Resources - Travel Tips

The Jargon Buster

At Tourama we believe that we should not drown our customers in unnecessary jargon and travel/tourism acronyms. However, there are some things that you have asked us in the past, and may want clarifications about. See also: Trivia | Flyertalk

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ABF American Breakfast. A term mainly used in Tourist hotels in Thailand.


ADB Agent Duplicate Booking. Duplicate bookings for the same passenger/itinerary with different agents are auto-cancelled by airlines' Bots.


Add-ons Extra sector flights at fixed extra costs


Advance purchase You must buy this ticket a certain number of days before you travel


Agent An authorised travel/tour reseller. The local authorised body is the SLTDA. The aviation authority is the DGCA. The international body is the IATA.


Airline Codes

Airport Codes


Amendment Any changes to your booking. Sometimes amendments and refunds are not possible on certain airtickets


AP Global indicator. This is a round the world routing/fare, going via both the Atlantic and Pacific


APEX Advance Purchase Excursion Ticket. Cheap fare ticket must be issued soon after the reservation is made, well in advance of the planned date of travel. Usually date changes are not possible, or are charged a fee, unlike most other tickets


API Advance Passenger Information. We have to advice details to airline on the GDS


ARNK Arrival Unknown. If you see this in an itinerary, it involves an open jaw ("surface sector") or a separate ticket from another airline. See: Europe


Arrival The time the flight lands at its destination


Asian style shower There is no shower cubicle. Only the shower faucet is provided (and the water will be all over the floor!)


AT Global indicator. Atlantic routing and fare


ATPCO Airline Tariff Publishing Company. A popular source of airfares and baggage allowances for hundreds of airlines. See also SITA

Banked Hub  A banked hub is where several flights on one airline arrive and depart within short periods of time. 

Back to Back
Tours operating on a consistent, continuing basis, usually without time between, with a point of origin and a point of destination, or where both the point of origin and point of destination are the same. Common with tour groups coming to Sri Lanka, and guided tours like Cosmos in Europe.

BB Bed and Breakfast basis (room + breakfast buffet or served breakfast). See CP


Bed Types King Size is about 76 inches by 80 inches (1.9m x 2.0m). Queen Size is about 60 inches by 80 inches (1.5m x 2.0m)


Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) Credit control programme by airlines which was implemented in Sri Lanka from July 1, 2005. An increasing number of airlines have joined this travel agent issued single document (plated) system in Sri Lanka.


Back Ticketing aka Back to Back ticketing Using flight coupons on a ticket out of sequence or not using coupons contained in a multi-sector ticket for (prohibited) cost saving. This is Tariff Abuse, and is expressly forbidden by airlines, as it circumvents market fares and fare rules.
e.g. i) using New York/Colombo flight coupon before you use your Colombo/New York
      ii) using Doha/London/Doha flight coupons without using Colombo/Doha/Colombo
Caution: Most airlines will cancel the rest of your reservation and invalidate your ticket if this is detected, and may use other punitive measures such as cancelling both your frequent flyer membership and status (a.k.a. "Tier"). Please don't try it.


Backtracking not allowed You cannot go back from whence you came on the same itinerary


Blackout dates The special offer is not valid on given dates, because of a festival/event or sufficient or overbooking for the dates in question


Boarding Pass The printed card that you get when you checkin. Some airlines offer electronic and online checkin at major hubs. E-checkin is common in Scandinavia


Boarding Time Boarding gates close up to 20 minutes before the flight. In Colombo and most popular destinations, you are generally advised to be at the Boarding Gate at least 45 minutes before your flight. Business Class and First Class boarding usually commences 30 minutes before your flight, and last call will be about 20 minutes before your flight.

Booking is to enter the flight itinerary into the system with the name and advance information details. There is no obligation on either side at this stage (customer, airline, travel agent). Cancellation can be made at any time. Fare changes, tax changes and ticketing deadlines are applicable for these bookings; the price is not protected.


