.
  • Eco-Conscious Travel
    Though often interchangeable, being “eco-conscious” literally means that one is simply aware of their environmental impact, while being(...)
  • Eco-Friendly Travel
    Though often interchangeable, being “eco-conscious” literally means that one is simply aware of their environmental impact, while being(...)
  • Ecotourism
    Tourism directed at exotic and/or endangered destinations while fostering an environmental understanding and conservation. Directed more towards(...)
  • Ecotourist
    Similar to voluntourists, ecotourists are eco-conscious individuals who travel primarily to observe or preserve; they may go to observe wildlife(...)
  • Electronic Ticket
    Regarding transportation, especially on airlines, an electronic ticket, or e-ticket, is the digital version of a paper ticket, issued via email,(...)
  • Embassy
    Sometimes referred to as a permanent (diplomatic) mission, and often confused with consulates, embassies are the more important representative(...)
  • Enplane
    Verb. To load a plane with passengers, though not commonly used.
  • Enplanement
    The total number of passengers boarding a flight, including origination, stopovers/layovers, and connections.
  • Equipment
    The plane itself, in airline parlance. When there is an "equipment change," it usually means they are switching out the aircraft for a different one.
  • Equipment Change
    Term used by airlines meaning that the equipment (plane) will be changed for a different one, possibly because of mechanical failures or other issues.
  • Estimated Time of Arrival
    Literally, the estimated time of the transport's arrival. As opposed to the ATA (Actual Time of Arrival), the ETA is the time that the flight or(...)
  • Estuary
    A body of water connecting a flowing river and a larger body, such as a sea or ocean. Because it is the transition point, an estuary is subject(...)
  • ETA
    Literally, the estimated time of the transport's arrival. As opposed to the ATA (Actual Time of Arrival), the ETA is the time that the flight or(...)
  • Ethnicity
    A term that groups people together with a similar cultural identity; unlike terms such as nationality, ethnicity is more ambiguous. An ethnic(...)
  • Ethno-Tourism
    Focusing on exploration of indigenous populations and their respective culture and traditions. Ethno-tourists usually seek to learn more about(...)
  • Ethnotourism
    Focusing on exploration of indigenous populations and their respective culture and traditions. Ethno-tourists usually seek to learn more about(...)
  • European Plan
    A (hotel) room rate that includes no meals.
  • Extended Stay
    (Hotel type) This is a term that usually means that the hotel or resort property quotes their prices in longer segments than daily rates.(...)
  • f

  • F/A
    Commonly referred to as stewards/stewardesses and air hosts/hostesses, flight attendants are available to ensure the safety and comfort of(...)
  • Familymoon
    A neologism term used to describe a type of honeymoon a newlywed couple can make along with their children from previous relationships.
  • Fare Basis Code
    Often referred to as simply the fare basis, it is the letter designation used by almost all airlines to determine fare rules and class. Usually,(...)
  • Fare Rule
    To differentiate fare levels from one another (F, J, T, etc.), the airlines assign special purchasing rules and restrictions. Generally, the(...)
  • FBC
    Often referred to as simply the fare basis, it is the letter designation used by almost all airlines to determine fare rules and class. Usually,(...)
  • Ferry Flight
    Airline parlance. Delivery of an aircraft to a specific destination without paying passengers aboard.
  • Fika
    A Swedish concept and institution which essentially boils down to taking about a half hour to sit down with a coffee (usually) or other(...)
  • Final Boarding Call
    Last call to board before the jet bridge closes and the flight departs, leaving late passengers stranded. However, gate agents typically will(...)
  • First Officer
    Pilot who is second in command. The pilot in the cockpit sitting on the right with 3 stripes on their shoulder epaulets, often colloquially(...)
  • Flashpacker
    A term used to describe a traveler with more disposable income; flashpackers tend to carry more electronics, stay in decent accommodations, and(...)
  • Flight Attendant
    Commonly referred to as stewards/stewardesses and air hosts/hostesses, flight attendants are available to ensure the safety and comfort of(...)
  • Flight Crew
    Sometimes called the aircrew, the flight crew consists of everyone hired by the airlines on a flight, including pilots, pursers, and flight(...)
  • Flight Deck
    Term the airlines and their employees use to refer to the cockpit.
  • Flâneur
    Borrowed from the French noun, it means "stroller," "lounger," "saunterer," or "loafer." Flânerie refers to the act of strolling, with all of(...)
  • Flâneuse
    A female flâneur, or one who behaves like one. A woman who strolls or walks leisurely.
  • Fore
    Directional term. Towards the front of the craft, lengthwise, such as the bow of a ship or the nose of a plane. Opposite of aft.
  • Frequent Flier
    Technically, one who flies frequently. However, it has evolved into more of a specific definition, involving a traveler who usually flies in a(...)
  • Frequent Flier Program
    A program that a traveler can enroll in that earns them rewards such as free flights on a particular airline for being a loyal customer of that(...)
  • Frequent Lodger
    The hotel industry’s equivalent of a frequent flier; one who stays at a particular hotel chain of properties, mostly to reap rewards from a(...)
  • Frequent Lodger Program
    The hotel industry’s equivalent of a frequent flier program; one who stays at a particular hotel chain of properties can reap rewards from a(...)
  • Full Board Plan
    See “American Plan”.
  • Full Pension Plan
    See “American Plan”.
  • Funnel Flight
    Now this is what I consider a shoddy scheme that some airlines pull. A funnel flight is one where a flight changes planes at a certain stop,(...)
  • Fuselage
    The aircraft’s main body section, the cylindrical, central piece that contains the cabin and holds the crew and cargo.
  • g

