Chapter 1: Introduction and U.S. airline travel specifics.
The U.S. airline industry today has grown dramatically since first starting passenger service in the 1920's. Today the airlines annually carry millions of passengers and connect thousands of cities all over the world. Before the Federal Deregulation Act of 1978, airlines were classified into one of three categories:
TRUNK -- Long distance, major carriers or airlines REGIONAL -- Airlines serving particular areas or regions of the country COMMUTER -- Short-distance airlines, perhaps serving a state area
With deregulation, airlines chose to combine their services within the areas listed above, and strict government control and approval of routes were no longer applicable. Deregulation also sparked marketing innovations such as frequent flyer programs (more information on this topic provided later). In addition, many airlines initiated a "hub-and-spoke" concept to operations to increase their revenue and number of passengers. For example, an airline that has direct flights (no change of planes) from Tampa to New York may also have connecting flights (change of planes) from Tampa to Atlanta and then Atlanta to New York.
In using Atlanta as a "hub" city, airlines can sell services on both the Tampa to Atlanta segment and the Atlanta to New York segment. Hub and spoke operations give the carriers greater load factors. It also enables them to consolidate traffic from small communities to a dozen or more destinations on a single flight to the connecting hub.
Here are some major airlines and their major "hubs":
AIRLINES HUB Delta Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City United Chicago/O'Hare, Denver, San Francisco, Washington/Dulles American Dallas/Ft. Worth, Chicago/O'Hare, Miami, San Juan Continental Houston/Int'l, Denver, Newark US Airways Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore
Knowledge of geography and the major hubs of the different airlines will be helpful when researching for the best fare and schedule. The "hub-and-spoke" concept is also used by international airlines on some of their routes.
Today, airlines are defined by the scope of the service they offer customers, their annual revenues, and the type of aircraft they use.
MAJOR AIRLINES--Major airlines are those earning annual revenues of $1 billion or more. They generally provide scheduled service in and out of major cities (they used to be called trunk carriers). All are certified to operate large aircraft and have extensive domestic service as well as some international service.
NATIONAL AIRLINES--National airlines have annual revenues between $100 million and $1 billion. Many of the airlines in this category specialize in particular regions of the U.S. They mostly operate medium and large size jet aircraft.
REGIONALS--Regional airlines are divided into three sub-groups: large, medium, and small. Large regionals are scheduled carriers with revenues of $20 million to $100 million and most of their aircraft seat more than 60 passengers. Medium regionals follow the same strategy as large regionals but on a smaller scale. Their revenues are under $20 million. Small regionals, commonly called commuters, operate mostly smaller aircraft (less than 30 seats). There is no official revenue definition for small regionals.
CARGO CARRIERS--Much of the freight that moves by air is carried in the bellies of passenger jets or in "combination" aircraft where the main deck is divided into two sections--one for cargo and one for passengers. There are also numerous airlines that only carry cargo, using aircraft called freighters.
Deregulation and many other factors (computer reservation systems, aircraft purchases, fuel costs, frequent flyer programs, economic recession) have caused numerous mergers and buyouts. For a bit of history, here are some airlines that merged during the 1980's:
Delta and Western US Air * and Piedmont TWA and Ozark Northwest and Republic Continental, Eastern, Texas International, which bought out People Express, PBA, Britt and the assets of Frontier Airlines * now called US Airways NOTE: United Airlines and US Airways have proposed a merger. Consult current news sources for updates.
Since 1982 the list of airlines that filed for bankruptcy includes: Braniff (filed in 1982, again in 1989, and a final time in 1991), Continental (filed in 1983, its holdings in 1990, and since then has restructured), Air Florida in 1984, Capitol Air in 1984, Frontier in 1986, Royale in 1987, Eastern in 1989, Presidential Airways in 1989, and in 1991 Midway, America West and Pan Am all filed (Midway has since restructured). Pan Am restructured and then filed bankruptcy.
Major airlines are forming alliances and many smaller or regional airlines have aligned themselves to major airlines and they are listed in the computer reservation system and in the airline guides using the major airline's code followed by an asterisk (*) or star ** . International airlines have also developed code-share agreements so that schedules will "appear" online (using the same airline). IT IS IMPORTANT to relate (and new federal regulations REQUIRE passengers to be informed) the particulars of shared codes services because it may involve different operating procedures, smaller aircraft, etc.
WHAT AIRLINE ALLIANCES MEAN TO TRAVELERS--In a competitive rush, six of the largest airlines in the U.S. paired off into three alliances: American and US Airways, Continental and Northwest, and Delta and United (Delta and United's alliance remains the weakest marriage). In all three cases, the coupled airlines pledged that this cooperation would not only boost profits but also bring benefits to passengers. For example, mileages earned on American Airlines can be used for flights on US Airways, and vice versa. Mileages can also be pooled from the two accounts for rewards. Delta and United's alliance does not allow miles to be swapped or pooled. In all three cases, reciprocal airport lounge access is also available. More on airport lounges will be detailed later in this manual.
All the major airlines operate with what is called a line and staff organization. The LINE PERSONNEL refers to all employees who are directly involved in producing or selling the airline's services--from the mechanics who maintain the planes to pilots, flight attendants, reservationists, check-in, gate, and ticket agents, passenger service agents, baggage handlers, security guards, etc. There are three main categories of line personnel: engineering and maintenance, flight operations, and sales and marketing. Line personnel account for generally 85% of an airline's employees. STAFF PERSONNEL refers to specialists in such fields as law, accounting, finance, employee relations, and public relations. Their function is to support the work of the line personnel so that the airline runs efficiently and at a profit. For the most part, staff personnel work out of the airline's headquarters and fall into seven broad job categories: finance and property, information services, personnel, medical, legal, public relations, and planning. It is also typical for airlines to use SUBCONTRACTORS--for tasks such as cleaning, fueling, food service, airport security, and some maintenance work.
AIRLINES--THE TOP TEN LIST * 1. UNITED 2. AMERICAN 3. DELTA 4. NORTHWEST 5. US AIR GROUP 6. CONTINENTAL 7. TWA 8. SOUTHWEST 9. AMERICA WEST 10. ALASKA * Based on gross revenue, not net profits. Source: Business Travel News
The ATA--Air Transport Association represents the major airlines of North America. The ATA provides technical expertise, and develops solutions to problems and building specifications for its members and the industry at large. ATA is a key policy-shaping organization and a source of information on the U.S. airline industry. Located in Washington, DC you can contact the Air Transport Association at (202) 626-4000, Fax (202) 626-4181.
BUSIEST AIRPORTS IN THE WORLD (ranked by number of passengers) * 1. Atlanta (Hartsfield) 2. Chicago (O'Hare) 3. Los Angeles (Int'l) 4. London (Heathrow) 5. Dallas/Ft. Worth (Int'l) 6. Tokyo (Haneda) 7. Frankfurt 8. San Francisco (Int'l) 9. Paris (Charles de Gaulle) 10. Denver (Int'l) 11. Amsterdam (Schipol) 12. Miami (Int'l) 13. Newark 14. Phoenix (Sky Harbor Int'l) 15. Detroit (Metro) 16. New York (JFK) 17. Houston (George Bush Int'l) 18. Las Vegas (McCarran Int'l) 19. Seoul (Kimpo) 20. London (Gatwick) * Source: Airports Council International
PROFILE OF A TYPICAL FLIGHT
To see an example of the workings of the air traffic control system let's follow an imaginary flight from one major airport to another. Some of the details will differ slightly depending on the airport and local airspace considerations, but the basic air traffic control (ATC) process is the same.
AIRCRAFT'S FLIGHT PLAN--The primary element of air traffic control is a record of the planned route of the flight, along with details about alternate destinations, fuel on board, etc. Airlines that fly the same routes every day keep flight plans stored in the FAA's (Federal Aviation Administration) computer and activate them through a dispatch system just prior to a flight.