Booking Class A letter that is used to denote Class of Travel, like Economy or Business; aka RBD (Reservation Booking Designator) Within each class, sub classes denoted by a letter of the alphabet, are used for sales on each flight. This can vary from market to market (from point of origin to another). In other words, the same flight is blocked out for sale at different prices, and the cheapest seats are usually sold first by travel agents. So the earlier the booking, the more likely it is that you will get cheap seats, especially during peak periods. Travel agents do not have access to last minute distress fares sold on the web, so above is always true. See also Upsell.


Bot Automated Reservation Software utility program used by airlines to check for duplicate itineraries with different agents, and check Ticketing Time Limits etc.


BPI Boarding Pass Information.


Breakfasts American (ABF), Full English, Continental, Scottish Cooked


BT or Bulk Tour refers to a special fare given by an airline to a large group. This will appear on your ticket in the Fare Calculation box. Allowed by DGCA to US and Canada.

Budget Airlines
A new breed of airline which offers low fares. They may be unreliable as many have gone bankrupt, including Sir Freddy Laker's original Laker Airways. Note that various services which are found on Full Service airlines are charged for, such as baggage checkin, food, drink, a low baggage allowance resulting in extra baggage charges, credit card usage, trolley use, music headphones, extra legroom etc. Due to an EU regulation, airlines which fly to/from the European Union are required to advertise fares including fuel surcharges. The popular ones include easyJet, Ryanair, WizzAir, GermanWings, Veuling, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, JetStar Asia, AirAsia and Joon. aka: LCC (Low Cost Carrier)


Business Class (J, C, I or D booking class) The second highest class of travel. Some airlines differentiate by naming their offering, e.g. Club World, Pearl Zone, Raffles. For most flights out of Colombo (except Emirates), the highest class of travel.


Cancellation Penalties involved if you cancel your ticket


Carrier Refers to the name of the airline you are travelling on, also: Nominated Carrier


Cash plus miles offers  These offers are given by airlines which are trying to reduce the circulation of frequent flyer miles. To mop up the lower balances, they offer "Cash plus Miles" deals. This means that you redeem what miles you have left, and pay a special fare to travel. Airport taxes and fuel surcharges, where applicable, apply. Note that the UK has a special tax for travel in premium classes, and this is payable even for a redemption ticket or a miles upgrade.

Check-in time
Officially 3 hours, but practically, 2 hours prior to departure for international; 1 hour prior to departure for domestic. Baggage drop time is about 90 minutes before the flight for international.

Chicago Convention
Convention on International Civil Aviation by ICAO (also known as Chicago Convention), was signed on 7 December 1944.

Making and cancelling a booking many times. We kindly request you not to ask us to do this, if it can be avoided. It is costly for airlines when you do so, and will ultimately be reflected on the fare that you pay


Child Person aged over 2 years but under 12 years, at the time of Departure for international flights. Usually entitled to around 75% of the applicable fare. Child fares attract almost all adult taxes, with a few exceptions like the Australian AU tax. Note that some airlines charge the adult rate for one way (1/2 return) if the child is >12 years on the return journey.


Circle Flight  A return flight to more than one destination in a region or area. e.g. Emirates to Bangkok, Sydney and Christchurch, and US Airways Atlanta and Seattle. You can't always stop at B and C in a A-B-C-A route, unless it is a Fifth Freedom (q.v.) flight. The opposite of Terminator (q.v.)

Circulation visa A circulation visa is a Schengen visa type for a longer period, with a limit of a six month stay during a one year period. The validity of the visa is usually granted from the first date of intended arrival, with a validity of 1 to 5 years. It is necessary for the passport to remain valid, for the visa to be valid. However, if there are no pages left, an amendment to the Schengen guidelines, allow the holder to travel on the previous passport visa. The visa is invalid if the passport is lost or stolen, or expires or is otherwise incapicitated.

Classes Usually First, Business and Economy. Sometimes, subclasses exist e.g. Premium Economy.


Closed No further bookings of any kind can be made on the CRS for a flight. Can be segregated by booking classes


Coach US name for Economy Class


Codeshare A flight operated by one airline using the two letter moniker of another.