  • Galley
    The kitchen/kitchenette area of a plane or train or ship. On a plane, the galley may be a small affair with a simple arrangement and a few carts(...)
  • Gap Year
    Also known as a sabbatical, a gap year is a time set aside to travel, usually while transitioning between life stages, such as after earning a(...)
  • Gap-Packer
    A neologism for a type of backpacker who may tour several countries in one, single adventure during a school/work hiatus, such as a gap year or(...)
  • Gate
    Airport - The specific area in an airport where passengers board a plane for a flight. Gates are located in concourses, which are found in(...)
  • Gate Lice
    Not-so-diplomatic airline parlance. The term used for the crowd of people who amass around the gate and gate agents when anticipating boarding(...)
  • Gateway City
    A city with an airport, bus or ferry terminal, and/or train station, usually international hubs, that serves as an arrival and departure point(...)
  • George
    A colloquial term for "autopilot." This comes from the early days of flight, when pilots found the idea so magical and novel that it felt that(...)
  • Geotourism
    According to National Geographic, this is “tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place – its(...)
  • Ghetto Tourism
    See “Poverty Tourism”.
  • Green Aircraft
    Slang term referring to a plane fresh from the factory, and one which has an interior that still isn't complete.
  • Grief Tourism
    See "Dark Tourism."  
  • Groin Scan
    Airline parlance. Also referred to as a "groin scan," this is the rounds that the flight attendants make prior to liftoff and descent that(...)
  • Ground Stop
    Stoppage of flights at an airport, possibly because of air traffic congestion that needs to be cleared out before aircraft can land.
  • Group Rate
    A negotiated rate on travel, perhaps a stay or vacation plan, that incentivizes for a large crowd or group that books together.
  • Groupie
    Regarding Travel/Travelers - Those, typically in their late teens to early 30′s, who like to travel in groups of their friends, but with an(...)
  • h

  • Half Board
    In hotel parlance, a rate that includes one or two meals, usually breakfast and lunch, or a brunch.
  • Half Pension Plan
    See “Modified American Plan”.
  • Heritage
    Usually, the ancestors and ancestral background of an individual. For a deeper look at this and similar terms, read: Ethnicity, Nationality,(...)
  • Hidden City Ticketing
    One flight-hacking tactic, similar to throwaway ticketing, where the traveler buys a roundtrip ticket with a layover, and the layover is the(...)
  • Hiraeth
    A Welsh word with no direct English translation. A homesickness or longing feeling for a past time in one’s life or for a place which cannot be(...)
  • Holding Pattern
    When a landing slot is not yet available, due to congestion or other incident, flying a holding pattern is requested from the control tower,(...)
  • House Limit
    The maximum amount the hotel will allow on credit before requesting payment. For example, if you rent a room, you may be able to charge some(...)
  • Hub
    Airline - An airline hub is the central part of the Hub and Spoke Model. An airline’s hub is where that particular airline has a heavier(...)
  • i

