Corporate Traveler

A-Z of Business Travel

Like any industry, the travel management space has its fair share of jargon, abbreviations and terms. These can be a little bewildering sometimes, even for seasoned business travelers and bookers. So here is a list of terms you might have heard or that you might hear in the future to help you navigate the exciting world of travel:


Advance purchase requirement – means a ticket must be purchased a given number of days before the service departs.


Airport access fee – This is a fee paid to the airport operator by car rental companies for the use of shuttles and other vehicles. It often appears on your rental bill.

ARC – The Airlines Reporting Corporation -responsible for supervising payments from travel agencies to airlines as well as the manner in which tickets are issued.

Basic Economy- an optional ticket-class that offers a lower fare for less cabin space and no overhead-locker access, meaning all luggage must fit below the seat in front. 

Best fare of the day – The best price available at the time quoted

Bulk contract – An agreement where an airline sells blocks of seats at discounted rate for resale by third parties

Code Share- An agreement where two or more airlines share the same actual flight. Each airline will publish and market the flight under their own designation and flight number, but all passengers will be on the same physical plane.

Collision Damage Waiver ( CDW ) - rental insurance covering damage to a rental vehicle. Credit card companies often cover their clients if they use that card to pay for the rental. Check with your credit card provider if in doubt.

Concierge Level – Special service level normally offered at higher grade hotels that provide the guest additional amenities and information, typically at a higher rate.

Corporate Rate – A hotel rate that is designed to appeal to the needs of the business traveler. It is not necessarily a discounted rate or the minimum rate offered by the hotel. Corporate rates normally guarantee the best available room at a fixed cost for a specific period of time, typically outlined in a contract between the hotel and company.

Electronic Ticket - A "paperless" airline ticket, letting you check-in with photo-ID. The piece of paper you are given may look like a ticket but its actually more like a receipt. E-tickets cannot be lost or used by anyone else

Difference In Fare- Usually airlines will require you to pay the difference between two fares when changing your booking, even when they have waived all other fees associated with a change. 

Direct Flight – a flight that goes from a traveler’s origin to their final destination with one or more intermediate stops. No change in aircraft occurs. (i.e. San Francisco to New York with a stop in Chicago)

Fare Basis – The letters and numbers assigned to a specific fare like an identification number.

Force majeure - Literally ‘greater force’. Essentially allows the travel company to cancel the booking should an unforeseen event occur. (?)

• Global Distribution System (GDS) – An international reservation system interfaces between databases of airlines, suppliers etc. in different countries. Examples include AMADEUS or                  TRAVELPORT

Group – Several persons, usually 10 or more, traveling together. Group travel is often available at discounted rates.

IATAN – International Airlines Travel Agent Network – This is the organization that administers the IATAN card, the widely accepted form of identification for travel industry professionals

• Last-Seat Availability – The capacity of an agent to get the last seat for you on a particular flight at a certain flight or the literal last seat available. 

• Late booking fee -  A charge for travel arrangements made at the last minute to cover things like express delivery of documents or other time-sensitive arrangements.

• Load factor -  The proportion of total space on an aircraft or other kind of transport that has been sold thus far.

KTN or Known Traveler Number- This is a nine-digit number which is assigned by the TSA used for security purposes. It can also be used for some airline loyalty programs.

LDW - loss damage waiver – A supplemental form of rental car insurance that covers things like theft, vandalism or accidental damage.

• Lowest Available Fare –the lowest fare option currently available for purchase. May change at any time based on supplier pricing.

Multi-Destination- A booking going to multiple cities, without necessarily returning to the point of origin. 

Negotiated Rate – A discounted rate offered to a company (either you or Casto) based on the volume of business you agree to provide the selected vendor.

Non Stop Flight – Do not land in between your departure and arrival destinations. (i.e. San Francisco to New York)

Overbooking - the practice of selling more seats on a service than are actually available to account for a proportion of passengers not showing up.

PNR- Or ; Passenger Name Reference/Record- Refers to a record in the database of a reservation system consisting of the personal information for a passenger and their itinerary. Can also be used for a group of passengers

Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) – An additional fee charged by many airports and added to the cost of the air ticket.

Per Person Sharing. A pricing reference for accommodation when the room is not quoted for single occupancy.

Pre-paid Reservations- Refer to instances where a party other than the individual staying in the room will be paying, so they will not be required to register a credit card.


• Rack Rate – Standard rate for a hotel room before discounts are applied.

Red-Eye Flight – An overnight flight that leaves at night and arrives early the next morning.

Reissue – When a new ticket has to be created in exchange for another due to change of plans, dates, etc. In most cases a reissue will also involve fees and/or penalties.

RFP- or ‘Request for Proposal’ is a document that asks for a proposal, often as part of a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procuring services.

Run-Of-House (ROH) –This denotes a general booking made that will be assigned at the discretion of the house shortly before your arrival.

Saturday Night Stay – A requirement by the airlines that your travel must involve a Saturday night stay over in order to obtain our lowest fare.

Shoulder Season- Travel in the period between the peak and off-peak seasons. Often this can be desirable as travelers can avoid the high prices of peak times and the often less favorable weather and attractions of off-season.

Split Ticket – Issuing multiple tickets for one round-trip journey. This is done to reduce the total cost of the entire reservation.

Tariff – A list of prices and fares

T&E Policy- Short for ‘Travel & Expense’ or ‘Travel & Entertainment Expense’-This is a policy developed to help employees understand and follow the company’s travel reimbursement process.

Third Party Service Providers – Those supplying products to your travel agent,  since agents usually don’t actually own the products they manage and sell. Travel agents don’t own any of the product they sell

•  Travel Policy – A fluid internal document, pertinent to the company’s culture that outlines the guidelines for business travel and expenses within a company.

Unlimited Mileage – No mileage restriction when renting a car.

Unrestricted Fare – An airfare that has no special advance purchase, Saturday stay or certain days to travel requirements, and is usually refundable.

•  Waivers and Favors- Services and benefits that a TMC can occasionally obtain for their clients, such as waving name change fees, waiving cancellation fees, seat upgrades and so on.

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