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Business Travel and Expense Definitions

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the corporate travel and expense landscape, this resource is your go-to guide for understanding key terms and concepts in the industry. 

Explore the definitions, gain insights, and elevate your expertise in the language of business travel and expense.

A

Accounts Payable

Accounts payable refers to the outstanding obligations a business owes to its suppliers or vendors for goods and services received on credit, representing the amount of money that needs to be paid in the future.

Adoption Rate

The adoption rate is the percentage of travel bookings made through a designated, company-approved online booking platform.

Advance Purchase Excursion (APEX) Fare

An advance purchase excursion (APEX) fare is a type of airline fare discounted due to certain usage restrictions.

Agent-Assisted Bookings (AAB)

An agent-assisted booking (AAB) takes place when a travel agent helps book any travel needs.

Air Miles

Air miles, also known as frequent flyer miles, are a measure of the distance traveled by an aircraft and/or the price paid for the ticket. Miles are often used as a unit of reward or loyalty program points in airline travel programs.

Airline Alliances

Airline alliances are broad partnerships between or among airlines (e.g., oneworld, SkyTeam, or Star Alliance). Alliance members work together to share flight routes, airport lounges, ground crews, and even booking systems. Frequent flyer miles can often be used with airlines across the alliance.

Airline Joint Venture

An airline joint venture is an agreement between airlines in which they jointly set pricing, scheduling, and revenue sharing. This is typically only done in specific regions and requires government approval.

Airline Policy

Airline policy refers to a set of rules, guidelines, and procedures established by an airline to regulate various aspects of passenger and operational conduct, safety protocols, and customer service standards.

Airline Regulations

Airline regulations encompass a set of government-imposed rules and standards that govern various aspects of aviation, ensuring safety, security, and compliance within the aviation industry.

Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC)

The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is responsible for supervising payments from travel agencies to airlines and issuing tickets to consumers.

Airlines Reservation System (ARS)

Airline reservation systems (ARS) are computerized platforms used by airlines to manage and facilitate the process of reservations, ticketing, and inventory management for flights.

Airport Access Fee

An airport access fee is a fee paid to the airport authority by car rental companies for the use of shuttle vehicles; it often appears in customers’ car rental bills.

Airport Code

Airports that are part of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) worldwide have a three-letter code to identify them (e.g., LHR for London Heathrow and SFO for San Francisco International Airport).

Ancillary Services

Ancillary services are extra amenities that a traveler can purchase while traveling, e.g., onboard food and beverages, checked baggage, seat upgrades, and priority boarding.

Approval Workflow

An approval workflow is a systematic process that involves the sequential review and authorization of travel-related requests or expenses by designated individuals within an organization, ensuring compliance with established policies and budgetary constraints.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is a field of computer science that focuses on the development of algorithms and systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as learning, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

The average daily rate (ADR) is the average realized room rental cost per day. This is calculated by taking the total room revenue earned over the total number of rooms sold.

B

Baggage Allowance

Baggage allowance refers to the maximum weight, dimensions, and quantity of luggage and personal items permitted for a passenger to bring on a flight without incurring additional charges.

Basic Economy

Basic economy is the most budget-friendly airfare class. Each airline defines the amenities and restrictions available in this class, e.g., limits for carry-on luggage, changes and refunds, or seating assignments.

Best Available Rate (BAR)

Best available rate (BAR) refers to the lowest, most favorable rate a hotel or car provider offers the public. This rate is often advertised as the best price available for a given room category or package at a specific time.

Billback

A billback happens when a hotel bills a customer’s travel management company directly for the traveler’s stay. Travelers don’t need to pay for the room or tax at the hotel, although they can still be asked to put a card on file upon check-in for incidental expenses.

Blackout Dates

Blackout dates are specific dates set by airlines, hotels, or car rental agencies when special discounts, promotions, or use of miles/points are not permitted.

Bleisure Travel

Bleisure travel is a portmanteau of business travel and leisure travel that describes the process of adding leisure or personal time to a scheduled business trip.

Blended Travel

Blended travel is any type of travel that blends business travel and leisure travel, including adding extra days to a business trip or working remotely from a different location.

Booking Engine

Booking engines are web-based products that enable individuals to make airline, hotel, train, and car reservations.

