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TRAVEL JARGON

Below you will find basic explanations for some of the more common jargon used in the travel industry

Air Side - The area of an airport terminal after passengers have passed through security procedures - normally only accessible to passengers with valid tickets and to certain staff.
Apron - The ground around an airport terminal where aircraft park.
APD - Air Passenger Duty. A tax levied by the UK Government on air travel.
ATC - Air Traffic Control: The means by which aircraft movements on the ground and in the sky are controlled to ensure they do not collide.
ATOL - Air Travel Organiser's Licence - more...
Boarding Gate - The door leading from the airport terminal to the aircraft or to a bus which will transfer passengers to an aircraft parked elsewhere on the airport apron.
Bonding - Bonding is the putting in place of a financial bond by a travel company, such that in the event of the travel company becoming insolvent the bond is called upon to enable customers' money to be refunded to them.
CAA - Civil Aviation Authority - more...
Cax - Cancelled.
CDW - Collision Damage Waiver. This is a type of insurance paid as part of some car rental agreements which waives some or all of the cost of repairs to cars in the event of damage during the rental. Car Hire
Codeshare - A flight operated by an airline on behalf of one or more other partner airlines which may or may not be part of the same larger company or group of airlines. This flight may have more than one flight number.
Consolidator - A company that has an agreement with an airline to buy seats from them in bulk at wholesale prices and sell them on to the public, often at very competitive prices.
Direct Flight - A flight which does not involve a change of aircraft. This does not mean it is non-stop, a direct flight may stop in one or more airports en-route to the final destination.
ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. Any British Citizen wishing to travel to the USA must apply for an ESTA. This system replaces the 'visa waiver' form that has been in use for many years. More details about the scheme and its background can be found here
E-ticket - Electronic Ticket. Almost all airline tickets are now e-tickets. An e-ticket is not a paper ticket in the traditional sense of the word, but a booking reference made up of a sequence of numbers and letters which identifies a flight booking on the airline's computer.
FIT - This acronym has various 'long' versions such as 'Flexible Independent Traveller' and 'Free Independent Traveller' depending on who you talk to. Basically FIT refers to individual travellers not travelling in a formal group.
IATA - International Air Transport Association. This is the main global authority serving the airline industry. more... or link to Airline websites
Local Time - the current time of day in that particular location.
Manifest - A list of passengers travelling - for example on an aircraft or on a ferry.
Open Jaw - A journey where you travel out to one destination and return from a different location to your original departure point.
PAI - Personal Accident Insurance
Pax - Passengers.
Seat Pitch - The distance from a point on one seat to the same point on the next seat in front, usually on an aeroplane or a coach, which gives an indication of the amount of leg room available
Stopover - A stopover is generally used to mean when a passenger is allowed to 'break their journey' and spend time at a point en-route before continuing the journey to their final destination. Some tickets permit stopovers, others (usually cheaper ones) don't.
Tailor Made - A holiday that is 'tailored' to the specific requirements of the customer rather than one which is sold in the same format to lots of customers.
Tour Operator - A company that sources elements of a holiday such as accommodation and transportation and combines them to form a particular holiday or tour with a single price. With the growth of the internet many Tour Operators now also sell individual holiday elements.
Transit - When stopping or changing planes at an airport other than your destination, you are said to be in 'transit'. Normally, passengers in transit remain air side and are not subject to the immigration regulations of the country in which the airport is located, but this is not always the case and it is worth checking, especially if you think you may have time in which to leave the airport before boarding your onward flight.
Travel Agent - A retail company that sells holidays and travel arrangements on behalf of a wide range of suppliers, including Tour Operators and Airlines. With the growth of the internet the distinction between Tour Operator and Travel Agent is becoming blurred as many Agents now put together 'tailor made' holidays on behalf of their clients in a way that was once largely the preserve of Tour Operators.
VFR - Visiting Friends & Relatives. Also used in aviation to mean Visual Flying Rules

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