PRE-TRIP PLANNING AND AIRCRAFT INSPECTIONS--Once the pilots have completed these tasks and have settled into the cockpit, they will make a call to air traffic control (ATC)--typically this call is to clearance delivery.
CLEARANCE DELIVERY--Clearance delivery will give a flight confirmation of its flight plan, with any changes that are required. This confirmation tells the flight crew what instructions and routes to expect from air traffic control from takeoff to landing.
READY TO DEPART--When the flight is ready to depart the pilots will contact ground control for permission to leave the gate. When leaving the gate, the pilots will also contact an FAA ground controller for permission to taxi to the runway. The ground controller will direct the aircraft to its departure runway, where control of the aircraft will be "handed off' to the tower controller.
PERMISSION FOR TAKEOFF--When ready, the tower will grant permission for takeoff, sometimes including directions for the aircraft to follow a specific flight heading immediately after takeoff. Once the aircraft is safely airborne, the tower controller will "hand off' the flight to the departure controller.
DEPARTURE CONTROL--The aircraft will be told to contact departure control on a specific radio frequency that differs from the tower control. When the flight contacts departure control, the controller will acknowledge radar contact with the flight and issue instructions or headings and altitudes. As the aircraft climbs away from the airport, the departure controller will "hand off' the flight to a center controller.
CENTER CONTROLLER--The center controller will manage the aircraft's final transition into the high-speed, high-altitude structure of the enroute ATC environment. Depending on the length of the flight, the aircraft may be "handed off' to several different controllers as it progresses across the airspace of a particular center's responsibility. All controllers will ensure that separation standards between airborne aircraft are maintained. Normally aircraft flying enroute above 29,000 feet will be separated by five miles laterally and at least one or two thousand feet vertically, depending on the altitude. Below 29,000 feet, vertical separation is normally 1,000 feet. In the airport area, where slower speeds are involved, separation is usually three miles laterally and 1,000 feet vertically,
FINAL APPROACH--When the flight begins to approach its destination airport, it will begin descent and be "handed off' to approach control. The approach controller will direct the aircraft through the appropriate arrival maneuvers to bring it into the airport area and to integrate it with the overall arrival flow of traffic. Just before the aircraft is established on its final straight-in approach, it will be directed to contact the tower for final landing clearance. The tower controller will give that clearance and continue to monitor the flight until it exits the active runway after landing. Then the ground controller directs the aircraft to the gate.
At every point along the way, the aircraft is in communication with ground-based controllers who are aware of its exact location and altitude. However, many general aviation aircraft may operate into and out of airports that do not have air traffic control towers and through air space that is not controlled by FAA air traffic controllers. In these cases, the aircraft are not considered part of the ATC system, although they operate near airspace that is controlled; or they may choose to operate within the ATC system and maintain the required levels of communication and coordination.
Air traffic controllers are generally FAA employees who undergo extensive screening and training. All scheduled airline flights must operate within the ATC system and file a special flight plan known as an IFR--Instrument Flight Rules. This ensures that the airline flight will be provided with positive separation from all other aircraft participating in the system. General aviation flights operate both within and outside the ATC system. Many general aviation aircraft are equipped and qualified to fly under IFR conditions, but many are not. Those that are not fly under VFR--Visual Flight Rules. VFR flights may voluntarily participate in the ATC system, but aren't required to do so. For example, aircraft flying under VFR may operate out of an airport with a control tower.
Air traffic control is a crucial part of air transportation and the airlines would be grounded without ATC services. The capabilities and efficiency of the ATC system has a direct bearing on airline performance.
WHY PLANES CRASH Planes will crash when they lose either lift or control. Why they lose either of those key factors is sometimes due to mechanical failure and other times to human error. Lift is everything when it comes to an airplane staying aloft. Airspeed and a special wing surface are needed to produce lift. Therefore, if there is insufficient airspeed or the wing surface is compromised, there may not be enough lift to sustain fight, For example, a plane that allows its airspeed to decline too much on final approach and loses lift could crash. If the wing surface is covered with ice and snow, the lift can be affected enough to cause a crash. Infrequently, there is enough lift far the plane, but for some reason, perhaps structural failure, the pilots are not able to maintain control of the aircraft. Accidents are usually a chain of events, none of which individually would cause an accident, but together combine themselves into a volatile situation. The NTSB--National Transportation Safety Board, investigates civil aviation accidents. The team will usually spend about a week at the crash scene, and then attention shifts to the NTSB's lab where key items like the "cockpit voice recorder" and the 'flight data recorder" (called "black boxes') are analized. The average number of fatal airline accidents per 100,000 departures is about 0.04 or less than one per 2 million departures. The death risk is one in 10 million per airline flight--what a far cry from fatalities from driving a car! Most accidents are caused by severe weather and human error. Very few have been attributed to equipment failure or poor maintenance.
NAME FOUR OF THE TOP TEN AIRLINES --
NAME FIVE OF THE 20 BUSIEST AIRPORTS IN THE WORLD (ranked by number of passengers) --
OFFICIAL AIRLINE GUIDES
A company called Official Airline Guides (part of the Cahners Travel Group publishing) produces a variety of references. The OFFICIAL AIRLINE GUIDES (OAGs) provide the names of the code-sharing airlines in a section called "Airline Codes and Abbreviations." OAG resources and references include:
* OAG Desktop Flight Guides--Primarily used for flight schedules, these are available in a North American or Worldwide edition. The North American version is issued twice monthly and the Worldwide once a month.
* OAG Pocket Flight Guides--available in various editions--North American, Europe/Middle East/Africa, Pacific Asia, and Latin American/Caribbean. They are used for condensed flight schedule information. They are issued monthly.
* OAG Travel Planners--available in a North American/Business, European, and Pacific edition. The planners provide information on the nearest airports for cities, hotels near the airport and other locations, airport diagrams, ground transportation services, country information, and more. Issued quarterly.
* OAG Air Cargo Guide--Loading charts, air cargo schedules, documentary requirements, airport-to-airport truck schedules, and more. Issued monthly. Also available in disk format.
* OAG Travel Information Disk--CD Rom (combining the databases of both flight guides and travel Planners)
More details on the OAG Desktop Flight Guides are provided later in this manual. For information on subscriptions, contact OAG at 2000 Clearwater Dr., Oak Brook, IL 60523-8806, (800) 323-3537 or (800) 342-5624,(630) 574-6000, Fax (630) 574-6667 or (630) 575-6565. http://www.oag.com
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Almost all travel agencies have computer reservation systems (CRSs) for accessing information and making reservations for airline travel, hotel and car rentals, tours, cruises, rail itineraries, and much more. Agencies may also be using PCs (personal computers) for various functions and interfacing. In this manual we will address the use of the computers (CRSs) in travel agencies with an introduction to their use, useful exercises and sample displays, an explanation of formats and other details. The topics covered first will be travel agency and airline operations, types of trips, domestic travel specifics, terminology and codes. We will then go on to scheduling, faring, rules, reservations, ticketing, etc. Training and practice will be necessary to be able to expertly plan and ticket domestic airline travel.
1. The Federal Deregulation Act was passed in the year --.
2. What are the benefits to airlines using a "hub-and-spoke" operation? --
3. Atlanta is a major hub of United Airlines. True or False --
4. Two of US Airways' major hubs are -- and --.
5. When an airline is sharing a code the major airline's code will appear with an asterisk or a --.
6. OAG stands for --.
7. Why is it important to relate the particulars of a "shared code" schedule? --
8. In the 1980's Republic merged with what airline? --
9. Name two of Delta's major hubs. --
10. Denver and Houston/International are major hubs of -- Airlines.
11. Airline operations consist of two types of personnel: -- and --
12. A primary element of ATC is the aircraft's flight plan. What does ATC stand for? 13. Aircraft flying enroute above 29,000 ft. will usually be separated by -- miles laterally and -- to -- feet vertically, depending on the altitude.