Boutique Hotels

Boutique hotels are unaffiliated (independent) hotels with less than 100 rooms.

Business Class

Business class is an airline class higher than economy or premium economy, with upgraded amenities, service, and seating. Upgraded amenities may include early boarding, specialty meals, or extra luggage space.

Business Continuity

Business continuity is the process of planning and preparing for external events that threaten the ongoing operations of a business.

Business Expenses

Business expenses are the costs or purchases companies incur to fund their operations. These expenses are for company purposes only and can range vastly across departments, e.g., payroll, rent, digital product subscriptions, travel and lodging for business trips, shipping costs, data storage, etc.

Business Travel

Business travel is any travel conducted by employees for business purposes, including but not limited to travel for events and conferences, company offsites, client meetings, trade fairs, and office visits.

Business Trip

A business trip is a journey taken for business or work purposes on behalf of an employer.

C

Carbon Emissions

Carbon emissions refer to the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, e.g., as a byproduct of aircraft combustion engines.

Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, that are emitted directly or indirectly by an individual, organization, event, or product throughout its lifecycle, indicating its impact on the environment and climate change.

Card Security Code (CSC), Card Verification Code (CVC), Card Verification Value (CVV)

A Card Security Code (CSC), Card Verification Code (CVC), or Card Verification Value (CVV) is a security feature on credit and debit cards. The three- or four-digit code is used to enhance the security of online and over-the-phone transactions by verifying that the person making the purchase has physical possession of the card.

Centralized Billing

Centralized billing is a form of billing in which the customer receives a consolidated invoice of all travel charges.

Chain Discounts

A chain discount is negotiated between businesses and entire hotel chains. If the company is large enough, it may be able to receive a blanket discount at all chain properties.

City Pairs

City pairs are the two codes on a flight itinerary that stand for the departure (origin) and arrival (destination) airports.

Class of Service (COS)

Class of service (COS) refers to different categories or levels of accommodation, seating, or service provided by airlines or hotels. COS often includes distinctions like basic economy class, business class, and first class in air travel, or standard rooms versus suites in hotels.

CLEAR

CLEAR is a biometric identity verification system used at airports and other venues in the United States, allowing pre-registered individuals to bypass traditional security lines by verifying their identity through fingerprint or eye scans.

Codeshare

A codeshare is an agreement between two or more airlines that allows one carrier to market and collect payment for a flight operated by another carrier.

Computer Reservation System (CRS)

A computer reservation system (CRS) is a central platform used by travel agents, airlines, hotels, and other travel service providers to manage and facilitate reservations and bookings.

Connecting Flight

A connecting flight is a flight itinerary that involves transferring from one airplane to another at an intermediate airport, rather than having a direct flight or nonstop flight to the final destination; passengers typically disembark from the first flight and board a second flight to reach their ultimate endpoint.

Consortia Rate

A consortia rate is a discounted rate agreement between an agency and a hotel. Consortia rates are negotiated by travel management companies, making them available to all the agency’s travelers and can include various value-adds.

Content

In the travel industry, content refers to the comprehensive information on flights, accommodations, and other travel services provided by airlines and suppliers, accessible through distribution platforms for travel agencies and other stakeholders.

Corporate Card

A corporate card is a credit or debit card issued to a business or organization. The business entity is legally responsible for charges made to the card, not the individual card owner.

Corporate Negotiated Rate (CNR)

Corporate negotiated rates are special discounts that companies negotiate with certain hotels, usually with the help of a travel management company.

Corporate Travel Policy

A corporate travel policy is a set of company guidelines and protocols for business travel that is created by travel managers and used by employees as they plan trips on behalf of the company.

Corporate Travel Program

A corporate travel program is a company’s formal structure to facilitate business travel, typically done in partnership with a travel management company.

Credit Card Authorization (CCA)

A credit card authorization (CCA) is a review, usually through a credit card processor, that checks if the customer has sufficient funds on their card to pay for the transaction.

Customer Channels

Customer channels are inventory sources such as the Expedia Affiliate Network and Priceline Partner Network.

Customer Data Fields (CDF)

Customer data fields (CDFs) are used to collect specific company information such as an employee’s role and department.

D

Deadhead

A deadhead is an off-duty airline employee traveling in a passenger seat.

