Read up on travel terms, acronyms, and the industry jargon you need to know in our Going glossary of travel lingo.
The 24-hour rule is a powerful tool that allows you to snag great deals and cancel for free if needed.
A 5-star airline is one that delivers the highest level of service and the best in-flight experience.
An airline alliance is an agreement between airlines to share routes and resources and extend reciprocal benefits.
An airport terminal is a building where passengers depart on a flight or arrive upon landing.
An amenity kit is a small bag of personal care items that airlines provide on long-haul or international flights.
Basic economy is a restrictive airfare class that offers passengers the lowest ticket price available.
Bulkhead seats are airline seats directly behind the bulkhead, or the interior dividing wall that separates cabins.
A carry-on bag is a piece of luggage that can be brought on board the plane and stowed in the cabin.
Checked baggage is luggage that goes in the cargo hold under the plane during flight.
A codeshare agreement is an arrangement between two or more airlines to “share” the same flight.
A flight confirmation code is an alphanumeric sequence that identifies a specific reservation.
When a flight itinerary requires a traveler to change planes, the flights are called connecting flights.
Contract of Carriage
A contract of carriage outlines the rights and obligations of the parties to that contract.
Cookies are tiny data files produced by a website and stored in your web browser for tracking purposes.
Customs and Immigration
Customs and immigration are checkpoints through which international travelers must pass before leaving the airport.
An e-ticket contains all the same information old-fashioned paper tickets had on them, but with no actual paper.
EU Flight Compensation Rules
Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 is an EU law establishing rules for compensating delayed passengers.
Economy class is another term for the airplane’s main cabin and is sometimes referred to as coach.
Excess baggage fees are costs charged for checking luggage that exceeds an airline’s standard luggage allowance.
Fare alerts monitor the price of specific flights or flight routes and notify consumers when the price changes.
First class is a category of luxury seating on a plane that has more space, comfort, and service than other seats.
Flight attendants are cabin crew members who make sure your flight is both safe and comfortable.
A flight itinerary is a proposed route for your flight and includes details like the airports, dates and times.
A flight leg maintains the same flight number and aircraft throughout its journey from one airport to another.
A GDS is a computerized network that facilitates transactions between travel service providers and travel agents.
A fare “ghosts” when it shows up in search results but when you click to purchase, the fare is no longer available.
Glitch fares are Mistake Fares. It's when an airline accidentally discounts a flight by much more than it intended.
Global Entry is a program that gives expedited immigration clearance to pre-approved US travelers.
The Goldilocks Window of cheap flights is that window—not too early or too late—when you are mostly likely to see a great fare.
Greek Islands Trick
The Greek Islands Trick is a travel hack that can result in big savings on airfare.
Hub airports serve as central transfer points, from which flights come in and go out to other cities.
Legroom is the amount of space your legs have between your seat and the seat in front of you on a plane.
Any flight longer than seven hours is considered a “long-haul” flight. These are usually international flights.
Low-cost carriers are airlines that offer lower fares and fewer amenities than full service airlines.
A multi-city flight doesn’t follow a typical there-and-back itinerary, but goes from Point A to B and on to C.
Nonrefundable tickets are “final sale” airline tickets that cannot be returned for a full refund after purchase.
A nonstop flight is a flight without any scheduled stops between the departure and destination cities.
Off season (or low season) is when fewer people are traveling, so prices are lower and crowds are smaller.
A one-way flight is booked from the departure airport to the destination airport with no scheduled return.
An open-jaw flight is a roundtrip itinerary that arrives in one city but departs from another.
An overbooked flight is when an airline sells more tickets on the plane than there are seats.
Peak season is the time when more people are traveling, so prices tend to be higher and crowds are bigger.
A positioning flight gets you to or from your main gateway city to another city to take a long-haul flight.
Premium economy is the bridge between economy and business; it’s nicer than economy but not as lofty as business.
Priority Pass is a membership-based service that offers access to 1,500+ airport lounges in 140 countries.
A roundtrip flight is an itinerary with one flight to a destination and another flight back from that destination.
A seat’s pitch is the amount of space between one point on a seat to the same point on the seat in front of it.
Shoulder season is the travel period between the peak (or high) season and off (or low) season.
Standby is a request to fly on an earlier flight than you're ticketed for if there are empty seats last minute.
A stopover is a layover during which you leave the airport (and often stay a day or more in the layover city).
Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC)
Some airlines make it easy to spend a day or two on a stopover on a “stopover paid by carrier,” or “STPC.”
TSA PreCheck (TSA Pre✓®)
TSA PreCheck is a program that allows approved travelers expedited security screening at certain US airports.
A transit visa is a document showing a traveler has permission to pass through a country—but not to stay there.