14. Name five positions that are in the category of an airline's line personnel. --
15. FAA stands for --.
16. Major airlines have annual revenues of over $ --.
17. Line personnel usually account for 85% of airline staff. True or False --
18. Small regionals operate mostly smaller aircraft (less than -- seats).
19. What is another name for small regional airlines? --
20. OAG's Travel Planners come in three editions --, and --.
ARC--AIRLINES REPORTING CORPORATION
The ARC--Airlines Reporting Corporation makes it possible to use blank ticket stock that is validated on the different member airlines, who establish interline agreements among themselves for accepting each other's tickets. The ARC (1) sets standards and appoints travel agencies to sell airline tickets, (2) outlines standard practices and procedures for ticket issuance, and (3) acts as a clearinghouse to distribute monies from ticket sales--through its Area Settlement Banks. The diagram below shows the route of airline tickets and other ARC forms as they are processed:
The travel agencies receive a summary of the weekly sales report and other communications from the airlines. Policies and procedures for reservations and ticketing, airline sales reporting, ticket security and other details are provided in a manual published by ARC called the ARC_Industry_Agents' Handbook. All ARC-approved full service agencies automatically receive an annual copy of the handbook and its supplements. Single issues and additional subscriptions are also available. In addition, the ARC also publishes an An Agency List book and sells mailing labels of the agencies.
Another accrediting organization is called IATA (International Air Transport Association) or IATAN (International Airlines Travel Agency Network). IATA is operated outside the U.S. and IATAN operates in the U.S. The organization forms a link between its international airline members and U.S. travel agencies. IATAN also issues a Travel Agent I.D. card, which identifies agents as industry professionals and is used by many suppliers as a qualification for discounts and familiarization trips (also called "fam" trips). "Fam" trips are discounted trips offered by tour companies and tourist information bureaus to agents to make them knowledgeable of the company's operations and the destinations involved.
OPENING A TRAVEL AGENCY
Requires: Market research, business background, experienced staff and management, and sufficient funds (a small agency would probably require about $60,000-$70,000 in cash capital). A good location, appointments from the major organizations, memberships in consortiums/associations, and thorough marketing and promotion will also be important.
Today's travel agency business is changing dramatically due to suppliers offering direct consumer bookings (via phone, fax, and the Internet) and the lowering of commissions earned by travel agencies. Many agencies are consolidating in order to obtain clout and better prices for resale to their clientele. Specialization and personalized customer service are key factors in maintaining profits in this changing situation. Preferred suppliers are used by many agencies in order to secure better commissions as well as ensure the stability and reliability of the products sold. Agencies must have an "online presence" coupled with their "brick and mortar."
The growing area is in the hands of "home-based" travel agents who network with existing agencies or operate on their own to sell travel on a part-time or full-time basis from their home. Advantages include very little overhead costs and ease of operation because of communication advancements. However, these agents still have to sell a great deal of travel to earn a profit and their clientele can be demanding requiring the agents to work nights, weekends, holidays and basically be on-call.
ARC--AIRLINES REPORTING CORPORATION
1530 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 800
Arlington, VA 22209-2448
(703) 816-8085 Fax (703) 813-8086
ARC Application Forms are also available from the ARC Fax Service (800) 811-1608.
ARC has standards for appointment, which include: personnel qualifications (manager must have at least two years travel sales experience), location, financial requirements, bonding, and other security requirements. ARC also requires a CAS Certified
ARC Specialist test to be passed by an agent at all new agencies as well as branch locations and with certain ownership changes. Thorough information is provided in the Industry Agents' Handbook.
IATAN--INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES TRAVEL AGENCY NETWORK
300 Garden City Plaza, Ste. 342
Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 747-4716 Fax (516) 747-4462
Once your agency has these primary appointments, most other suppliers will recognize your agency to receive commissions on the sales of their products. Cruise only and independent agents usually contract with an agency that has ticketing capability. The Travel Dictionary lists major associations, consortiums, franchisors, and other organizations and networks.
TRAVEL AGENCY OPERATIONS The travel agency acts primarily as a RETAILER, selling the existing products of the suppliers at set prices. However, as the industry changes, there are more and more occurrences where agencies are selling net price products and adding their own mark-up as commissions are being reduced and may be eliminated in the future. Service fees are being collected by many agencies and consumers are generally not opposed to paying fees as long as professional services are provided.
TYPES OF TRIPS
A knowledge of the types of trips is important background for fare research and fare combination possibilities.
A trip from origin to destination and back to origin using the same class of service (such as traveling "coach" round trip or "first class" round trip).
* Surface or ground transportation is used between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The surface segment is also called an "arunk" segment. Arunk stands for "arrival unknown" and is used for segments when no flight is involved.
A trip from origin to more than one destination and back.
FLIGHT ITINERARY TERMINOLOGY
In addition to the TYPES OF TRIPS, it is important to understand and use correct terms for flight information and scheduling.
Although some terms may seem simplistic, they are stated for a complete overview of flight itinerary specifies.
SEGMENT--A part of a trip, also called a leg or portion.
ORIGIN--City from where travel begins.
DESTINATION--The final stop on the itinerary.
OUTBOUND FLIGHT/SEGMENT--The outward journey to the first stopover.
INBOUND FLIGHT/SEGMENT--The return portion of the trip, or the last segment.
CONNECTING CITY--Where the passenger changes planes.
LAYOVER--Time and place where a passenger on a connecting flight changes planes.
STOPOVER--A deliberate interruption of an itinerary, agreed to in advance (basically where the person wants to go).
NOTE: Layover and stopover can be confusing. Clients may say that they want to "layover" in a city (to stay there overnight) and they REALLY MEAN they want a "STOPOVER" in that city.
NON-STOP FLIGHT--A flight from the origin to the destination without a stop.
DIRECT FLIGHT--A flight that does not require a change of planes (it MAY or MAY NOT make stops). ONLY A NON-STOP FLIGHT does not make stops enroute.
CONNECTION--A flight schedule that requires a change of planes. Connections may be ONLINE (using the same airline) or OFFLINE (using different airlines).
A flight from Boston to Seattle makes a stop in Minneapolis. Is the flight direct? -- It is non-stop? -- Is it a connection? --
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF AIRLINE FARES AND OPERATIONS
Airline fares and operations are constantly changing. Making airline reservations is one of the most challenging and complex skills of a travel agent. There are a number of reasons that airline bookings are so complicated:
CHOICES: airlines, schedules, routes, and fares
Between any two major cities there could be 10 airlines to choose from, each with 10 or more flights, and each airline may have as many as 30 or 40 different fares.
FARE RESTRICTIONS AND RULES
The client has given you their preference of dates, but the least expensive fares are only available on other dates/days of the week. If the client is open to other options, the agent must research the fares, then go back to flight schedules the client may prefer and then try to get available seats on those lower fares. It may go "back and forth" many times before a decision can be made (weighing the importance of fare versus flight schedules, dates, etc.). Lower fares usually require advance purchase (7-14 days), minimum stays, and they are usually non-refundable. Generally, the lowest fares have the most restrictions.
The availability of a seat on a particular fare changes constantly. Maybe there aren't any seats available at the time you pull up availability on the computer, but a block of seats from a group booking cancels and the availability is good the next day. Educate your client by explaining all the options and stress that once a good schedule and a good fare are obtained it's best to stick with them. If the fares go down, some airlines will allow passengers to be re-ticketed at the new lower fares (if they meet the same restrictions).
RESERVATIONS AND ALL THE DETAILS
The agent researches flights, fares, and availability of seats on those fares. The agent must reserve/hold the seats. The ticketing requirements must be explained to the client. The lowest fares require "instant" ticketing (at the time of reservation/within a few hours) or usually within 24 hours. And the fares are not guaranteed unless ticketed. Plus many fares are non-refundable. These factors make it very difficult when the client isn't able to commit. If they call back several days later, the fares may have changed, seats may not be available, etc. After the reservation has been confirmed, other details for the agent to handle include: special meal needs/other assistance, the form of payment, when tickets will be picked up/mailed/e-ticketed, the frequent flyer program membership numbers, preference of seats, etc. If the client has booked with the agency before, the particulars will be already on file for the agent to display and utilize for each booking. Even so, information must be exchanged so that no errors are made. The work continues with questions and details in order to book any hotels, car rentals, packages or tours necessary.