Designated Booker

A designated booker is an individual within an organization who is assigned the responsibility of making travel arrangements on behalf of other employees, e.g., an executive assistant who books travel for an executive.

Direct Flight

A passenger flying on a direct flight will not have connections or a change in flight number — but they may stop for refueling, to add/disembark passengers, or to change aircraft.

Distribution Platforms

Distribution platforms, such as global distribution system (GDS) and New Distribution Capability (NDC), are technological systems or standards that facilitate the sale and management of travel-related services, connecting travel suppliers with travel agencies and online booking tools to distribute and access comprehensive travel content.

Duty of Care

Duty of care is an organization’s moral and legal obligation to care for employees while they’re conducting business. As it relates to business travel, duty of care involves ensuring the safety of traveling employees.

Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing is a strategy in which airlines and hotels change prices based on algorithms that take into account competitor pricing as well as supply and demand.

E

Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT)

Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT) is a standardized communication protocol created in the 1980s to exchange data between systems. Travel management companies rely on this standard to communicate with travel providers via the global distribution system (GDS) and source travel options for their customers.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

Expense Automation

Expense automation is the practice of using modern technology solutions to streamline a company’s expense management processes.

Expense Fraud

Expense fraud is the deceptive and unauthorized manipulation or misrepresentation of incurred expenses by individuals within an organization.

Expense Management

Expense management refers to the systems companies deploy to process, pay, audit, and reimburse employee-initiated expenses.

Expense Management Software, Expense Management System, Expense Management Solution

Expense management software is technology utilized by companies to authorize, manage, and process employee expense claims. This software is also useful for implementing practices for employee expense reimbursement.

Expense Policy

Expense policies are guidelines created and enforced by companies that employees can turn to for understanding business-related expenses and travel costs.

Expense Reimbursement

Expense reimbursement is compensation paid by a business to employees, customers, or third parties that incur out-of-pocket expenses or overpayments on transactions made on behalf of that company.

Expense Report

An expense report is a working document that encompasses expenses incurred on behalf of the company within a certain time frame. Typically broken down by categories and itemized, this report helps finance and accounting teams determine what money was spent where, when, and how, while simultaneously approving in-policy transactions.

Expense Report Software

Expense report software is the technology used to automate and streamline the process of filing an expense report. When an expense is obtained by an employee, that software can automatically recognize, reconcile, and potentially reimburse as a function of the policy constraints within the software.

F

Fair Market Price

The fair market price is the optimal fare for hotel rooms or airfares based on current prices. It is determined by the specific location, date, and demand at the time of the search.

Fare Basis Code

A fair basis code is an alphabetic or alpha-numeric code used by airlines to identify a fare type and allow airline staff and travel agents to find the rules applicable to that fare.

Fintech

Fintech, or financial technology, is an industry that leverages innovative technology and software to enhance and streamline financial services. It encompasses areas such as digital payments, online banking, and automated investment platforms.

First Class

First class refers to the premium, most luxurious cabin class on an airline. It’s characterized by superior amenities, more spacious seating, enhanced services, and priority treatment for passengers.

Fixed-Rate Negotiations

Fixed-rate negotiation is a hotel rate that a company has negotiated with a fixed price and set of amenities that remain in place throughout the year, such as last room availability, cancellation, or check-in flexibility.

Flag Carrier

A flag carrier is an airline registered within a specific country or sovereign state, which may allow it certain preferential rights or privileges.

Frequent Flyer Miles

Frequent flyer miles, also known as air miles, are loyalty program points awarded by airlines to passengers based on the distance they travel or money spent on flights, which can be redeemed for free or discounted air travel and other travel-related benefits.

Frequent Flyer Number

A frequent flyer number is a unique identifier assigned to an individual by an airline’s loyalty or rewards program. It allows the airline to track and credit a passenger with frequent flyer miles and other qualifying activities that earn benefits or privileges.

Frequent Flyer Program

A frequent flyer program is a type of loyalty program that rewards customers for their repeat business and brand loyalty by offering incentives, such as discounts, points, air miles, or exclusive perks.

Full-Service Hotel

A full-service hotel is an accommodation facility that provides a comprehensive range of amenities and services beyond the basic lodging found at a limited-service hotel. These may include on-site restaurants, room service, concierge assistance, meeting and event spaces, fitness centers, and other additional features to cater to the various needs and preferences of guests.