Combination permitted You can combine two fare classes/rules to make your whole return journey. e.g. Fly outbound on one fare class/rule, and inbound on another. Useful as an alternative when no seats are available on one class/rule.


Common rated Cities that share the same fare level. The airline will fly to any of the specified cities for the same price. However, taxes differ.


Conditions Rules pertaining to a fare or ticket issue. They will be shown on your ticket.


Connection Changing from one flight to another flight




Coupons or Stages Part of an airline ticket. Passengers have a single flight coupon for each flight they take on their journey. The 1-to-4 stage ticket is now obsolete since the advent of E-ticketing. Some airlines still issue flexible coupons, to take you between regions rather than specific airports.

Continental Plan. Meal Plan, where breakfast is included. Same as B&B


Departure The time the flight takes off


Destination The final stopping place before turning around and coming home


DGCA Director General of Civil Aviation Our Licence # A-650


Distress Fares These are time-limited specials that airlines release direct to the public or (rarely) through agents, when flights during a period are empty or subject to last-minute booking cancellations


Double Room ''Married accommodation". One large bed for two people, either King Size or Queen Size (see Bed Types)


E-Check in Facility provided in developed countries to check in outside the airport, on the internet or at boarding card dispensers close to the check in counters (if you do not have baggage). Common in Scandinavia.


Economy Class (EY, called "Y" class generically for full-fare) Lowest class of travel. Sub-economy classes, utilising the same seats, e.g. YMHKMLVSNQO (depends on the airline). Also called: Coach

EH Global Indicator. This routing or fare is entirely in the Eastern Hemisphere, east of the Greenwich Meridien, and does not include a Pacific crossing

End on End
Combining two fare rules (i.e. separate tickets) to create a complete itinerary. e.g. Colombo /  Glasgow / Colombo purchased as two tickets: Colombo / Manchester / Colombo and Manchester / Glasgow / Manchester , which may (or may not) be cheaper than buying one ticket Colombo / Dubai / Glasgow / Dubai / Colombo. Destinations are for illustration only. This is sometimes not allowed on certain fares.


Endorsement A written authority from a Carrier to transfer a Ticket or Miscellaneous Charges Order or an individual coupon thereof to another Carrier


En-suite Private WC/Toilet/Shower/Bath facilities are in your hotel room (mainly: British and Commonwealth)

EP or European Plan.
Only the room rate, as well as all taxes that can be collected in advance. City tourist taxes might be extra

Electronic ticket. Only the passport is required to fly. All IATA airlines and Accredited Agents are targeted to be e-ticket compliant by June 2008


ETA Estimated Time of Arrival


ETD Estimated Time of Departure


Eurail Pass See Eurail


Europe Pass An airpass enabling multiple stops in Continental Europe, Scandinavia and/or Baltic Countries. May be purchased in multiples of coupons, the usual minimum being three


Fare basis The name/code of the fare-type you are travelling on. e.g. LEE4MLK, JRT


Fare validity The date given by the airline before a specified excursion or published airfare expires. The ticket must be issued before this. But see also: Ticketing Validity


Fares The cost of passenger carriage. Fare on Ticket This is a fare given by the airline to print on the ticket prior to adding taxes, and is often the full IATA fare for the journey.


FB Full Board (all three meals provided), also called American Plan (AP)


Fifth Freedom This means the right of an airline from one country to land in a second country, to then pick up passengers and fly on to a third country where the passengers are allowed to disembark. The most well known Colombo example is Emirates' Dubai-Colombo-Singapore vv. route, where passengers are carried between each city. see also Freedoms and Longest Fifth Freedom flights


First Class (F or P) Highest class of travel. Most airlines do not offer First Class out of Sri Lanka (except Emirates' Boeing 777-300).


FIT Free Independent Traveller. Holidaymakers who buy the various components of their holiday separately, e.g. flights, hotels, tours, activities and transfers. The tourist decides the duration of travel, the destinations, sights, attractions and routing of their holiday.

