travel Dictionary

There can sometimes be a lot of lingo / jargon thrown around among travelers. I thought it would be really cool to put all these terms in one place with a simple definition. I certainly would not claim that this is a complete elaboration, but at least it is a good start. These are some of the most common terms that I think can easily be mistaken or misunderstood.

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

affiliate: A business partner within a tourist destination. For example, a hotel may have an affiliated restaurant. The restaurant is owned and operated by the same company as the hotel, but is managed by different people. Many times, if you dine at an affiliated restaurant in the hotel, you may receive some 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 starting and destination points. They use a single segment from each to achieve an overall lower cost. For example, the first ticket would be a return flight booked from Chicago to Dallas and the second would be a return flight from Dallas to Chicago. The traveler should spend the first part of the first trip and the first part of the second trip. This is most often done during the week, so you can avoid paying the higher fare for mid-week travel.

Baggage allowance: This is either the weight or size that your airline allows you to carry during your flight. It is usually a very stiff standard, so always make sure you are within the allowable luggage restrictions. If you go over, they sometimes either charge an extra fee or force you to remove some items from your bags.

Blackout periods: Specific days or periods when special rates are not available. This is usually due to high demand periods for flights when carriers know they can charge more money.

bumped: This means that the number of seats the aircraft is actually oversold or under-sold. If you are lucky and the plane was sold, you may be "bumped" up to first class to fill an empty seat that they have. On the other hand, if the aircraft is oversold, there is a chance that you will be "bumped" into 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 it.