G

Global Distribution System (GDS)

A global distribution system (GDS) is a computerized system for reserving airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel-related items (e.g., Amadeus, Apollo, Galileo, Sabre, and Travelport).

Global Entry

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance through automatic kiosks at select airports upon arrival into the United States.

Guest Travel

Guest travel is the act of booking travel for guests, including friends and family or company guests, such as interview candidates or clients.

H

Hotel Brands

Hotel brands are collections of hotel chain properties with similar levels of service and offerings that are grouped together under one name (e.g., Hilton’s Waldorf, Curio, and DoubleTree). Chains may develop their own brands or acquire smaller chains.

Hotel Chains

Hotel chains are the largest organizing structure of a hotel group (e.g., Accor, Best Western, Choice, Hilton, IHG, and Marriott). Each chain contains multiple hotel brands and may operate hundreds or thousands of properties across many markets.

Hotel Program

A hotel program is a catch-all term a company’s travel manager uses to describe all the rooms and rates available to their travelers.

Hub

A hub is a city in which an airline has a major presence.

Hush Trip

A hush trip happens when an employee conducts business from somewhere other than their normal location and does not tell their employer.

I

In-Flight Entertainment

In-flight entertainment is the array of audio and visual content (e.g., movies, music, and games) provided to passengers during a flight to enhance their onboard experience.

Incidental Expenses

Incidental expenses refer to miscellaneous costs or small, unforeseen expenditures that arise in the course of travel (e.g., tips for service, ground transportation costs, or fees for minor services).

Independent Hotels

Independent hotels are properties that are not affiliated with a chain or brand. Although these hotels may have certain agreements with chains, they retain their name and complete autonomy over property management.

Intercontinental Travel

Intercontinental travel is travel between two continents, such as travel from the U.S. to Europe.

Interline

Interline is a very basic form of agreement between airlines where check-ins and baggage handling can be done together, so a traveler only needs to check in once and does not have to worry about moving checked bags despite changing carriers during a trip.

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade association for many of the world’s airlines.

International Airline Travel Agent Network (IATAN)

The International Airline Travel Agent Network (IATAN) is the only widely accepted form of legitimate travel agent identification.

International Driver’s License

An International Driver’s License is a permit that allows individuals to drive legally in foreign countries.

Intracontinental Travel

Intracontinental travel is travel within a continent, such as travel between the U.S. and Canada.

Irregular Operations (IROP)

Irregular operations are disruptions or deviations from normal flight schedules and operations, often caused by factors such as weather events, technical issues, or other unexpected events.

Itemized Receipt

An itemized receipt is a copy of a proof of purchase that contains detailed and line-item information about that transaction. Itemized receipts mirror typical receipts but will also have each individual service or good listed out and may include various sales taxes attached to some items or the total amount.

K

Known Traveler Number (KTN)

A Known Traveler Number (KTN) is a unique identification code issued by trusted traveler programs, such as TSA PreCheck, which enables individuals to undergo expedited airport security screening processes.

L

Land Arrangements

Land arrangements are all non-flight reservations in a travel itinerary, (e.g., car rental, hotel, and excursions).

Last Room Availability (LRA)

Last room availability (LRA) is a hotel industry practice that ensures a hotel will provide a travel agency or booking platform with the last available room in its inventory, even during peak periods or high demand, allowing for maximum booking flexibility.

Layover

A layover is a temporary stop in a journey, typically during air travel, where a passenger switches from one flight to another at an intermediate point before reaching the final destination. During a layover, passengers often remain in the airport for a specified period before boarding their connecting flight.

Leakage

Leakage occurs 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 duty of care capabilities.

Leisure Travel

Leisure travel refers to the activity of individuals or groups taking trips for relaxation, enjoyment, and recreation, typically for non-business purposes.

Limited-Service Hotel

A limited-service hotel offers a more streamlined range of amenities and services compared to full-service hotels. These hotels typically provide essential facilities (e.g., rooms, basic housekeeping, and possibly continental breakfast), but may lack features like on-site restaurants, extensive meeting spaces, or other additional services commonly found in full-service hotels.

