Travel Dictionary

There can sometimes be a lot of lingo/jargon that gets thrown around amongst travelers. I thought it would be really cool to put all of those terms in one place, with a simple definition. I will definitely not claim that this is a fully complete compilation, but it’s at least a good start. These are some of the most common terms that I think can easily be confused or misunderstood.

A la carte: This term can often be found on menus at restaurants or for room service when referring to food. It means that each item is separately priced, as opposed to being part of a meal or bundle. So if the fries are “a la carte”, that means that you have to pay for them separately.

Affiliate: A business partner within a tourist destination. For example, a hotel might have an affiliate restaurant. The restaurant is owned and operated by the same company as the hotel, but is managed by different people. Many times if you eat at an affiliate restaurant of the hotel, you may get a certain discount or incentive. They both want to benefit from each other, so they like to send their customers to each other.

Back-to-back ticketing: When a traveler combines two return trips, but with opposite start and destination points. They use a single segment from each to achieve an overall lower cost. For example, the first ticket would be a round trip flight booked from Chicago to Dallas and the second would be a round trip flight from Dallas to Chicago. The traveler would use the first leg of the first trip and the first leg of the second trip. This is most often done during the week so that you can avoid paying the higher fare of mid-week travel.

Baggage allowance: This is either the weight or size that your airline will allow you to bring on your flight. It is usually a very rigid standard, so always make sure to check that you are within the allowed baggage restrictions. If you go over they sometimes either charge you an additional fee or force you to remove some things from your bags.

Blackout periods: Specific days or periods of time when special rates are not available. This is usually caused by high demand time periods for flights, when the airlines know that they can charge more money.

Bumped: This means that the number of seats the flight actually has been oversold or undersold. If you’re lucky and the flight was undersold, you might get “bumped” up to first class to fill an empty seat that they have. On the other side, if the flight is oversold there is a chance that you will get “bumped” to the next available flight. One way to avoid this happening to you is to check in for your flight early as they sometimes make the decision based on that.