Flight Scheduling   Flight scheduling is a complex mathematical exercise, using Banking, Rolling or Scissor solutions, or a hybrid. Flight Scheduling explained

FOC Free of charge. No cost


Focus City is a location that is not a hub, but from which the airline has non-stop flights to several destinations other than its hubs. Flights are served by smaller regional aircraft, with lower frequencies, and cater more to point to point traffic than connecting flights


FOT Fare on Ticket. This often differs from the Market fare (q.v.)


Frequent Flyer Airlines have formulated Frequent Flyer programmes for their most loyal customers. We recommend that you join them because they are free of charge. Note: Some lower subeconomy classes on major airlines, do not earn points/miles.


Fully Flexible, Unrestricted or Full Fare tickets are unrestricted tickets that almost no conditions other than the maximum travel validity of 1 year. They can often be used on any carrier (i.e. they can be Endorsed), and have a number of common rated destinations. Commonly purchased by businesspeople.


Go Show This facility allows the holder of an eligible fare to turn up at the airport and fly with a nominal additional payment on a flight that he/she is not booked on.


GDS Global Distribution System. An online, multi-supplier, worldwide computerised reservation system used by travel agents for airline, hotel and other services bookings. Common GDS systems include Amadeus, Galileo, Worldspan and Sabre.


GDS Wastage/Abuse This is a problem for airlines, if agents churn (q.v.) bookings, miss ticketing deadlines have duplicate bookings or speculative bookings. We try to avoid these as far as is practical, without sacrificing customer service


GIT Group Independent Traveller. Holidaymakers who travel with unrelated people on inclusive tours (IT), with some flexibility as to which tours that they take. This differs from Group Travel, e.g. Package Tourists who travel with unrelated people throughout the holiday from flights to hotels to tours.


Group Bookings (airline) Travel agents most of the time, can't make reservations for groups of 9 and above on their GDS (q.v.). These bookings are made by the GSA (q.v.) or the airline, on their own reservation system.


Group Travel / Package Tourists. Holidaymakers who travel with unrelated people on inclusive tours, with no flexibility as to their accommodation, meals, sights visited, routing and destinations, but merely move from attraction to attraction taking photographs to show their friends. Also known as American-style tourism.


GSA General Sales Agent. An agent appointed to represent a hotel/tour operator/airline in a city where the hotel/operator/airline has no office of its own


HB Half Board. Either Breakfast & Dinner or Breakfast & Lunch included, sometimes called Modified American Plan (MAP)


HK/HX/HL see Status


Hub(s) The main city(ies) that a particular airline flies in and out of, its "home airport".  These are divided in Banked Hubs, Scissor Hubs and Rolling Hubs.


IATA The International Air Transport Association. Industry watchdog and the accrediting body, whose members and financiers are airlines. Travel agents are Accredited for ticket and cargo sales. Our IATA Accredited Agent No. is 07-3 0190 6 verify


IATA Fare The fare given by the International Air Transport Association.  See also MSP


Infant child Up to 23 months at time of flight departure for international flights, usually entitled to 10% of the full IATA fare, or FOC, depending on the airline. Infants are usually exempt from airport departure and statutory taxes, but many airlines have begun charging fuel and insurance surcharges from infants as well.


Instant Purchase These fares have to be ticketed on the day of the booking. Even though the seat is still shown as confirmed, the fare becomes valid only if the seat is rebooked and ticketed that very day.

Interline baggage Automatic transfer of baggage from one airline to another, en-route to its final destination. In the US, Canada and Australia, it is necessary to re-check your baggage at the first point of entry.


IT or Inclusive Tour. (Complicated. Click link). Allowed by DGCA to US and Canada.


Itinerary Your flight, train or tour schedule in detail


Layover The period of time you stopover at an airline's hub until your next connecting flight


LCC Low Cost Carrier. Another name for budget airlines. List.


Legacy Carriers This is a another name for non-Budget, non-Low-Cost airlines

Long Haul An overseas flight of some distance, of 10-17 hours duration, refuelling at a via point likely. but see also: Ultra Long Haul


Market Fare One of the available airfares, without taxes, sold in a specified country.