Lodge Card

A lodge card is a virtual or physical payment card lodged with a travel management provider. Typically it is issued for an entire company or entire cost center to ensure all pre-trip expenses are charged to one card number.

Long-Term Car Rental

Long-term car rental, also known as monthly car rental, is a rental period typically lasting more than a month.

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

Loss damage waiver is supplemental car rental insurance that covers theft, vandalism, and accident damage.

Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) or Low-Cost Airline

A low-cost carrier (LCC) is an airline that offers low-fare flights with reduced passenger services.

Lowest Logical Fare (LLF)

The lowest logical fare (LLF) is the least expensive, nonrefundable fare with the minimum number of stops at the time of booking.

Loyalty Program

A loyalty program is a marketing strategy that rewards customers for their repeat business and brand loyalty by offering incentives, such as discounts, points, air miles, or exclusive perks, encouraging ongoing engagement and repeat purchases.

M

Machine Learning

Machine learning refers to the application of artificial intelligence techniques that enable systems to automatically analyze and derive insights from large datasets.

Managed Travel

Managed travel refers to an organization’s strategic and coordinated approach to overseeing and controlling their employees’ business-related travel activities. It encompasses aspects such as travel policies, expense management, supplier negotiations, and the use of travel management companies or tools to optimize travel-related processes and costs.

Metal

In aviation slang, the term “metal” refers to the airplane of the operating carrier of a flight. For example, if you book a flight with one airline, but the flight is operated by a different airline, the operating carrier’s aircraft is often colloquially referred to as “metal.” This distinction is particularly relevant in codeshare agreements or when airlines collaborate, allowing one airline to operate flights on behalf of another.

Minimum Connect Time

The minimum connect time is the shortest time required to successfully transfer to a connecting flight at an airport.

Multi-Carrier Support

Multi-carrier support refers to a system or service’s capability to accommodate and interact with multiple carriers or transportation providers. In the context of travel management, it refers to the ability to book your departure and return flights with any airline combination.

Multi-City Flight

A multi-city flight is a single travel booking that combines flights between several cities into one itinerary.

Multi-Fare Class Support

Multi-fare class support is the ability to mix and match cabin fares on a single ticket (e.g., book basic economy class on the flight out and business class on the way home).

N

Net Fare, Net Rate

A net fare or net rate refers to the base price or cost of a travel service, such as a flight, hotel room, or tour, excluding additional fees, commissions, or markups.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net promoter score (NPS) is a metric used to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction based on the likelihood of customers recommending a company’s products or services to others. NPS is a strong indicator of the health of a corporate travel program, along with adoption and traveler satisfaction.

New Distribution Capability (NDC)

New Distribution Capability is a travel industry standard that aims to enhance communication and data exchange between airlines and airfare sellers, allowing for more personalized and dynamic airfare and ancillary service offerings.

Next Generation Storefront (NGS)

The Next Generation Storefront (NGS) is a set of data standards that enable distribution channels to better present, sort, and find the airline products and services travelers are looking for.

Non-Last Room Availability

As opposed to last room availability, non-last room availability means hotels do not need to guarantee a company’s negotiated rate can be used for their last available room. That means a traveler may see that a room is available at a hotel but may not find an associated corporate negotiated rate at that hotel.

Non-Rev

A non-rev (revenue) passenger is an airline employee (i.e., deadhead), or their friends or family, traveling on a deeply discounted airline ticket. These flights are generally on a standby basis only and for personal needs.

Non-Transferable

A non-transferable ticket can only be used by the person who was originally scheduled to fly.

Nonstop Flight

A nonstop flight is a flight with no stops en route to a passenger’s final destination.

O

O&D

In the travel and aviation industry, O&D typically refers to the specific origin and destination points of a journey, representing the cities or locations where a traveler begins their trip and where they ultimately intend to go.

Occupancy Rate

The occupancy rate is a metric that indicates the percentage of available rooms or units that are currently being used or rented out.

Offline Connection

An offline connection refers to a travel itinerary where passengers have to change planes at an intermediary airport, requiring a separate ticket for each leg of the journey and often necessitating self-transfer and recheck of luggage.

Offsite

An offsite is an occasion when a group of employees gather together away from their office, especially for team-building or business purposes.

