🔍Decoding Travel Industry Acronyms

Posted on: June 13, 2024 at 8:00 AM

The travel industry, like many specialized fields, is filled with its own unique set of acronyms and terms. For new travel agents, or even seasoned professionals looking to refresh their knowledge, understanding these acronyms is crucial. Bookmark this glossary of some of the most used acronyms in the travel industry so you always have it handy!

Accredited Cruise Counselor
An Accredited Cruise Counselor is a professional designation, the second level of accreditation offered by CLIA, for travel agents who specialize in cruises, indicating they have completed specific training and coursework.

ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act
This U.S. law protects the rights of individuals with disabilities and ensures they have equal opportunities, including in travel and hospitality services.

Airport Code
A unique, internationally recognized three-letter code assigned to each airport worldwide used for various purposes including flight reservations and tracking, baggage, and more. This code is typically based on the location or name of the airport. For example, ATL is the code for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport located in Atlanta, Georgia and JFK is the code for John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, New York.

ARC – Airlines Reporting Corporation
ARC facilitates transactions between airlines and travel agencies, ensuring efficient sales and distribution of airline tickets.

ASTA – American Society of Travel Advisors
ASTA is a professional association that works with lawmakers to promote ethical and professional practices or United States travel advisors. ASTA advocates for and shapes legislation that affects travel advisors and businesses, as well as offers resources such as training courses, certifications, and more.

BDM – Business Development Manager
A BDM is a representative from a travel supplier that is your go-to for information, opportunities, specials, and the latest news from the company. BDM’s work and form relationships with travel advisors and nurture them on behalf of the supplier.

CCC – Certified Cruise Counselor
A CCC is a credential for travel agents who have completed specific cruise-related training. It is the first level of certification offered by CLIA (ACC is the second level).

CP – Cruise Planners
Cruise Planners is the nation’s largest low-cost, homebased, travel franchise network. Known for it's Cruisitude, Cruise Planners positions its nationwide network of over 2,500 franchise owners for success by providing award-winning marketing programs, best-in-industry booking and technology tools, as well as professional development and coaching.

CP MAXX – Cruise Planners
Cruise Planners’ proprietary software platform which helps agents manage their business efficiently and effectively. 

CTA – Certified Travel Associate
A CTA is a certification offered by The Travel Institute for travel agents who have completed training in fifteen areas focusing on travel sales and service skills.

CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association
The largest cruise trade association representing the cruise industry. CLIA provides professional development and training opportunities, as well as promotes safe and sustainable practices in the cruise industry. There are multiple certifications offered by CLIA, including CCC, ACC, and MCC.

CXR – Airline Carrier
CXR is a shorthand term used in reservations and travel documents to refer to airlines.

DMC – Destination Management Company
A company that offers local expertise and resources to help plan and manage events, tours, and activities at a specific destination. DMCs can assist clients locally during travel if any issues arise.

FAA – Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the United States, ensuring safety and efficiency.

FAM – Familiarization Trip
Also known as a "fam trip," these are opportunities for travel agents, often complimentary or discounted by suppliers, to experience a destination firsthand. Fam trips allow advisors to have personal testimonials they can share with clients.

FIT – Free Independent Traveler(s)
Also, Fully, Foreign, or Flexible Independent Traveler. This is travel designed for those who desire a trip that does not follow a pre-determined schedule or require a tour guide. Travel advisors work with clients to create customized itineraries, ideal for immersive experiences.

FTC (or FCC) – Future Travel Credits (Future Cruise Credits)
Credits issued by travel suppliers to travelers for future travel, often as compensation for canceled or impacted trips.

GDS – Global Distribution System
A GDS is a network that enables automated transactions between travel service providers and travel agents, providing access to inventory and booking for airlines, hotels, car rentals, and more.

IATA – International Air Transport Association
A global trade organization for airlines that sets standards and promotes safe, secure air travel. IATA membership allows agents to book airline tickets with member airlines and qualify for discounts or FAM trips.

MCC – Master Cruise Counselor
The third level of certification offered by CLIA. This designation for travel agents who have achieved advanced knowledge and expertise in selling cruises. There are two routes to obtaining this accreditation: traditional or Experiential Learning Program.

MLOS – Minimum Length of Stay
A policy set by hotels requiring guests to stay a minimum number of nights.

NCF – Non-Commissionable Fees
Fees that are part of the total price but are not subject to travel agent commissions, such as port charges or taxes.

PAX – Passenger
A commonly used abbreviation in travel documents and communications that refers to the number of passengers.

PNR – Passenger Name of Record
A record in a Global Distribution System containing the itinerary and details of a passenger or group of passengers, allowing access and management of bookings.

PTC – Passenger Type Code
A code used to identify the category of a passenger, such as adult, child, or senior, affecting pricing and services.

TSA – Transportation Security Administration
The TSA is responsible for security at airports in the United States, including passenger screening and baggage inspection.

Understanding these acronyms can help travel agents communicate more effectively, stay informed, and provide better service to their clients. Keep this glossary handy as a quick reference guide to navigate the travel industry's terminology with confidence.






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