Advance Purchase Requirement – An airfare that must be purchased a certain number of days ahead of departure, usually 7, 14, or 21 days, for the best fare.
Aft – Toward the rear of a ship.
Air Mile – A distance of approx. 6076 feet.
Airport Transfer – A transport service to/from an airport to hotel, etc., normally prepaid as part of a package tour, but available separately as well.
All-Inclusive – Should mean a plan that includes all meals, drinks, tips, service charges, accommodations, some watersports (usually non-motorized), etc. NOT all plans are equal – be sure to inquire as to just what IS included and what is extra!
American Plan – A hotel’s meal plan that usually includes all three meals each day.
Base Fare – The basic price of an airline ticket, before ANY taxes, surcharges, airport fees, etc.
Blackout Dates – Refers to a date or series of dates on which travel is NOT available. Can refer to airline, hotel or car rental arrangements.
Boarding Pass – A receipt with a seat number, now issued only at check-in at the airport. A ticket is not valid unless a boarding pass has been issued!
Bumping – The airline practice of denying boarding to confirmed passengers who hold tickets on a specific flight, due to an oversold condition. The carrier will ask for volunteers to take later flights, and will normally provide some sort of compensation in the form of vouchers or tickets for future travel.
Cancellation Penalty – The monetary penalty due when travel plans are canceled, usually after final payment has been made.
Carrier – Generic term for any company that transports passengers and/or freight.
Cashless Cruising – A term that applies to the system of onboard payment used for most all cruises; the final bill for any such purchases is presented against a credit card or cash deposit given upon check-in. The final statement itemizes the purchases of all passengers in a cabin, such as drinks, shore tours, etc.
CTC – Certified Travel Counselor – the ultimate in travel professionals, CTC certification can be compared to the ” Master’s Degree ” of the industry, who has passed a series of rigorous tests, assuring the traveling public of professional competence.
Coach – The “economy” section of an aircraft, which may have literally scores of different fares for the same flight.
Connecting Flight – An air journey that requires changing planes at an intermediate city along the way.
Consolidator – A business that sells airline tickets in bulk, usually at some savings, but with many restrictions – be careful who you use!
Denied-Boarding Compensation – That payment and/or voucher given those bumped from a flight; may be somewhat negotiable – always ask! Also see “bumping”.
Direct Flight – A flight to another city that stops at least once en route, but does not involve a change of equipment (you do not have to change planes).
Double Occupancy – The way in which almost all cruise fares and tour packages are quoted, that is, based on two people traveling together. Most hotel rooms are quoted based on two adults to a room, as well.
Duty-Free – Being exempt from any import tax.
Electronic Ticket – A “paperless” airline ticket allowing one to check-in and fly with just proper photo ID. What may look like a ticket is actually just a paper passenger receipt. E-tickets cannot be lost, or used by anyone else, so they are safer than standard paper tickets.
ETA – Estimated time of arrival.
ETD – Estimated time of departure.
European Plan – A rate at a hotel that includes no meals.
Excursion – A side trip from a main destination, usually at added cost and optional.
Family Plan – Offered by most hotels, allow children to stay in the same room as parents, at no additional charge. Age requirements vary between hotels.
First Class – Most aircraft have at least some first class seats up front, which offer much more room and upgraded cabin service, meals, etc.
FIT – Foreign independent tour – actually used generically now for a travel package put together by a travel agent from separate components such as car, hotel and airfare, adjusted exactly as the traveler wishes.
Fly-Drive Package – A travel package featuring airfare, rental car, and perhaps hotels. Usually less expensive than booking each separately.
Gateway City – A city that operates as an arrival or departure point for international flights.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) – Solar based time in Greenwich, England, from which time in all other time zones in the world is based.
GST – Goods and Services Tax, such as levied in Canadian Provinces.
Nontransferable – An air ticket that cannot be used by anyone else (all tickets are such nowadays).
Nonstop – Referring to an air flight that does not stop enroute to it’s first destination, that is, a single flight segment with no intermediate stops.
Red-Eye Flight – Usually an overnight flight that arrives early in the morning – great when you don’t want to lose precious sightseeing time at your destination.
Round Trip – A flight to a single destination and return.
Run-of-house (ROH) – Refers to a hotel room, the type of which is assigned at the discretion of the hotel shortly before you arrive. Usually, the rates are lower.
Single Supplement – An additional charge when purchasing a cruise or tour whose pricing is based on double-occupancy.
Stopover – A planned stayover in a city for a day or more, while enroute to another destination. Sometimes adds significantly to the cost of an air ticket.
Tender – A small boat or ferry that carries passengers from an anchored cruise ship to the pier at a port of call. Many ships are too large for existing port facilities at some destinations, and so they anchor just off shore and “tender” their passengers in for their visit.
Value Added Tax (VAT) – A tax on goods in Europe, which under certain circumstances can be refunded.