  • IATA
    International airline industry trade group, headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with executive offices in Geneva, Switzerland. The IATA(...)
  • Identity
    The way a person chooses to be accepted and viewed as. Culturally, linguistically, ethnically, and nationally, they may be pre-defined, but(...)
  • IED
    A computer, usually mounted on the seatback of the chair in front of the passenger, that offers entertainment options such as movies, music,(...)
  • Illegal
    Airline parlance. A working member of an aircraft, whether it be a pilot or flight attendant, who crosses over the maximum hours allowed to work(...)
  • In-flight Entertainment Device
    A computer, usually mounted on the seatback of the chair in front of the passenger, that offers entertainment options such as movies, music,(...)
  • In-flight Service
    Entertainment (movies, television, etc.), meals, beverages and other items made available during a flight for the convenience of the passenger.
  • Incidental Charge
    Items and services billed to a room after their use, such as movies, phone calls, etc.
  • Initial Approach
    Usually called out over the intercom, it is just an FYI for passengers and the cabin crew that the plane is starting its descent into the(...)
  • Intercontinental
    Having to do with two continents. In travel, transit from one continent to another. Not to be confused with transcontinental.
  • Interline Agreement
    Airlines - Agreement between two airlines that enables passengers to book multiple segments on multiple carriers to allow for a greater share of(...)
  • Interline Connection
    Connection between two different carriers participating in an interline agreement; Change of planes that also requires a change of carriers. An(...)
  • International Air Transport Association
    International airline industry trade group, headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with executive offices in Geneva, Switzerland. The IATA(...)
  • International Date Line
    Opposite the Prime Meridian, the International Date Line is another arbitrary line going from north to south that advises where one calendar day(...)
  • Interphone
    The phones located throughout the cabin, allowing the cabin crew to speak to each other in various cabins, as well as to reach the flight deck(...)
  • Itinerant
    Traveling from one place to another, or a person who does so.
  • Itinerary
    The schedule of an entire trip.
  • j

  • Jaunter (Glossary Definition)
    One who jaunts. A "jaunt" is usually described as a short trip taken for fun and pleasure.
  • Jet Bridge
    An enclosed, movable connector which extends from a terminal gate to a plane, allowing passengers to board and disembark without having to go outside.
  • jetBlue
    IATA Airline Designator Code: B6 ICAO Airline Designator Code: JBU Headquarters/Main Hub: New York City, JFK Airline Alliance: None Airport(...)
  • Jetway
    A registered trademark of JBT AeroTech for a certain kind of aircraft loading bridge which allows passengers direct, protected access to an(...)
  • Jump Seat
    A flight term referring to an auxiliary (extra) seat for persons who are not operating the aircraft, such as the cabin crew or perhaps a trainee(...)
  • Junket
    Originally, a kind of trip that was paid for by another party, such as a government trip at public expense (via tax dollars); now, it's come to(...)
  • k

  • Kettle Class
    A mocking term for economy or coach class, taken from the hillbilly characters of Ma and Pa Kettle.
  • Key
    Pronounced interchangeably like "key" or "caye"and also spelled as either “caye” or “key,” it is a type of island that is a low bank or reef(...)
  • Knot
    The term for a unit of speed equaling one nautical mile per hour. A nautical mile is about 1.151 miles, so a nautical mile an hour is about 15%(...)
  • l