The rate of commission to agencies on airline tickets varies. The commission is calculated on the BASE FARE (the fare before taxes and other fees are added). Most airlines extend 5% commission with a cap of $25.00 for one-way tickets and $50.00 for round trip tickets. The airlines continue to search for ways to increase their profits, so further reductions or the elimination of commissions is possible with "net fares" or "non-commission able fares." Special commission rates/override commissions, incentives, and bonuses are available on certain routes and/or airlines.
There are two main types of taxes on domestic fares: a percentage tax and a segment fee. Presently the percentage tax is 7.5% and is coded on tickets with US. Until Jan. 1, 2001, the segment tax is $2.50. During 2001 the tax is $2.75, and $3.00 during 2002. Beginning Jan. 1, 2003, the fee will reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. The flight segment tax is coded ZP. Exceptions:
Rural Segments--the flight segment fee does not apply from or to rural airports that have fewer than 100,000 commercial passengers a year and located more than 75 miles from another airport.
Transportation on free tickets is exempt; however, transportation on free companion tickets is subject to tax.
There is an Alaska/Hawaii International Travel Facilities Tax of $6.20 one-way and $12.40 round trip. In addition, the portion of the trip over U.S. territory is taxed at the 7.5% as determined by using the Alaska and Hawaii tax table (listed in OAGs/computers). The table lists cities in Alaska and allocates an "Alaskan Percentage Column--A, B, C, or D" to find the appropriate factor for taxing. For travel to Hawaii, the Hawaiian Percentage column is used. The Alaskan and Hawaiian taxes are coded us.
225-MILE BUFFER ZONE
The 225-mile buffer zone encompasses cities within Canada and Mexico located up to 225 miles from the U.S. The domestic tax applies on fares for travel between points in the U.S. and the buffer zone as well as between points in the buffer zone.
PASSENGER FACILITY CHARGES (PFCs)
Many airports have Passenger Facility Charges or PFCs. The PFC is usually $3.00 (subject to change). PFCs are collected at the time tickets are issued. A maximum of two PFCs can be charged on a one-way ticket (if more than two airports have PFCs, fees are assessed for the first two). A maximum of four PFCs can be charged on a round trip ticket (if more than four airports have PFCs, the first two on the outbound trip and the last two on the inbound trip will apply). PFCs are coded XF.
Other taxes, fees, and charges apply, especially for international travel. There is a U.S. International Departure tax of $12.40 and a U.S. International Arrival Tax of $12.40, and U.S. possessions such as Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam are treated as international points. There are taxes for travel within Canada and Mexico, U.S. Customs Fees, Immigration Fees, Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) Fees, and more. Although the computers usually automatically price the fees accordingly, the details of these charges are explained in the rules of the computer reservations systems, the Industry Agents Handbook, or in OAGs. The International Travel manual from The Travel Training Series will provide examples of fees incurred for international travel.
TICKETS AND BOARDING PASSES
Airline tickets are commonly a booklet-type document with pages called coupons. ATB (Automated Ticket/Boarding Pass) stock is primarily used. Many airlines now offer E-tickets (Electronic tickets) in place of the conventional ticket. Most airlines have eliminated issuing advance boarding passes as they prefer to issued them when passengers present their photo I.D. at check-in. Seat assignments can be made 30--364 days in advance--depending on the fare and the airline. Find out when seats can be assigned to have the best selection.
Travelers looking for bargains or simply interested in doing their own research for flights will find a variety of online information and booking services. Besides the airlines' own web sites, there are sites available to "bid" for prices of tickets (such as http://www.Priceline.com). Although many of these travel web sites are vehicles by which clients "bypass" using travel agencies, it is important for agencies to know of these sites and be able to "go one step further" for the clients. Many times clients use the sites for information, but will call a travel agent for booking. Agents must be able to "screen" these callers and be able to convert the "shopper" into a buyer by adding details and specifics. For example, a client called an agent and quoted a fare found on the Internet for travel from Tampa to Philadelphia of only $129.00. The agent found out for the client that the fare was for one way, not round trip as the client had assumed!
HERE ARE SOME WEB SITES FOR BOOKING AIR AND HOTEL TRAVEL: (http//has been omitted to save space) www.expedia.com www.travelocicy.com www.priceline.com www.travelscape.com www.travelweb.com www.TRIP.com
There are also web sites for all the airlines, web sites for maps and directions, web sites for tourist information, car rentals, tours, cruises, restaurants and shopping information--you name it. Use of the Internet by travel agencies means they can add personalized information to their clients in a big way. It also means agencies can have a web site presence for the clients and use e-mail for communication. A whole manual can be dedicated to using the Internet for travel! Certain areas of this manual will highlight usage of the Internet where appropriate.
1. ARC stands for --.
2. The ARC acts as a clearinghouse to distribute monies from ticket sales through its --.
3. Another accrediting organization is called IATA or IATAN. IATAN stands for --.
4. Most airlines extend --% of commission on domestic airline tickets, and it is calculated on the fare--the fare before taxes and other fees are added.
5. Most major airlines have a "commission cap" of $ -- for one way tickets and $ -- for round trips.
6. What types of choices are involved in making airline bookings? - 7. The lowest fares may require instant ticketing or will usually require ticketing within -- hours of the reservations.
8. PFC stands for --.
9. The time and place where a passenger changes planes is called --.
10. A deliberate interruption of an itinerary is a --.
11. The commonly used ticket stock called ATB stands for --
12. The percentage tax on domestic fares is -- % plus $ -- fee per segment (during 2001), increasing to $ -- (during 2002)--except to and from certain rural airports.
13. The Buffer Zone is a -- mile area into Canada and Mexico from the U.S. border.
14. Give an example of a circle trip. --
15. Taxes on fares to Alaska and Hawaii are subject to a departure tax of $ -- one way or $ -- round trip, in addition to a percentage tax for the portion of the trip over the U.S.
16. After a reservation has been confirmed, the agent must also find out other details. Name three other items of information that should be obtained from the client. --
17. What is the departing portion of a trip called? --
18. What is a direct flight? --
19. What is a connection? --
20. What are the two types of connections? -- and --
SPECIFICS OF U.S. DOMESTIC AIRLINE TRAVEL
AIRPORTS--Many U.S. cities have airports. The OAG Desktop Flight Guides show scheduled airline services. Charters or other special flights may not be listed. JAX FAX Travel Marketing Magazine and other industry publications or newspapers may be sources for non scheduled services. The OAG Travel Planners are great references for finding information on the nearest airports for cities. Maps and atlases are other references to use. The planners are available in three editions (North American, European, and Pacific) and the editions are issued four times a year. For subscription information contact OAG--address and phone numbers were provided earlier.
The display is for example only and does not relate current information. Thorough information and an explanation of all the codes and abbreviations used is in the "How to Use" section of the travel planners. These references also provide airport diagrams (with details on terminals and parking), ground transportation details, city center maps, hotel listings (near airport, downtown and other), general travel information and much more.
Airports are sometimes caught in the struggle to survive as the airlines serving them reduce or eliminate flights. The constant changes in airline operations and economic instability have direct effects on airports. Local communities own the airports, and maintaining and operating the facilities involves great costs.
For most domestic flights, clients should check-in at the airport about ninety minutes prior to departure. And passengers should be aware of any facility/construction/security delays or other problems. More specifics are given in "CHECK-IN" details.
BAGGAGE--Most airlines allow a maximum of three bags per passenger--usually two checked bags and one carry-on (unchecked) bag per passenger. The measurements of the carry-on bag should not exceed 45" (50" on TWA) in combined height, width, and length. One bag should not exceed 55" in combined measurements and the other bag should not be larger than 62" in combined measurements. The maximum weight normally allowed per bag is 70 pounds. Charges for excess baggage vary with each airline. Contact the specific airline for details and possible costs for transporting sports equipment/other items. All baggage is subject to inspection and you may be surprised to learn that some seemingly harmless items can be dangerous when packed in the checked baggage aboard an aircraft.