Online Booking Tool (OBT)

An online booking tool (OBT) is a corporate-approved software tool that lets organizations book, manage, and monitor their business trip itineraries.

Online Travel Agency (OTA)

An online travel agency (OTA) is a travel website that helps travelers book flights, hotel rooms, ground transportation, or other travel-related products and services.

Open-Jaw

An open-jaw itinerary happens when the passenger flies into one city and out of another (e.g., a ticket originating at JFK and flying to LHR and then returning from MAN to JFK).

Operating Expenses (OPEX)

Operating expenses are the ongoing costs incurred by a business in its day-to-day operations, including rent, utilities, wages, and other expenses necessary for the regular functioning of the organization.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Optical character recognition (OCR) technology extracts and repurposes data from camera images, scanned documents, or image-only files such as PDFs. The software is capable of singling out letters and numbers on images, such as a photo of a receipt, and then extracting this data for processes like reconciliation.

P

P-Card, Procurement Card, Purchase Card

A P-card, or a procurement card or purchase card, is a corporate card companies issue employees for business expenses.

Passenger Facility Charge (PFC)

A passenger facility charge (PFC) is a fee imposed by airports to help fund infrastructure projects and improvements. Airlines collect this fee from passengers and then remit it to the airport.

Passenger Name Record (PNR)

A passenger name record (PNR) is a record in the database of a computer reservation system (CRS) that contains the itinerary for a passenger or a group of passengers traveling together.

Per Diem

A per diem is a daily allowance to cover expenses such as meals, lodging, and incidental expenses incurred while traveling for business. The phrase “per diem” comes from Latin, meaning “by the day.”

Personal Effects Coverage

Personal effects coverage is additional car rental insurance covering the loss of personal property from the rented vehicle.

Personal Expense

In the context of business expenses, a personal expense refers to a cost incurred by an individual for non-business purposes, which is typically not eligible for reimbursement.

Personal Travel

Personal travel refers to journeys undertaken by individuals for non-business or non-professional reasons, typically for leisure, vacation, or personal obligations.

Phonetic Alphabet

The phonetic alphabet, also known as a spelling alphabet or radio alphabet, is a set of standardized code words used to represent letters of the alphabet in oral communication (e.g., Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie). It is designed to minimize confusion and errors when spelling out words, names, or codes, especially in situations where the clarity of verbal communication is crucial, such as over the phone or in radio communication.

Physical Corporate Card

A physical corporate card is a plastic card issued to employees to spend on work-related purchases. The card is tangible and has a unique 16-digit number, expiration date, and Card Verification Code (CVC).

Pitch

Pitch is the legroom between airline seats as measured from the back of one airplane seat to the seat in front of it.

Point-to-Point

Point-to-point in air travel refers to a flight system where an airline operates direct routes between specific city pairs without requiring passengers to connect through a hub. It provides more direct and nonstop options for travelers.

Points

Points in the context of the travel industry refer to a type of loyalty or rewards program currency. These points are accumulated by customers through various activities, primarily through purchasing flights, hotel stays, and car rentals. Points can typically be redeemed for benefits such as free or discounted travel, upgrades, and other travel-related perks.

Policy Compliance

Policy compliance refers to the adherence of individuals or entities to established rules, regulations, and guidelines, ensuring that they follow prescribed standards and procedures.

Preferred Supplier

A preferred supplier is a specific supplier or service provider with whom a travel agency or travel management company has established a preferred relationship, often based on negotiated terms, pricing, and other mutually beneficial arrangements.

Procurement

Procurement is a broad term to describe a range of activities involved in sourcing, obtaining, and purchasing goods, in most cases for business-related purposes.

Pseudo City Code (PCC)

Pseudo city code (PCC) is a unique identifier assigned by a global distribution system (GDS) to travel agencies or other entities that use the GDS to make reservations and bookings for travel services such as flights, hotels, and car rentals. The PCC allows the GDS to track and manage transactions associated with a specific agency or user.

Published Fare

A published fare refers to the standard, publicly available price for a flight ticket set by an airline and typically listed in their official fare tariff. This is the base price before any discounts, promotions, or additional fees are applied.

