In-person connections mean everything. That’s why business travel is so essential, right? Yet sometimes it can also be complicated. You’re planning an itinerary and navigating around ther difference between a connecting flight and a non-stop flight, scheduling meetings, and just when you’d like to focus on the trip, you get thrown off by terms like adoption rate and acronyms like GDS, LCC and LRA.

Does this travel lingo put you in a tailspin? It’s ok if it does because we’re here to help so that you don’t have to go through a travel agent, and you can serve as your own travel advisor. In fact, all into the who-what-where of business travel­ so you can start thinking and talking like a travel pro. Once you’ve got the terms and definitions down pat, be on the lookout for more advanced terms ­– coming to The Atlas soon.

  • Adoption rate: the percentage of travel bookings and plane tickets made through a company-approved online booking system.
  • Ancillary services: amenities a traveler may purchase from airlines while traveling; e.g., onboard food and beverages, checked baggage, seat upgrades, priority boarding, etc.
  • Basic economy:  a rock-bottom plane ticket that comes with certain restrictions, such as limits on carry-on luggage and seating assignments; each airline has its own set of restrictions.
  • Black-out dates: certain dates when discounts or miles are not permitted to be used for your business travel journey.
  • Booking engine: web-based products that allow for airline/boarding pass, hotel, train, and car reservations.
  • Dynamic pricing: a strategy in which airlines and hotels change prices based on algorithms that take into account competitor pricing as well as supply and demand.
  • Fare basis: the letters and numbers assigned to a specific fare, like an identification number.

Global what?

  • Global distribution system (GDS): a computerized reservation system for reserving airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel-related items. Amadeus, Sabre, Travelport, Apollo, and Galileo are all global distribution systems.
  • LCC: low-cost carrier (aka no-frills airlines); offer low-fare flights with reduced passenger services.
  • Leakage: when employees book business travel outside the preferred channels; a lot of leakage in a managed travel program can lead to missed cost-savings opportunities and weaken a company’s duty of care capabilities.
  • LRA: last room availability; as long as a hotel has even one room availableat a traveler’s final destination, then parties with an LRA contract have a right to buy it at their contracted terms and price.
  • Managed travel: a business travel program in which employees book travel within pre-established guidelines, designed to control spend, and help enhance travelers’ safety.

Where to?

  • OBT: online booking tool; a corporate-approved software tool that allows organizations to book, manage and monitor their business trip itinerary.
  • OTA: online travel agency; a travel website that enables travelers to book flights, hotel rooms, ground transportation, and other travel-related products and services they will need when they arrive at their destination.
    TEM: travel expense management; the system a company uses to process, pay, and audit traveler-initiated expenses.
  • Ticketing agreement: a contract between airlines to accept each other’s tickets for transportation.

TM who?

  • TM: a travel manager is the person responsible for a company’s travel policy—developing the policy, managing (preferred) supplier relationships, monitoring and approving  a traveler services or booking, processing T&E reports, and more.
  • TMC: a travel management company is a business travel agent (such as American Express Global Business Travel) that helps organizations manage their travel programs. A TMC fulfills travel bookings, supports the organization’s duty of care obligations, and identifies potential cost-savings opportunities throughout a travel journey.
  • Unmanaged travel: a business travel program without a set booking process or guideline, in which employees book independently and manage their own travel arrangements.
  • Unused ticket: an airline-specific credit from canceling a non-refundable flight. These funds are not lost and may be applied toward a future flight on the same carrier.
  • VCN: virtual card number; a highly secure, single-use virtual credit card number used to minimize the risk of fraud.

Click here to download this glossary as a PDF.

Now that you know the buzzwords for travel lingo, click here to discover more ways American Express Global Business Travel can help manage your company’s processes within the travel industry.