DO NOT PACK--matches, fireworks, solvents, fuels, adhesives, household items like bleach or other chemicals
DO NOT CARRY--any kind of knife or possible weapon
If clients will be carrying valuable, unusual or special items, be sure to check with the airline about any restrictions and/or additional costs. Baggage insurance should also be considered, especially for electronic equipment or valuables. All the bags should be tagged with identification on the outside. Tape some identification on the inside in case the outside tags are torn off. Remove old destination tags to avoid confusion in baggage handling. Colored tape or a ribbon will help in distinguishing your bag from others that are similar. Don't pack medicines or other essentials in your checked luggage--carry them with you.
THE CRACKDOWN ON CARRY-ONS Although the airlines have attempted to crackdown on the abuses of passengers and their carry-ons, the actual enforcement of the rules varies dramatically. On crowded flights, airline personnel are more likely to confiscate offending bags. Some airlines have introduced sizing templates at security checkpoints and departure gate areas to prevent passengers from boarding with oversized bags. Although carry-ons are limited to a maximum of 40 pounds, they are rarely weighed. Purses are exempt on some airlines and counted as carry-ons by others. It's always best to check with the specific carrier for their restrictions.
LOST BAGGAGE--If bags were placed on a wrong flight or were not transported in time, the airlines should deliver it to the passengers at the destination or home as soon as possible. In some cases, airlines will provide a small cash advance to passengers who have to purchase necessities--especially when the delay is excessive, or the luggage is deemed last. (The cash advance would be deducted from the final liability amount.) If the airlines lose your luggage, most will compensate up to $2500.00* maximum (and it does not cover electronic equipment or valuables). Report damaged, delayed, or lost luggage immediately to the airlines. The preliminary notification must be followed by written notification (usually within a period of 21-45 days--depending on the airline). Note: If your luggage is lost on an international trip with a domestic flight in the itinerary, the lower international* compensation will apply.
* Limit raised on ran. 18, 2000 (formerly $1250.00). Note: The liability limit for lost baggage on international journeys is only $9.07 per pound to a maximum of $640.00.
NOTE: In June 2000, Northwest Airlines introduced discounts to travelers whose luggage doesn't arrive on time. The discount is based on a sliding scale, starting at $25 and depending on the price of the passenger's ticket.
PACK UP ALL YOUR CARES AND AVOID ALL THE TROUBLES
Here are some packing tips and details to make your journey and travels go much smoother.
* Before packing, find out if the hotel or accommodations will provide hair dryers, irons, shampoos, soaps, lotions, etc. If they do, don't pack them.
* If you expect to travel often, prepare travel size versions of your cosmetics and toiletries and have them already assembled to pack in your case.
* In traditional suitcases, begin by placing pants, skirts, dresses, blouses, and shirts in the bag. Place them down in the suitcase with the waistbands or collars at the edges, alternating from side-to-side. Fold the sleeves to the inside, smoothing out any wrinkles as you go.
* Roll up t-shirts, undergarments, sleepwear, socks, hose, and sweaters. Place these items snugly in available spaces to help keep the contents from shifting.
* When selecting your clothes, consider carefully the destination, the length of your stay, and your travel activities.
* Choose one basic color and build a wardrobe around it, varying the outfit with a different shirt, blouse, scarf, etc. Never travel with new shoes.
* Make a list of what you're taking. It will speed up packing. Add what you find to have been missing for the next trip. The list will also help you when you're packing for your return so that you don't forget anything.
* Pack a light sweater or jacket, even if you're traveling to warm climates. It may get cool at night or at altitudes.
* Carry all-important documents and items with you. Protect your valuables by using safe carrying methods.
* Don't wear or take expensive jewelry that may get lost or stolen while traveling.
CHECK-IN--Passengers should check-in about ninety minutes prior to departure time for domestic flights. And most airlines have a minimum check-in of 20 minutes, which even applies to passengers with boarding passes. The airlines want to use that 20-minute window to board stand-by or other passengers. NOTE: International flights may require passengers to check in at least 2--3 hours prior.
OVERBOOKING--Airlines try to compensate for no shows or late cancellations by overbooking (taking reservations for more than the number of available seats). When there are more passengers than seats, the airlines first ask for volunteers (voluntary bumping) to take the next available flight. The airlines usually start announcing the type of compensation they are offering (such as $200.00 voucher towards future travel on the airline, or a fine ticket for future travel). If there are no volunteers, passengers will be involuntarily bumped. They will be compensated (depending on the airline) and placed on the next available flight. The payment given is called "denied boarding compensation" and it may include meals, hotels, and free phone calls. Note: If the first class section is oversold and passengers refuse a seat in coach, they will receive the appropriate fare refund but won't be entitled to additional denied boarding compensation.
STRATEGIES FOR GETTING PUMPED! Withy typical payoffs for volunteers of $200 to $400, there are now passengers hoping for the chance to get bumped! Here are some strategies recommended by the pros: Book a flight on a busy travel day (Thursday, Friday, Sunday), during pear travel time (between 3 pm and 7 pm). If you're traveling on a route with frequent departures, asked to be booked on a flight that is nearly full, and make sure that there are several later flights available. When you check in with the ticket or gate agent, tell them you are willing to take a later flight if they need volunteers. Stand near the gate agents' desk to stay on top of developments. If you do volunteer confirm that you will be given a seat on the next flight--don't take standby status. Unless you're prepared to spend the night don't volunteer to be bumped from the last flight of the day or a flight from a remote destination.
FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS--A carrier has no obligations to arrange lodging or make other arrangements for passengers if a flight is canceled due to weather conditions or other circumstances beyond its control. If passengers are indeed "stranded," airlines will often offer free phone calls or they may be able to arrange a hotel. The airline will try to get passengers on the next available flight--even if it is on a different airline. The airlines don't have set rules regarding compensation for delays. They may provide meals, drinks, phone calls, and hotels (depending on the circumstances). Generally a passenger who is delayed more than four hours (due to a mechanical/operational failure) is entitled to a free phone call, a meal, and perhaps accommodations.
TIPS ON DEALING WITH CANCELLED FLIGHTS Avoid booking the last flight to a destination. If you have a choice of connecting cities, avoid making connections in cities where weather is likely to create problems. If your flight gets cancelled, be assertive but polite. The airline agents cannot control the weather. If the lines to talk to ticket/gate agents are long, use a phone instead to call the airline or your travel agent for options. Don't be afraid to ask to be put on other airlines if they have a next available. Most major airlines have interline agreements that allure transferring; (however, make sure that there will be no additional costs).
AIRLINE BANKRUPTCY--If an airline goes bankrupt, sometimes other airlines will accept the passengers' tickets. As a precaution, clients should purchase tickets by credit card, since many credit card companies will protect clients against default.
CHILDREN--The airlines normally classify children as those aged 2 through 11. Children on special fares are not usually given discounts. On normal fares, the child may pay 2/3 of the fare. An unaccompanied child pays full fare, as well as a possible surcharge (usually $30 for nonstop/direct, $60.00 for connection, in addition to the fare). The airlines normally require a child to be at least 5 to travel unaccompanied on direct flights (no change of planes) and at least age 8 for travel on flights involving a change of planes (connections). A child should not be scheduled on the last flight at night. If the child is stranded, the airline may assign a flight attendant to take the child home, but many parents wouldn't want a child to stay with strangers. The airlines will need to know who is dropping off the child and who's picking up the child, plus the contact information at both ends and the relationship of the parties involved. The person seeing the child off should not leave the gate area until the plane is in the air. Seats next to exits can't be reserved for children (for safety reasons). Northwest Airlines requires unaccompanied minors up to age 14 to register in the Unaccompanied Minor Program and pay the accompanying fees ($30.00 for nonstop, $60.00 for connection). On other airlines the registration is mandatory for ages 5 through 11, optional for older children. Children traveling unaccompanied on international flights are required to register but there is usually no surcharge/fee.