MAP or Modified American Plan. Two meals included in the room rate, either breakfast and lunch or Breakfast and Dinner.

Married Segments
Airlines now follow connecting flight booking classes, where your routing should be booked to your ultimate destination in order to get your seat. If we try and book discrete flights, it does not grant the seat. This is done to avoid Tariff Abuse.


MCO Miscellaneous Charges Order. Amount collected for taxes or extra services. It is a kind of receipt for monies paid to an airline


MCT Minimum Connecting Time. The amount of time needed to connect to your onward flight at a given airport. It depends on the airport, whether you are flying different airlines,  whether your transfer involves a terminal change, and whether you have to clear Customs and Immigration during your transfer (e.g. in the case International - Domestic)


Medium Haul Flights between 2-10 hours in duration


MICE Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions - Business related Travel


Mileage The amount of miles permitted to be flown on an airfare, see MPM


Miles The currency of a Frequent Flyer programme


Minimum stay/maximum stay the shortest and longest times you can stay at your destination


Montreal Convention of 1999, deals with Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air

Montreal Protocol of 2014, deals with Passenger Behaviour onboard IATA members' aircraft, and the means of dealing with them


Most Significant Carrier (MSC) This is a industry term used to see which airline's baggage rules apply in a complex interline route. The rules are complicated, so if there is a confusion, please ask your travel consultant. The applicable baggage allowances will be in the GDS (q.v.)


MPM Maximum permitted distance you can fly in air miles (not air km)


NonEnd Nonendorsable, see Endorsement. NonRef Nonrefundable NonRer Nonreroutable, cannot be used to travel to another destination


Not Applicable / Not Included Not applicable means a charge is not payable by you. Not included means that the charge is not shown on the face of a voucher, but is payable by you, later.


NUC Neutral Unit of Construction. A common denominator used to calculate a total when adding fares in different currencies.


NVA Not Valid After / NVB Not Valid Before. See Travel Validity


Offline carrier An airline that does not fly to your point of origin


Offline fare The price of a ticket, either issued by an offline carrier or an online carrier, that enables you to fly to cities which are not served by direct or connecting flights of a single airline

Off-loading is practiced by airlines that over-book flights.This means you have a valid ticket, and also a confirmed booking granted by the airline, but the flight has been overbooked due to anticipation of no-show passengers. There are Passenger Rights applicable in most developed markets. The airline is under obligation to give you an alternative to your destination, that you have the right to accept or reject.

OK Confirmed status. see also overbooking. shown on a GDS (q.v.) as HK


Online carrier An airline that flies to your point of origin


Online transfer Changing flights from one airline to the same airline 


Open Jaw Fly to one city and return from another city (A-B,C-A). See: Europe
e.g. Colombo/Washington-surface-New York/Colombo.
Particularly useful in USA and Europe for multistop itineraries.

Double Open Jaw tickets are very expensive, and involve (A-B,C-D). e.g. Colombo/London-surface-Paris/Delhi


Open-dated No return date set


Origin The airport that you start your journey from


Outbound Flight from point of origin


Overbooking Some airlines grant confirmed (OK/HK) status even when there are no seats available. An announcement may be made prior to the flight departure that any passenger willing to give up his/her seat will be paid a fixed amount in the local currency, so that the flight can depart. This has little connection to a Waitlist, though there is a relationship


OW One-Way journey


PA Global Indicator. This routing or fare is via the Pacific


Package Tourists All inclusive Package Holidaymakers who travel together at all times, on flights, hotels, meals and tours, lead by a Tour Operator. = Group Tourists.

Passenger Rights As a ticket-holding passenger, you have rights that you can exercise which are proliferated through IATA Passenger Rights.

Look after your passport. It's your most precious possession while travelling. To renew or to get a new passport, please see: Immigration


Pax Travel Industry talk for passengers or customers, usually as an indicator of numbers. No disrespect is intended.