  • Lagom
    In Swedish tradition, lagom is quite an important concept; loosely translated, it means something along the lines of “just the right amount” or(...)
  • Land Arrangement
    Arrangements other than the flight portion of a travel plan, including hotel accommodations, car rentals, and attraction reservations.
  • Landing Lips
    Airline parlance. A term originally referring to when flight attendants (overwhelmingly female in the past) would put on their lipstick and(...)
  • Late Checkout
    A more exclusive perk for some guests that allow a few extra hours to check out from the normal hours.
  • Line
    Airline parlance. The schedule of trips a flight attendant is offered each month, referring to the entire sequence.
  • Line Holder
    Airline parlance. A flight attendant working a line, and not on reserve.
  • Livery
    In transportation, such as buses, trains, cabs, boats, but most notable airplanes, the livery refers to the logo adorning the outside of the(...)
  • Long-Haul
    Regarding flights, a relatively long distance traveled; usually international, though a flight from Miami to Kingston would be considered “short(...)
  • Lounge Lizard
    Airline parlance. A flight attendant who is working the line currently and who would skip the use of a crash pad, instead sleeping in the lounge(...)
  • L’appel du Vide
    French phrase with no perfect English translation. Literally “the call of the void,” an urge one might feel to jump or fall from a high place,(...)
  • m

  • Mattress Run
    Similar to a mileage run, a mattress run is executed when a traveler, who is a member of a hotel chain’s frequent stay program (frequent lodger(...)
  • Maximum Stay
    Regarding Flight Booking - The longest period of time a traveler can stay at the destination while still qualifying for the promotional or(...)
  • Medium-Haul
    A relatively average distance traveled; most consider a medium-haul flight to be between three hours to six hours in length. Shorter flights(...)
  • Metal
    Similar to equipment, it is the aircraft of the airline controlling the flight. With the multiple codeshare agreements today, one flight may(...)
  • Midships
    Directional term. Amidships, sometimes termed midships, is the center of the vessel or aircraft, not a central point, but rather an area that is(...)
  • Mileage Run
    Unofficial term adopted by many veteran frequent fliers that distinguishes flights flown for the sole purpose of earning the most “miles” or(...)
  • Mizpah
    A bond between two people that remains strong even over long distances or death. Hebrew term with no direct or perfect English translation.
  • Modified American Plan
    A rate plan where breakfast and dinner is included in the price, but not lunch. Also called half pension or demi-pension plan.
  • Montivagant
    Wandering over hills and mountains.
  • Motel
    A portmanteau of “Motor Hotel,” this is a kind of hotel that is generally cheaper and with less frills, and most often rooms that are accessible(...)
  • Motu
    Type of small island that is a low bank or reef made of accumulated coral, gravel, or rock. Differs from a cay, which is usually predominantly(...)
  • n

  • Narrowbody
    A plane (aircraft) with one aisle down the center. As opposed to a widebody.
  • National
    A person born in a territory that is under the administration of another sovereign entity; for example, Puerto Ricans are considered to be U.S.(...)
  • Nationality
    The country where one holds citizenship and/or a passport, usually; however, some people who may have left their country of birth and hold(...)
  • Nautical Mile
    Unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at(...)
  • Neologism
    Neologisms are coined words and phrases, usually used by a group of people sharing similar interests. A word/phrase is generally a neologism(...)
  • No-Show
    A customer, passenger, or guest, such as at a restaurant, hotel, or flight, that does not arrive for their reservation and does not give warning(...)
  • Nomad
    A long-term traveler, generally with no set destinations, end date, or plans. Nomadic travelers are wanderers, not interested in society’s(...)
  • Non-Resident Mission
    A diplomatic organization seeking to represent the people and interests of its state in another, though its host does not fully-recognize the(...)
  • Non-rev
    Short for "Non-revenue," it is an airline employee or a family member who takes advantage of the company perks to fly at a nominal cost, or free.
  • Nonstop
    Flights - Flight that travels directly from the originating airport to the final destination without stopping for connections or layovers.(...)
  • Nostomania
    An intense homesickness; a strong feeling while away that one must return home.
  • o