UMs--FIVE STRATEGIES FOR CHILDREN TRAVELING UNACCOMPANIED 1. Know whether the child is ready to travel alone. If the child "freaks out" under stress of situations, he/she is probably not ready. 2. Prepare the child for the tension of flying. Talk about what he/she will experience on the plane, visit the airport ahead of time. Make sure the child would be able to use a phone to call home long-distance. Also talk about security and safety measures (not to go with anyone except the designated flight attendant, etc.). 3. If a choice is available, book nonstop flights and small friendly airports. 4. Pack comfort items such as favorite toys, games, books, and snacks. 5. Request a child's meal for the flights. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
INFANTS--Children under the age of 2 are classified as infants and on domestic flights they travel free (on the lap of an adult). On international flights an infant must have a ticket and it's usually 10% of the adult's fare. The airlines usually allow the adults with infants to use a seat during the flight (if there are available seats), The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is reviewing the possibility of using safety seats--which might mean charges for infants traveling.
HANDICAPPED PASSENGERS--Air travel for special need passengers has become easier since the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990. Extensive training programs by the airlines have helped ensure travelers with disabilities are handled appropriately. Airlines must be advised of a passenger's condition and needs. Seats next to exits cannot be reserved for either handicapped persons or children (for safety reasons). Airlines can refuse passengers who are considered a health threat or those who are intoxicated and disorderly (see "REFUSAL TO TRANSPORT" details).
REFUSAL TO TRANSPORT--The airlines will refuse to transport and will remove at any point a passenger in the following circumstances: passenger refuses to permit a security search, refuses to present positive identification when requested, passenger whose conduct is disorderly, abusive, or violent. The airlines will also deny transportation to those passengers whose health would be threatened by the air travel. Women in their ninth month of pregnancy may be ineligible for travel.
SMOKING--Smoking is not permitted on any domestic flight that lasts less than six hours. Northwest, Delta and a few other airlines have banned smoking on all flights.
DIETS--Provided advance notice is given, airlines will normally supply special diets at no extra cost to the passenger. Here are some of the codes used for special meal requests:
LFML--Low Cholesterol Meal
NSML--No Salt Meal
INFLIGHT SERVICES--Inflight services on the airlines include drinks and perhaps a snack or meal. Some planes are equipped with phones on the back of seats for passengers to use. Some airlines have discontinued meals on flights less than two hours. Policies vary, making it important for passengers to find out ahead of time if any meal service will be provided. In most cases, breakfast is only provided on flights that depart before 8:30 am, lunch on flights that leave between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm, and dinner on flights between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm. The cutbacks come as major carriers are struggling to compete with the low-cost airlines that limit on-board sustenance to peanuts or pretzels no matter how long the flight.
PASSENGER PERSONAL LIABILITY--The 1929 Warsaw Convention Treaty limits the liability of the airlines for injuries/deaths of passengers traveling on INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS (or on domestic flights involved in an international itinerary). Liability is limited to $75,000 maximum on some airlines. Several U.S. carriers and some foreign carriers have increased the liability to $139,000. More protection can be obtained by purchasing insurance from private companies. There is no liability limit on DOMESTIC flights.
INSURANCE--Travel agencies usually sell flight, baggage, medical/sickness, and trip cancellation insurance.
NON-REFUNDABLE TICKETS--The lowest fares often involve non-refundable tickets. The charge for changing a non-refundable ticket is usually $75.00.
LOST TICKETS--If clients lose the tickets, a "Lost or Stolen Ticket" report is completed. Replacement tickets are provided by the airline, and they may be unavailable if the stolen ticket is used. The charge is usually $75.00 for replacing lost/stolen tickets. If clients travel before the airlines have completed the report process, new tickets have to be purchased in the meanwhile. On non-refundable tickets, sometimes a credit for a future flight is given--not a refund.
SECURITY--In addition to X-ray devices for passengers and bags, passengers are normally asked at check-in to show a photo I.D. and if anyone has given them anything to carry and if they have ever left the bags unattended, Bags left unattended may be confiscated by security personnel.
RECONFIRMATION--Domestic reservations should be reconfirmed at least 24 hours prior in case of schedule changes.
WAITLISTING--If seats are unavailable on a flight, passengers can be put on a "waiting list" for cancellations. Travel agencies can have clients put on a priority list--especially when only one of a series of flights is unavailable. If the waitlisted flight becomes available, the passenger is contacted and decides whether to accept it and cancel any alternative flight that was confirmed. Waitlisting is not allowed on many discount fares. Generally, the airlines permit up to three flights waitlisted. Passengers should not be booked on duplicate reservations.
FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAMS--The airlines have found that one of the most effective ways of maintaining client loyalty is through frequent flyer programs. As passengers accumulate mileage on an airline, they earn benefits such as upgrades to first class, reduced fares or free tickets. Clients usually sign up/enroll prior to travel and the frequent flyer program/membership number is entered into the reservation record. The airlines send statements to the frequent flyers, along with updates, redemption procedures, the award levels and qualifications. Passengers wanting to "redeem" miles must allow flexibility and advance notice for processing by the specific airline frequent flyer operations office. The Official Frequent Flyer Guidebook by Randy Petersen provides a detailed analysis of frequent flyer programs. Inside Fly and Frequent Flyer magazines also provide tips on frequent flyer programs and details. One of the easiest and most fruitful ways to increase your "miles earned" is by using an affinity credit card of the airlines. These airline-affiliated major credit cards (Visa, Master Card) offer miles for purchases. Bonus points or miles are available for all types of goods and services (see the frequent flyer program's updates, newsletters, or magazines for information).
AIRLINE CLUBS--Airline clubs or special lounges available to "club members" are located in major airports. Annual membership fees range from $100 to $200, sometimes with an initiation fee of $25 to $100. Lifetime and spouse memberships are also offered. Quiet areas, comfortable chairs, televisions, fax machines, phones, and meeting facilities are some of the features. Drinks (sometimes complimentary) and snacks are usually available. Below are some airlines and the club names:
AIRLINE AIRLINE CLUB NAME Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge American Admirals Club Continental Presidents Club Delta Crown Room Northwest WorldClubs TWA Ambassadors Club United Red Carpet Club US Airways US Airways Club
PETS--Travel agents may make reservations for pets (usually accompanying the passenger). Airlines will transport the animals in either the passenger cabin or as freight. There is usually a limit of one small pet in the passenger cabin (a first-come, first served basis). Requests for approval should be made when making the reservations. EXCEPTION: "Seeing eye" and "hearing ear" dogs: these dogs are accepted for travel with the passenger in the cabin. Normal pet reservations require the agent to ask:
* What kind of animal (dog, cat, etc.)?
* From where and to what destination?
* Height and weight of the animal?
* Does the animal already have a carrier? (if a carrier is needed, advise the airline)
* Does the animal have the proper inoculation certificates and documents? (most airlines require a certificate of good health from a veterinarian signed within 30 days of the trip).
Advise clients with pets to check-in early. Be sure the pet wears a collar with complete identification and a license tag (a rabies vaccination certificate may be required). Tranquilizers can have adverse effects on animals at high altitudes. Consult with the veterinarian. Take a leash along to walk the pet before check-in and after arrival. However, do not leave the leash with the pet, either inside the kennel or attached to the outside. Pets are required to have food and water within four hours of departure, and food and water dishes should be attached inside kennels. Pets must be transported inside a kennel that meets the Department of Agriculture and airline standards. The kennel must be sturdy, well ventilated and large enough so that the pet can stand up, turn around, and lie down. The name and address of the pet's owner as well as a phone number of a person at the pet's destination should be displayed on the kennel. Check with the airline if you have any questions about the kennel intended for use. Ticket prices for transporting pets in the U.S. range from $30.00 to $90.00, depending on the destination and airlines used. Pet carriers are normally available from the airlines in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes and range in price from $35.00 to $75.00. If unusual needs in pet transportation occur, you can contact Air Animal, 4120 W. Cypress St., Tampa, FL 33607. (813) 879-3210.