Phonetic alphabet


Plate/Plating The airline which issued the ticket through an agent, more accurately the airline that "owns" the ticket. If there is an unforeseen problem after the ticket is issued,such as a flight cancellation, the airline is responsible. So for example, you can't buy a United fare on a Singapore Airlines plated ticket ("misplating") without an interline agreement (q.v.) being in force. This also means that only the issuing agent or the airline can re-issue the ticket.


PNR Passenger Name Reference - used by GDS

Point of Commencement
(POC) Violation    In your ticket, you should book your flight segments in order, i.e. from the point of origin. If you book it from a transit point to get a cheaper fare, you may be charged  extra, and denied boarding

Point of Origin see origin


Point to Point Most budget airlines are point to point carriers. This means that you can't interline baggage, and you have to check in separately for each segment of your flight. If there is a flight delay, even on the same airline, the customer is responsible for the cost of re-scheduling.

Positive Boarding Launched at London Heathrow in August 2013, enables airlines through a smart boarding pass, to see what stage of the departure process a passenger is at and gives them bespoke information to help make sure they get to the gate on time

Postpaid means that payment is made only at the hotel itself. Hotels on postpaid basis are cancellable, and if a deposit is kept, can be refunded in full until the day of arrival. So you have flexibility to change the date, or change the basis to prepaid later, based on the availability as at that time.  Postpaid rooms are guaranteed with a credit card for late arrival and are confirmed, and the fixed rate is contracted and will be shown on your booking voucher, and cannot change.

means that payment is made on booking with a credit card. Hotels on prepaid basis are at a fixed rate at the time of booking and cannot be refunded, so you have to be sure of your utilisation of the booking.

PRS Prereserved Seat

PTA Prepaid Ticket Advice. Practice of using an airline ticket by the airline in a country other than its Point of Origin country. The ticket is sent from the airline office in the issuing country to the airline office in the Point of Origin country. It is sometimes cheaper to obtain the ticket in Sri Lanka and courier it to the passenger, because of service charges and market fares


Published fare Ticket price set by airline


Q-surcharge A collection, usually given as a tax, for facilities. These are commonly used in USA, Canada and Hong Kong.


RBD Booking class (q.v.). also Upsell.


Red-eye flight is a flight operated by an airline departing late at night and arriving early the next morning, typically between the period from 9pm to 7am. These are cheap if they are for separately purchased  domestic flights in large countries like US, Canada, Australia and Russia. more


Reissue Changes require a new ticket to be issued in lieu of the old one.                   Top

Rerouting Changes to flight routing due to cancellations or weather conditions


Restricted Fares Most airfares sold to you have pages and pages of conditions and restrictions. You buy the fare that you choose, and changes and flexibility have a cost attached to them. Unrestricted fares are usually Full Economy fares. Note that even some Business Class fares are market fares, and therefore are restricted. See: Fully Flexible


Reverse Direction This means a ticket from an origin other than Colombo, from the point of view of a Sri Lankan resident. These fares are different, usually higher, than Colombo origin tickets. Reverse Direction fares are usually not passport-holder specific, and are payable in LKR (Sri Lankan Rupees) in Colombo. Options are limited, and even more so if you want to overfly Colombo.


ROE Rate of Exchange. In Sri Lanka-issued travel documents, the rate used in translating foreign currency (usually USD, sometimes others) to Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR).

Rolling Hub   At Rolling Hubs, flight arrivals and departures are spread throughout the day. Resources are better utilised with three or four waves or Banks per day. If you arrive on a morning bank though, you might have to wait for an evening bank if your onward connection was busy at the time of your booking.

Room Type Twin room means two separate beds for two people sharing a room. Double Room means one large bed, either King Size or Queen size (see Bed Types)


"Round the World" Fares Circumnavigating the globe on a single ticket usually doubles the fare. Therefore, passengers are advised to return using the same route which they arrived. e.g. Via the Atlantic or the Pacific, both ways, to/from the USA.