  • Occupancy
    A percentage rate used by places of accommodations that indicate the amount of rooms sold per night.
  • Off-Peak
    Season - Slowest travel season, independently determined; what may be off-peak tourism season for France might be peak season for Australia.
  • Offline City
    Airline parlance. A city to which an airline or flight does not fly.
  • Offline Connection
    Connection between two different carriers that is a change of planes which also requires a change of carriers. An offline connection can be a(...)
  • On-Time Performance
    Regarding Transportation Modes. The average time of arrival within 30 minutes of schedule, by departure time band; higher % equals better(...)
  • Oneworld (Airline Alliance)
    One of the "Big Three" airline alliances. The smallest of the three, Oneworld has 15 member airlines flying to 152 different countries. It is(...)
  • Open-Jaw
    A trip to where a passenger flew to one destination, but returned from another. For example, SFO to JFK there, but LGA to SFO on the way(...)
  • Overstay
    A guest who stays past their expected check-out time without properly altering the reservation. May be used as a verb to describe the action,(...)
  • p

  • Pampadour
    To a greater extent than the flashpacker, a pampadour is a luxury traveler; he/she travels the world for the indulgence, pampering themselves in(...)
  • Paperwork
    Flights - When you hear, “we’re just completing some final paperwork,” it means the flight crew literally is awaiting paperwork, such as a log(...)
  • Passenger
    Any traveler on a public or private vehicle other than the driver, pilot, or crew and other working employees. Usually refers to a paying(...)
  • Pax
    Any traveler on a public or private vehicle other than the driver, pilot, or crew and other working employees. Usually refers to a paying(...)
  • Peak
    Season - Primary travel season, independently determined; what may be off-peak tourism season for one destination might be peak season for another.
  • Peninsula
    A piece of land that is connected to a mainland or larger piece of land on only one side, while the other sides are surrounded by water.
  • Peripatetic
    Adj., traveling from place to place, especially for working or being based in different places for shorter time periods. Noun, a person who(...)
  • Person Trip Visit
    A term that is used to denote every time that a single traveler goes over 100 miles or stays overnight away from their primary domicile; whether(...)
  • PIC
    The pilot-in-command (PIC) is usually the Captain in a configuration when there is more than one person in the flight crew; the pilot would be(...)
  • Pilot-in-Command
    The pilot-in-command (PIC) is usually the Captain in a configuration when there is more than one person in the flight crew; the pilot would be(...)
  • Poorism
    A term coined with negative connotations referring to ghetto/shanty/slum/poverty tourism. Also used to negatively describe the tourism(...)
  • Port
    Directional - When facing forward, the side of the ship or aircraft that is on the left; this is not necessarily always the left side, as the(...)
  • Poverty Tourism
    Not the ‘Bronx and Harlem Hip Hop Tour’. Somewhat similar to disaster tourism, in the sense that tourists are visiting blighted areas. However,(...)
  • Preboard
    This is when boarding begins, when families with children or persons with disabilities can board the aircraft to allow them extra time to settle(...)
  • Press Trip
    Travels where the main purpose is to write about the destination visited, usually sponsored (in whole or in part) by another party.
  • Prime Meridian
    An imaginary and completely arbitrary line that runs on a north-south axis. By convention, the Prime Meridian separates the East and West(...)
  • Property
    A general term that may be used by a place of accommodation that denotes the facility.
  • Purser
    (Airline) - On a flight, the purser is the head flight attendant, responsible for overseeing the attendants and making sure travelers are(...)
  • Pushback
    When an aircraft pushes back, it is when it is finally disconnected from the jet bridge and backs up from the gate. Normally, a tug or tractor(...)
  • q

  • Quad
    A hotel room that can accommodate four people.
  • Querencia
    A place where one draws inspiration or strength from, or the place where one feels most comfortable and true. Spanish word that has no direct or(...)
  • Quin
    When referring to hotel rooms, it is one that can accommodate five people.
  • r

  • Race
    A term similar to ethnicity, race is a determining variable in society, with no exact accepted definition; people of a shared race may have(...)
  • Rack Rate
    The list price of a hotel room before any discounts or promotions.
  • Ramp
    The area where a plane maneuvers directly outside of the gate area, and where pre-flight tasks are carried out, before getting to the taxiway(...)
  • Record Locator Number
    (Airline) - A unique confirmation number issued by an airline/carrier when a reservation is booked.
  • Resident Mission
    (Diplomacy) – A diplomatic mission (representative body) where the state or nation that plays host to the diplomatic mission recognizes the(...)
  • Responsible Tourism
    Travel that extends beyond being merely environmentally responsible, to being culturally-conscious and economically-aware, locally. Travelers(...)
  • Retrouvaille
    A happiness felt when one meets an old friend after a long while, or sometimes a joy at rediscovery or a beloved item from the past. French word(...)
  • Revenue Passenger Mile
    One paying passenger flown one mile; the principal measure of airline passenger traffic.
  • Room Night
    Standard of measure in the hotel industry, one room per one night.
  • s