PET TRANSPORTATION CHECKLIST
--Ship as baggage or cargo?
--Select flight schedule to minimize distress.
--If there is a change of planes or airlines, will the scheduling accommodate your pet?
--Make advance arrangements with the airline.
PREPARING YOUR ANIMAL
--Is the pet old enough?
--Do you have the proper health certificates?
--Proper kennel for the size of the animal?
--Label the kennel with your name, address, date, telephone number of the person at the destination.
--Label the kennel "LIVE ANIMAL" in letters at least one inch high.
--Clarify the last time food and water were offered before check-in.
--Show the food and water schedule.
--Attach any necessary food.
Transporting pets internationally is much more requiring and there may be quarantine periods involved. Contact the airline for specific details, as well as the consulate or embassy of the country you are visiting.
1. Most airlines allow--checked bags and one carry-on.
2. For most domestic flights, passengers should check-in at least--prior to departure time.
3. The meal code KSML stands for --.
4. Airlines usually classify an infant as a child under the age of --.
5. The service charge for replacing lost or stolen tickets is usually $ --.
6. As classified by the airlines, a child is aged--through --.
7. An unaccompanied child will pay 2/3 of a normal or regular fare. True or False --
8. On domestic flights, if the airlines lose a passenger's luggage, most will compensate to a maximum of $ --.
9. Give a reason why an airline could refuse to transport a passenger. --
10. Name three questions that an agent would ask if making a pet reservation. --
11. Smoking is not permitted on any domestic flight lasting less than -- hours.
12. Delta's Airline Club is called the --.
13. The payment given in a situation of voluntary or involuntary bumping is called --.
14. The usual surcharge airlines assess for unaccompanied children is $50.00 each way. True or False --
15. Usually unaccompanied children must be at least age -- for direct flights and age -- for connections.
16. Name the four types of trips. --
17. What are some of the features of the airline clubs? --
18. If clients are concerned about airline bankruptcy, what should the travel agent advise them to do? --
19. What are some of the measures used by airport and airline security? --
20. The frequent flyer programs are very popular. What do you think are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the programs? --
CHARTERS AND CONSOLIDATORS
Charters are flights booked exclusively by a group. Charters may also be offered to the general public. Charters generally require a contract agreement to be signed by the passenger. Charters are usually offered from major gateway cities, so they aren't convenient or inexpensive if clients are originating in smaller cities. A greater risk may be involved in using a charter versus regularly scheduled airlines. Charter airlines can cancel up to ten days before departure. They are allowed to make schedule changes at the last minute and they can delay flights for up to 48 hours without any mandated compensation. Most charters don't have reciprocal agreements with scheduled airlines, so you can't be put on another carrier. Most charter tickets have no refund value. When booking a charter, use reputable companies and ask for references (past clients or travel agencies), the company history, and association memberships. Check if the departure date is booking well (so there's a goad chance it won't be cancelled). Purchase trip cancellation insurance (if available). Keep in touch with the charter company after reserving space. One advantage of a charter is the low price. Plus, it can give an "exclusive" feeling for a group of people traveling together. The commission to travel agencies may also be higher. There are likewise disadvantages. Charters are offered from certain cities to specific destinations on specific dates. They may make stops enroute. The schedule times may not be convenient. Sometimes the planes have been reconfigured to carry more passengers, thus providing less room and perhaps poor service. The amount of luggage may be restricted and charters may be cancelled if they do not have enough passengers. Large groups or companies can contact suppliers directly or go through a travel agency for chartering flights. Travel agencies can also choose to market their own "tours" with chartered space. Charters can be arranged for flights, tours, cruises, trains, motorcoaches, and other travel itineraries. Here are some charter airline companies:
NORTH AMERICAN AIR
718-656-2650 fax 995-3372
Fleet: 2 B757s, 2B737s
MIAMI AIR INT'L
305-876-3600 fax 871-4222
Fleet: 7 B727-200S
SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES
Fleet: 11 B727-200s, 4 DC10s
Fleet: 8 A320s
Fleet: 5 727-100s
There is a reference called Air Charter Guide, published by Boston Aviation Services, (617) 547-5811, Fax (617) 8685335.www.guides.com/acg You can also contact the regularly scheduled airlines and ask for their charter/group travel departments.
Consolidators are companies that "buy" a block or bulk rate of seats. They have negotiated with the airlines certain inexpensive fares that are then sold directly to the public or through travel agencies. Key points to consider when using consolidators are: (1) Use local consolidators if possible, (2) Ask many questions (how long in business, association memberships, references), (3) Keep a log of transactions to show to airlines when special consideration may be needed, (4) Obtain the specifics in writing to avoid misunderstandings or problems, (5) A suggested mark-up to consolidator fares is 5% less than the lowest excursion fare available, or add about 10% to the fare, (6) Ask about whether frequent flyer miles are available, (7) Check if the tickets can be paid by credit card (there may be a fee for this, but it also offers protection against bankruptcy or cancellation), (8) Find out if seats are preassigned, (9) Ask what fare the ticket shows (if it states "bulk fare" the client may be the first to be "bumped" if the flight is overbooked).
References include: Jax Fax Travel Marketing Magazine, Travel World News, the Index to Air Travel Consolidators, major travel industry magazines, local and national newspapers. Additional information on consolidators is provided in the CHAPTER 10 of this manual, under Final Topics.
Charters are --
Consolidators are --
Here are some terms that you should become familiar with. Read aloud the terms and definitions to increase your memorization of the definitions.
AFFINITY GROUP--A group formed from members or employees of the same association, corporation, company, or similar legal identity with purposes and aims other than travel. The airlines will offer discounts for groups and they offer certain types of discounts for certain types of groups.
AIR TAXI--An aircraft carrying up to 19 passengers and operating with fewer restrictions than scheduled carriers, usually within a 250-mile radius.
ALTITUDE--The height of the aircraft above sea level.
ARC--Airlines Reporting Corporation, An airlines-owned corporation responsible for appointing travel agencies to ticket its member airlines and acting as a clearinghouse for tickets.
ARUNK--Term used for a surface or ground transportation segment. Stands for "arrival unknown."
ATA--Air Transport Association.
ATB--Automated Ticket/Boarding Pass.
BAGGAGE--Luggage; unless specified means both unchecked and checked.
BAGGAGE CHECK--Stub/slip given to the passenger as a receipt for checked luggage. Usually stapled inside the ticket jacket by an airline agent.
BAGGAGE TAG--Item attached by the airline to the luggage for identification.
BASE FARE--Fare without tax.
BLACKOUT DATES--Refers to certain dates or periods when travel on specific fares is not permitted (usually holidays or peak travel times).
BOARDING--Entering the aircraft.
BOOKING CODE--Code/letter used to make reservations. The booking code is usually the first letter of the fare basis (such as B on a BE14NR fare basis). The booking code is also called "class" or just "code."
BUFFER ZONE--Usually refers to the 225-mile area extending north from the U.S. border into Canada and south into Mexico.
BULK FARE--A net fare for a certain number of seats.
BUMPING--When passengers are unable to take a flight due to overbooking.
CAB--Civil Aeronautics Board. Government board dissolve in 1985 and absorbed by the Dept. of Transportation.
CABIN--Interior of the aircraft.
CAPACITY CONTROLLED--The airline limits the number of seats sold at the fare if the fare is said to be capacity controlled. Most special fares (discount and excursion) are capacity controlled.
CHARTER--Aircraft used solely by a group for a specific destination. Charters may also be sold to the public.
CHECKED BAGGAGE--Luggage that has been registered by the airline, for which the airline takes custody and is responsible, and for which a baggage check or claim tag has been issued.