RR see Status


RQ Term on your ticket, On Request status, also called HL or WL status on your itinerary printout. See Status


Rules Conditions regarding seasonality, minimum/maximum stay, ticket validity, travel validity, ticketing validity, endorsing, rerouting, refunding, date changing and many others, for airfares and on the ticket


RT fares Return Journey fares


Sabre Our Global Distribution System. Tourama makes your reservations exclusively on the international, pioneering Sabre GDS system

Scissor Hubs Scissor hubs operate multiple flights to an airport that arrive at the same time, swap passengers, and then continue to their final destination

Seasonality Different fares for different times of the year (travel validity)


Sector A single flight from point A to point B, bearing a single flight number


Shared facilities WC/Toilet/Shower/Bath facilities outside the room, shared with other people.


Short Haul Flights less than 2 hours


Sidetrip Short return trip from a city during your journey e.g.  Colombo/Bangkok/Solo City/Bangkok/Colombo. Bangkok/Solo vv. is the side trip


SITA Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques. An Airline Cooperative that deals with IT solutions for the industry. You may hear this in relation to the source of your airfare


SLTB Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Note: Our Registration #TS/TA/972 ; Our Licence #7970


Special Prorate Agreement (SPA) An agreement that an airline which does not fly to a destination makes with another to carry passengers to a connecting point that they do fly to. e.g. Emirates/SriLankan with Qantas, American/United/Lufthansa with SriLankan. Sometimes referred to as an Offline Agreement


Status The codes attached to the current status of your airline booking. The heirarchy is Cancelled/Unable to confirm or Waitlist closed/Waitlist open/Seat released/Confirmed/Reconfirmed. In GDS/CRS two letter codes HX-UC-LL-KL-KK-HK-RR respectively are used


STD Standard Traffic Document. The non-carrier-specific ticket issued for airlines in the BSP (q.v.) system


Stopover When you leave the airport for more than 24 hours


STPC STopover Paid by Carrier. The airline pays for your accommodation and meals at a forced stopover point (i.e. when the airline's schedule forces you to have a long layover at their hub). STPC varies by airline, so make sure that you check the conditions if you require it. We will be happy to advise you, with the relevant rule directly from the airline's website


Suggested route Most logical route to fit in with the airfare you are on


Surcharges Extra costs involved


Surface sector You make your own way between two points (by air, sea or land)

Tactical Fares Tactical fares are similar to Distress fares but are more common during off-peak times for pre-season sales as a quick seat filler on popular routes. Note that once Tactical Fares achieve their objective of comfortable load factors, fares on the dates and routes in question can become high to compensate.

Tariff Abuse see Back Ticketing


Tax Airport departure and other statutory taxes charged by airports and governments. Fuel, Insurance and Q-surcharges are now not added as taxes in general practice, with some exceptions. Tourama's company policy since inception has been to never exclude these. All quotes however, are subject to change.


Technical Stop A fuelling stop where passengers do not leave the aircraft. e.g. Cathay Pacific stops in Bangkok or Singapore en route to Hong Kong from Colombo


Terminator A flight between two airports without onward travel. It is also often used to indicate that the flight stops at the destination airport (not its hub) overnight. Opposite of Circle Flight (q.v.)


Throughfare An airfare to your ultimate destination sold on a single ticket. Usually (but not always) much cheaper than End-on-End fares.


Ticket Terms and Conditions


Ticket Validity The time period during which the ticket is valid. e.g. return within 30 days of departure. The maximum validity for a ticket sold in Sri Lanka is 1 year.


Ticketing Validity A deadline - the date given by the airline to issue the ticket, after which the airline will cancel your reservation. This differs from Fare Validity in that, the fare may be valid, but if the seat  allocation is not available, the ticket cannot be issued at the price specified after this date. This is called UTTL or Universal Ticketing Time Limit.


Ticketing Once a booking / reservation is ticketed, the airline has a responsibility to carry the eligible (with visa) passengers to the destination as booked. Name changes are not possible. Date change fees and refund fees may be applicable.

Ticket Status A airline ticket can be shown to be, Open (OPEN), Airport Control prior to checkin (ACTL), Checked In (CKIN), Suspended (SUSP), No show (NSHW), or Used (USED).

Time Note that flight times use the 24 hour clock. A day begins at 00:00 and ends at 23:59. e.g. 0120 on the 26th, means 25th night after midnight. Take care, or you will miss your flight.