  • Sabbatical
    A hiatus from school or work, usually for two months to perhaps over a year in length. Sometimes referred to as a career break or gap year, it(...)
  • Saturday Night Stay
    A term used by almost all airlines which refers to this as a requirement for obtaining certain promotional fares. A round trip flight that has a(...)
  • Seatback
    Literally, the back of the seat; in relation to a passenger, the one in front of them is usually the one that matters, which may have a tray(...)
  • Second Officer
    A title for a pilot who is third in command, the Second Officer usually holds a relief role on long-haul flights. The Second Officer is often a(...)
  • Sehnsucht
    An unidentifiable longing or yearning, often for a place or home; missing a place far away that one can identify as their home. German word with(...)
  • Short-Haul
    A relatively short distance traveled; usually domestic, though a flight from Boston to San Francisco would be considered long-haul. Most(...)
  • Shoulder Season
    Season - The time between high and low seasons, or peak and off-peak seasons. Usually rates are lower than high season, but with temperature and(...)
  • Single Room
    A room that is only guaranteed to comfortably accommodate one guest. May also be called a “Standard Room.” Will usually have one double- or(...)
  • Single Supplement
    An additional charge added to a solo traveler, when prices were originally quoted for dual occupancy. It is usually tacked on to anything that(...)
  • SkyTeam (Airline Alliance)
    One of the "Big Three" airline alliances. The last of the three major airline alliances to be formed, SkyTeam currently has 20 full member(...)
  • Slam-Click
    In general slang, this means to go straight to one's room and lock the door (slam the door, click it shut/locked). In airline parlance, a flight(...)
  • Smörgåsbord
    A Swedish customary feast, essentially a gluttonous meal that is usually celebratory, eaten on special occasions with friends or family over.(...)
  • Sommelier
    A wine professional, usually hired by the most upscale restaurants and establishments, on staff to primarily suggest wine and food pairing to patrons.
  • Spinner(s)
    Airline parlance. Term used by flight crew to denote a kind of unwanted passenger. For some, a "spinner" is one who gets on late and doesn't(...)
  • Standard Room
    This is usually the cheapest room in a hotel; the most basic room sold, with the most basic amenities. May also be called a “Single Room.” Will(...)
  • Standby
    Referring to a passenger who does not have a confirmed seat on the intended flight, such as in overbooked flights, and must “stand by” until a(...)
  • Star Alliance (Airline Alliance)
    One of the "Big Three" airline alliances. The largest airline alliance in the world, it currently has 27 full member airlines flying to 193(...)
  • Starboard
    Directional - When facing forward, the side of the ship or aircraft that is on the right; this is not necessarily always the right side, as the(...)
  • Stern
    Rear of a ship or the tail of an aircraft; specifically, the aft-most point of the hull of the craft.
  • Subcontinent
    A geographical land mass that is large enough and distinct enough to be separately distinguished from its larger body, the continent(...)
  • Suite
    A fully-equipped room, usually including a bedroom separate from the living room area. A suite will most likely have a small kitchenette, and(...)
  • Sustainable Tourism
    Every aspect of the holiday process has some negative impact on the environment, from booking flights on the computer, to making three takeoffs(...)
  • t