R

Rack Rate

A rack rate is a standard or published retail price that a hotel charges for its rooms or accommodations before any discounts, promotions, or special offers are applied. It serves as the baseline price that guests would pay for a room without any corporate negotiated rates or reductions.

Reconciliation

Reconciliation is the process of comparing and adjusting financial records to ensure consistency and accuracy, often involving the matching of transactions and balances between different accounts or statements.

Record Locator

In airline reservation systems, a record locator is an alphanumeric code or reference number used to access a specific passenger’s booking or reservation.

Red-Eye Flight

A red-eye flight is a flight that takes place between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Regional Hotel Chain

This is a smaller form of hotel chain with multiple properties, and potentially multiple hotel brands, within its holding. In addition to operating on a much smaller scale, these hotels also operate in a specific region.

Round-the-World (RTW) Tickets

Round-the-world (RTW) tickets are flight packages that let travelers visit several destinations “around the world” for one price. These tickets are offered by airline alliances (e.g., oneworld, SkyTeam, Star Alliance, etc.) and all flights must be booked on airlines in the alliance.

S

Segment

A segment is a part or leg of an air itinerary, including one takeoff and one landing.

Shoulder Season

Shoulder season is the period between busy and quiet seasons in which prices are typically at a midpoint.

SITI, SITO, SOTI, and SOTO Tickets

SITI (Sold Inside, Ticketed Inside), SITO (Sold Inside, Ticketed Outside), SOTI (Sold Outside, Ticketed Inside), and SOTO (Sold Outside, Ticketed Outside) tickets represent different scenarios in airline ticket sales where “Sold Inside” or “Sold Outside” denote transactions within or outside the country where travel begins, while “Ticketed Inside” or “Ticketed Outside” indicates whether the ticket was issued within or outside of the country.

Smart Card

A smart card is a physical card embedded with a computer chip that hosts intelligent automation functions and security controls. Unlike a typical physical card with a magnetic strip, a smart card can perform multiple functions, since it encrypts additional information to interact with various payment terminals.

Spend Control

Spend control incorporates the processes of enforcing policies, whether manually or through technologies, to monitor and manage purchases made within a company.

Spend Management

Spend management refers to the strategic approach and processes that organizations employ to control, analyze, and optimize their expenditures and financial resources across various categories and activities.

Spend Management Software, Spend Management System, Spend Management Solution

Spend management software is a comprehensive digital solution that helps organizations track, control, and optimize their expenditures by providing tools for budgeting, expense tracking, and analysis of financial transactions.

Split Ticketing

Split ticketing happens when two separate tickets are purchased to build an itinerary, often to obtain a lower price. Travelers do this at their own risk, because if a connecting flight is missed, both airlines may elect not to rebook the traveler unless they purchase a new ticket.

Stopover

A stopover is a deliberate break in a journey where passengers can spend a significant amount of time in a connecting city or location before continuing to their final destination; it is longer than a layover and often involves exploring or staying in the connecting city for a day or more.

Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC)

A stopover paid by carrier is a program in which an airline might offer a free stopover to encourage travelers to use a less optimal connecting flight. Typically, the airline covers prearranged hotel, ground transportation, and meals during a stopover.

Sustainability

Sustainability is the practice of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It focuses on environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic viability.

T

T&E

T&E, short for travel and expense, refers to the financial category encompassing expenditures related to business travel — including transportation, accommodation, meals, and other associated costs — that’s typically managed and monitored by organizations to control expenses and ensure policy compliance.

Through Passenger

A through passenger is a passenger who remains on the plane at a connecting stop on the way to their final destination.

Ticketing Agreement

A ticketing agreement is a formal arrangement between airlines or airline alliances that allows for the sale and issuance of tickets for connecting flights operated by different carriers.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a U.S. government agency responsible for ensuring the security of transportation systems, primarily focusing on aviation, through the development and implementation of screening and security measures.

Travel Agency

A travel agency is a business that provides services and assistance related to travel, including booking accommodations, flights, and other travel-related activities, to individuals or groups.

Travel Agent

A travel agent is a professional who assists individuals and organizations in planning, organizing, and booking travel arrangements, including flights, accommodations, transportation, and other travel-related services, often providing expertise and guidance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience for their clients.