Tour Code
Used by airlines to refer to the type of market fare (q.v.) e.g. CMBR001

Tourist taxes City Tourist Taxes in Europe are collected by hotels on behalf of the local authorities. It is always paid on check out, and therefore, cannot be collected in advance by a tour operator or travel agent, or even by the hotel itself, as it is outside of the property's accounts

Traffic rights Cities airlines are allowed to fly between. See: Freedoms


Transitional Stored Ticket (TST) A group booking made on the Amadeus system by an airline pending ticketing by a travel agent


Travel validity Ticket must be used before, during or after a given period; or the ticket is valid only on a particular flight. e.g. Minimum stay at destination 7 days, not valid before <date>, not valid during <period>, not valid at <time of day>, not valid on codeshares.


Turnaround point The furthest point from your destination, on your multi-stop itinerary


Twin Room Two separate beds for two people sharing the same room


UFN Until Further Notice

UMN  Unaccompanied Minor

UC Unable to Confirm status. The flight is full, or has been cancelled or closed for further booking, or there is a technical problem. Your travel agent should remove this from your itinerary immediately, as this status will not change


Ultra Long Haul Non-stop flights over 15 hours, made possible by the new Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner, the Airbus A350-900R and the Airbs A380-800. e.g. Dallas Fort Worth, TX to  Sydney, Australia on Qantas on an Airbus A380-800, which is the world's longest scheduled commercial flight.


Update The latest changes to a fare or fare rules


Upgrade Changing from one Class (q.v.) of travel to a higher one


Upsell This is not an upgrade, just the opposite. The same economy class seat (as designated by a Booking Class/RBD, see above) is sold at different fares by the same airline to maximise the yield. The early booking that is ticketed first usually gets the cheapest seats. A fare difference is charged for each upsell. e.g. Class Letter L to V, V to H and so on. The differences can be substantial.


UTTL Universal Ticketing Time Limit. This time limit applies to all airlines in the itinerary.


Validity see: Ticket Validity, Ticketing Validity, Fare Validity


VLD Valid on, fare validated on


VMPD Virtual Multiple Purpose Document. Used by IATA airlines to charge/refund IATA accredited agents for many different services and reasons


Visa This is the right to visit a country (and not the credit card). A visa can be given on arrival or be stamped before you get to your destination, depending on your nationality and immigration clearance eligibility. See also Embassies


Visa Shopping This means going to different embassies that grant the visa due to a false perception that it is faster or easier. This practice is not advisable. If your main destination in the Schengen area cannot be identified, you should get it from the Embassy accredited for your first point of entry, otherwise it has to be from the main destination accredited one.


Voluntary Upgrade Surcharge Some airlines offer a one-way upgrade to business class by paying a surcharge at the airport. This surcharge is usually more than the premium for half a return business class ticket in the first place.


Waitlist/WL The flight is "fully booked" in the sub-booking class that you want. It does not imply that the flight is overbooked, nor that it is physically full. You are waiting for a cancellation by another travel agent, in order for your booking to be confirmed. Shown as "HL" on a GDS


Warsaw Convention On your ticket, "The Montreal Convention or the Warsaw Convention system may be applicable to your journey and these Conventions govern and may limit the liability of air carriers for death or bodily injury, for loss of or damage to baggage, and for delay." If you really want to know: Conventions regarding Aviation


WH Global Indicator. This routing or fare is entirely in the Western Hemisphere, west of the Greenwich Meridien, and  essentially does not include an Atlantic crossing


YEExM Where x is a number, and Y an RBD (q.v.), an x-month excursion fare


YQ or sometimes YR Fuel Surcharge. This is part of the fare, but is collected separately for free redemption tickets. It can be a major component of the fare, and can change daily.


YRT Usually, a Fully Flexible unrestricted fare. There are exceptions.


Yield The net profit that an airline earns on a seat sold. STPC (q.v.) is usually the first casualty when fuel costs go up.

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Last Updated 26 August 2023

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