  • Tarmac
    Originally defined as the material used to pave roads and runways, made of little, broken pieces of stones and tar mixed together, it is now(...)
  • Through Passenger
    Passengers who are not disembarking at a specific stop. When a trip has a layover, at the layover airport the traveler is a “through passenger”.(...)
  • Throwaway Ticketing
    A popular travel hacking ruse, where a traveler, only intending to travel one way, buys a round trip ticket that is cheaper than the intended(...)
  • Ticket
    In travel transportation, the ticket is the record of a passenger’s information and flight schedule purchased in the airline’s computer system;(...)
  • Tourist
    This is the majority of adult travelers, when not vacationing. Tourists may be couples, families, or just a person or two who visit locations(...)
  • Transcon
    Having to do with crossing a continent. For example, travel of this sort would be from one end of a continent to another, as in New York City to(...)
  • Transcontinental
    Having to do with crossing a continent. For example, travel of this sort would be from one end of a continent to another, as in New York City to(...)
  • Transient
    A person who stays in a place for just a short while; not a permanent resident, such as a visitor or tourist.
  • Transient Occupancy Tax
    Also known as a Bed Tax, it is a City or County tax added to the price of the room.
  • Traveler
    One who travels; In many cases, it is one who travels often.
  • Triple
    A hotel room that can comfortably accommodate three people.
  • Trundle Bed
    Bed that stores itself under another bed, usually on casters. Often found in smaller hotel rooms or in cramped transport accommodations, such as(...)
  • Turn
    Airline parlance. A flight that leaves base and returns back to base in the same day. Also known as a turnaround.
  • Two-for-One Special
    Airline parlance. When the plane hits the runway upon landing, bounces up for a moment, then slams down again for good. Contrary to what your(...)
  • u

  • UA
    IATA Airline Designator Code: UA ICAO Airline Designator Code: UAL Headquarters/Main Hub: Chicago, Illinois Airline Alliance: Star(...)
  • Uitwaaien
    Literally “to walk in the wind,” it is to take a brief break in order to clear one’s head. Dutch word with no perfect or direct English translation.
  • United Airlines
    IATA Airline Designator Code: UA ICAO Airline Designator Code: UAL Headquarters/Main Hub: Chicago, Illinois Airline Alliance: Star(...)
  • Urbane
    Adj. This word can sometimes have more of a pretentious connotation, but an urbane traveler is a well-traveled one, one who has been to enough(...)
  • US
    IATA Airline Designator Code: US ICAO Airline Designator Code: AWE Headquarters/Main Hub: Tempe, Arizona; Phoenix, Arizona Airline Alliance:(...)
  • US Airways
    IATA Airline Designator Code: US ICAO Airline Designator Code: AWE Headquarters/Main Hub: Tempe, Arizona; Phoenix, Arizona Airline Alliance:(...)
  • v

  • Voluntourism
    Also known as “volunteer vacations,” this movement is quickly gaining traction, especially among teens and young adults. Some define the two(...)
  • Voluntourist
    A portmanteau neologism for volunteer travelers. Voluntourists enjoy traveling to different cities and countries that have been hard-hit, such(...)
  • Vorfreude
    A feeling of ecstatic joy when considering or anticipating an upcoming pleasure or thrill, such as a future vacation. German word with no(...)
  • w

  • Waldeinsamkeit
    The feeling of being alone in the woods. German word with no perfect or direct English translation.
  • Wheels-Up Time
    The time the aircraft is scheduled to become airborne.
  • Widebody
    A large plane (aircraft) with a row of seats going down the center, meaning there are two aisles in the main cabin. As opposed to a narrowbody.
  • Working the Village
    Airline parlance. Working in coach or economy class; airline employees aren't the most diplomatic of people, apparently.
  • x

  • Xenization
    The act of traveling as a stranger, as if for the first time.
  • Xenophilia
    An attraction to foreign peoples, foreign cultures, and/or customs. Opposite of xenophobia. (Has also come to mean, in science fiction(...)
  • Xenophobia
    Fear, hatred, and/or revulsion felt towards another group, culture, or people. Opposite of xenophilia.
  • z

  • Z Time
    Airline parlance/Pilot-speak for Greenwich Mean Time, Mean Solar Time.
  • à

  • À La Carte
    When referring to food, perhaps in a room-service or restaurant menu, this indicates that each single item is priced separately. Menu items that(...)
  • À la Carte Bar
    Also known as a “Cash Bar,” a bar located within one’s hotel room that is pre-stocked with an assortment of snacks and beverages (and sometimes(...)