Travel Expense Management (TEM)

Travel expense management (TEM) is the systematic oversight and control of business-related travel expenditures. It encompasses the planning, tracking, reporting, and reimbursement of expenses incurred by employees during business trips.

Travel Expenses

Travel expenses are goods or services employees incur while traveling for business. Though many expenses may occur during a trip, it is up to the organization to decide what is considered an in-policy business travel expense vs. a personal travel expense.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accidents, and other losses incurred while traveling, either internationally or domestically.

Travel Management Company (TMC)

A travel management company (TMC) is a business travel agency that helps organizations manage their travel programs. A TMC fulfills travel bookings, supports the organization’s duty of care obligations, and identifies potential cost-saving opportunities.

Travel Management Software, Travel Management System, Travel Management Solution

Travel management software or travel management system is a specialized digital solution designed to assist organizations in efficiently managing and optimizing their corporate travel processes — including booking, expense tracking, itinerary management, and reporting — to enhance control, compliance, and cost-effectiveness in business travel.

Travel Manager

A travel manager is a professional responsible for overseeing and managing travel-related activities and policies within an organization — including coordinating bookings, negotiating with travel suppliers, ensuring compliance with travel policies, and optimizing travel expenses — to enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness in corporate travel programs.

Travel Policy

A travel policy is a set of guidelines and rules established by an organization to govern and regulate employee business travel. It outlines permissible expenses, booking procedures, and other standards to ensure consistency and compliance with the company’s objectives.

Travel Program

A travel program encompasses the policies, procedures, and guidelines established by organizations to regulate and optimize travel-related activities. A managed travel program involves centralized control and coordination, while an unmanaged travel program may be less organized and less satisfactory.

Travel Risk Management

Travel risk management involves the systematic identification, assessment, and mitigation of potential risks and hazards associated with business travel, with the aim of ensuring the safety and well-being of travelers while maintaining business continuity.

Travel Services, Travel Suppliers

Travel services is a broad category of travel-related offerings that encompasses transportation (flights, trains, buses), accommodation (hotels, resorts), car rentals, tour packages, travel insurance, and other related amenities, all aimed at meeting the needs of individuals or groups during their journeys.

TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is a program by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States that provides pre-approved travelers with expedited airport security screening, allowing them to experience shorter lines and keep their shoes, belts, and light jackets on, as well as leave laptops and compliant liquids in their carry-on bags.

U

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security. It’s responsible for safeguarding America’s borders by enforcing customs, immigration, and trade laws, as well as facilitating legitimate travel and commerce.

Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC)

An ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) is an airline that offers rock-bottom, no-frill fares. Seat selection, baggage, or drinks on the flight may be charged as an additional fee.

Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP)

The Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) is a global payment system specifically designed for the airline industry that allows businesses to issue and manage charge cards for corporate travel expenses and facilitates the centralized payment of airfare and related services. It is also accepted by some hotels, rail providers, and other suppliers.

Unmanaged Travel

Unmanaged travel refers to a situation in which individuals within an organization make independent and decentralized decisions regarding their business-related travel, without a centralized or coordinated approach from the organization. Individuals will often book through consumer websites, such as online booking tools (OBTs), or directly with suppliers. In unmanaged travel, there may be limited control over travel expenses, adherence to travel policies, and optimization of travel-related processes.

Unrestricted Fare

An unrestricted fare refers to a ticket with flexible terms that allows passengers to make changes or cancel flights without incurring significant fees or penalties, providing greater flexibility and freedom in travel plans.

Unused Ticket

An unused ticket is an airline-specific credit generated from canceling a non-refundable flight. These funds are not lost and can be applied toward a future flight on the same carrier.

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Value-Added Tax (VAT)

Value-added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax levied at each stage of the production and distribution chain, ultimately borne by the end consumer and calculated as the difference between the value of goods and services sold and the cost of materials and services used in their production.

Virtual Card Number (VCN)

A virtual card number (VCN) is a highly secure, single-use virtual credit card number used to minimize the risk of fraud.

Virtual Corporate Card

A virtual corporate card is a unique 16-digit corporate card number generated digitally. That card number can be used for online checkouts and downloaded to a mobile wallet for in-person purchases where virtual cards are accepted.

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Workcation

Workcation is a portmanteau of work and vacation that describes the act of employees conducting business from locations other than their usual workplace.