CHILD--Airlines normally classify a child as 2 through 11. On special fares there is usually no discount for children. On normal fares, the child may pay 2/3 of the fare when accompanied by an adult.
CLASS OF SERVICE--Where the passenger sits and type of service passenger receives (F = First Class, Y = Coach Class, C = Business Class). Also used as a booking code for reserving a fare.
CLEARANCE--Clear for landing or takeoff given from control tower.
COCKPIT--Section of the aircraft where pilots and controls are located. Also called flight deck.
CODE-SHARING CARRIER--An airline using the code of another airline in schedule displays, notated by an asterisk * or star *.
COMMERCIAL AIRLINE--An airline that sells its seats publicly.
CONFIGURATION--Diagram of the interior of the aircraft showing the layout of seats, exits, etc.
CONFIRMED--Verification of passengers' reservations.
CONJUNCTION TICKET--Two or more tickets issued to a passenger together constituting a single carriage contract.
CONNECTION--Schedule that requires the passenger to change planes.
CONSOLIDATOR -- Entity that acquires a bulk rate or block of seats to sell at discount prices.
CONTIGUOUS U.S.--All areas of the U.S. except Alaska and Hawaii.
CREW--Those employees that work the aircraft during flight.
CTO--City Ticket Office. Ticket office located outside the airport terminal.
CUSTOMS--U.S. Agency that collects duty or tax on imported goods. DOT--Department of Transportation. The branch of the government that protects the consumer with respect to airline travel.
DENIED BOARDING COMPENSATION--Compensation paid to passengers who are involuntarily bumped from a flight.
DEREGULATION--Elimination of governmental regulation of the airlines (1978 Federal Act), with regard to routes, fares and other specifics.
DIFFERENTIAL--Difference made because of a class of service. For example, a passenger who wanted first class travel from Miami to San Francisco has to travel coach from Miami to Atlanta (no first class available) and then first class from Atlanta to San Francisco. A differential (adjustment) is made to the fare to reflect the difference between the first and coach fares from Miami to Atlanta. Also a term used for currency differences in international fares.
DIRECT FLIGHT--Flight that does not require a change of planes, but which may or may not make stops.
DISCOUNT--Usually means a one-way fare offered in a limited quantity. Also applies for certain types of travelers (senior, bereavement, student, military, etc).
DOMESTIC -Usually means within the contiguous U.S.
ELAPSED TIME--Actual flying time.
EXCURSION FARE--Usually a round trip fare with restrictions such as advance purchase, minimum/maximum stay, etc.
EXTENDED ROUTING SLIP--A form used on manual tickets to allow an entry of more than 13 cities on an itinerary.
EXTRA SECTION--An additional aircraft put on a schedule (usually during holidays).
FAA--Federal Aviation Administration. Responsible for tower personnel, airline and aircraft safety, testing and licensing pilots.
FARE BASIS--FARE CODE--FARE TYPE--The letter/letters or combination of letters and numbers assigned to a specific fare for identification (F, C, BE140NR, etc.).
FLIGHT COUPON--That portion of the passenger ticket detached for the flight between specific cities.
IATAN--International Airlines Travel Agency Network. Also called the Passenger Network Services Corporation (PNSC) in the U.S.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY--Unless otherwise specified means spouse, children, adopted children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, brothers, brothers-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, fathers-in-law, parents, mothers-in-law, and grandparents.
INBOUND--Returning, as in the return portion of a trip.
INFANT--Under 2 years of age travel free (on the lap of adult). There may be a fee charged when airlines begin having "infant seats" to secure the baby in flight.
INTERLINE AGREEMENT--Agreement between airlines that allows baggage to be transferred and different airlines to be used on the same ticket.
INTERLINE CONNECTION--See OFFLINE CONNECTION.
JOINT FARE--Fare that applies for an offline or interline connection (using more than one airline from origin to destination).
LAYOVER--Time and place where a passenger on a connection changes planes.
LOCAL FARE--Fare for direct flight or the equivalent to an online fare; a fare that applies for transportation on a single carrier.
MCO--MISCELLANEOUS CHARGES ORDER--A form used for the payments of deposits or other travel arrangements that is processed through the ARC.
MILITARY PASSENGER--Military personnel who are on active duty or have been discharged within seven days of the date of travel.
MINIMUM CONNECTING TIME--Legal time required to change planes.
MISCELLANEOUS CHARGES ORDER- See MCO.
NON-STOP--Flight from origin to destination without stop.
NORMAL FARE--The regular fare, not having restrictions, such as year round first class fares, business class fares, etc.
OFFLINE/INTERLINE CONNECTION--Changing planes as well as airlines.
ONLINE CONNECTION--Changing planes on the same airline.
OUTBOUND--The departing portion of a trip, from origin to first stopover.
OVERBOOKING--Situation occurring when airlines confirm reservations for more passengers than available seats.
PREPAID TICKET ADVICE--See PTA.
PTA--PREPAID TICKET ADVICE--Used when a person wants to pay for a ticket that will be issued in another city. It can be used in the same city if the departure is within 24 hours. Mainly used in emergencies because there is a charge of $35-$75 for this service.
REGULAR FARE--Fare without restrictions, usually meaning regular coach or first class fares; also called NORMAL FARE.
REISSUE--To issue a new ticket because of changes.
REROUTE--To issue a new ticket covering transportation to the same destination but using different cities.
ROUTING--Tells what cities and airlines have to be used for a fare.
SEGMENT--Part of a trip; also called a leg or portion.
SPECIAL FARE--Other than a normal fare and usually having restrictions, such as advance purchase and a limited number of seats.
STANDBY PASSENGER--Refers to passengers who are either: (1) holding tickets on reduced standby fares that do not allow them to make reservations or, (2) on a waiting list seeking an available seat.
STOPOVER--A deliberate interruption of an itinerary, agreed to in advance. More than four hours in a city constitutes a stopover unless: (1) no other flight is available, (2) no other flight is available on the airline choice of the passenger, (3) no other flight is available to the airport choice of the passenger or, (4) there is a later flight that arrives earlier.
SURFACE--When ground transportation is being used (no flight): also called an arunk segment.
TARIFF--List or book or fares filed or published by the airlines.
THROUGH FARE--Fare for travel from point of origin to point of destination; applies to an online connection.
TRANSIT POINT--Any stop or intermediate point on the route traveled; whether it be to change planes or just a stop.
UNACCOMPANIED MINOR--Child over age 5 allowed to travel unaccompanied (without an adult) on direct flights. Since they are traveling alone, adult fares are charged. Some airlines require age 8 for connections. There may be a surcharge assessed by the airline.
UNCHECKED BAGGAGE--Articles the passenger will hand carry and which must fit under the passenger's seat or in the overhead compartment. Limits apply to the number/nature/size of carry-on articles, excluding personal items such as a purse or raincoat.
VALIDATION--The imprinting of a document; domestic airline tickets are usually validated on the first carrier.
WAITLIST--List established by the airlines when there are no more readily available spaces on a flight and containing names waiting for cancellations.
Provide definitions for the terms below:
1. STOPOVER --
2. MINIMUM CONNECTING TIME --
3. CONSOLIDATOR --
4. DIFFERENTIAL --
5. ONLINE CONNECTION --
6. STANDBY PASSENGER --
7. OUTBOUND --
8. TRANSIT POINT --
9. CHARTER --
10. PTA stands for -- and is used when --
11. MILITARY PASSENGER --
12. FLIGHT COUPON --
13. BOOKING CODE --
14. BLACKOUT DATES --
15. CONJUNCTION TICKET --
16. CONFIGURATION --
17. ELAPSED TIME --
18. EXTRA SECTION --
19. DOT stands for --
20. FAA stands for --
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|Publication:||Domestic Travel & Ticketing|
|Article Type:||Work overview|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2000|
|Next Article:||Chapter 2: The OAG * Desktop Flight Guide--North American Edition.|