What does a certain travel-related term mean or what's the proper name for something you can describe?

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28
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6answers
18k views

What's the difference between embassies and consulates?

Today Mitt Romney called Benghazi the capital of Libya (it's Tripoli) and apparently mixed up consulates and embassies. I thought it'd be a handy question to have on here, for those sorting out visas ...
21
votes
3answers
13k views

What does “SSSS” on my boarding pass mean?

When I checked in for my American Airlines flight from Costa Rica back to the States, I noticed that my boarding pass had "SSSS" printed across the top left corner. Nobody else in my party had this ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the name for the “blocking” stickers used on car headlights?

I'll be driving my car from Belgium to the UK, with plans to then drive around the country. Like most cars in the European mainland, my car's headlights/headlamps are slightly adjusted to the right ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the difference between “Country of Issue” and “Country of Citizenship” of a passport?

On multiple occasions I have seen forms where it needs to be stated what the Country of Issue and what the Country of Citizenship is. What is the difference between the two, if your passport is issued ...
17
votes
1answer
4k views

How does “Fuel Dumping” work?

Recently, I saw a lot of blog post, forum posts etc on Fuel Dumping. For me it seemed like you can book a flight with high fuel charges, and then add another unrelated leg to the flight that you not ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “MO” mean after the name of a US city?

There are some places in US, that contain "MO" in their names. For example, Columbia, MO; Kirkwood, MO; Saint Louis, MO. So, what does MO mean?
14
votes
4answers
7k views

In the context of air travel, are layovers different to stopovers?

In a recent question somebody asked about a layover without mentioning how long the stop would be, thus implying it might perhaps be understood whether layover generally refers to a stop not requiring ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

What does a technical stop mean in air travel?

When I look at my flight itinerary, it says that the flight includes a technical stop. What does that mean compared to a layover?
13
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the difference between a direct and a non-stop flight?

In a comment to one of my question, a user mentioned that there is a difference between a direct and a non-stop flight. So what is this difference?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is there a 'secret carrier' option for a flight?

When searching for a flight on kayak.com (not for me, I don't fly business), it shows a "Secret Carrier" option. What gives? Why are they unable to tell us even the code-share partner? What if you ...
13
votes
1answer
315 views

What are the “short names” sometimes used by flight attendants?

What are the weird names flight attendants use sometimes, which seem to mix numbers and letters? Edit: The original question was Why do some flight attendants have “call signs”?, but MeNoTalk's ...
13
votes
2answers
700 views

What is Rule 240 in Air Travel?

This morning I was a little bit surfing on travel blog sites, and then I read this hint: Know about Rule 240. If your flight is delayed or you get bumped from a flight, ask the ticketing agent ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Does the term “middle east” cover a certain set of countries? Could I be misunderstood when using it?

This, to me strange, topic has come up a few times lately, usually about Iran not being a middle eastern country. In fact it just came up in the chat room but pretty regularly when chatting to people ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “early bird rate” mean in hotel reservations?

Maybe it's too obvious, but I'm not a native English speaker.
12
votes
2answers
231 views

What exactly are the differences between a National Park and a National Forest?

In the United States, most big national parks are surrounded by national forests. I know that you can do "dispersed camping" in the National Forest, but not the National Park, but other than that, ...
12
votes
2answers
13k views

What does “copy of itinerary” mean when applying for a Schengen visa?

The Italian consulate website says under requirements for a Schengen visa: Applicants for short term visas (up to 90 days) must also present an itinerary of their trip. What does this ...
11
votes
2answers
875 views

Which countries are “Muslim countries”?

In the question about drinking beer in Dubai it arose that the term "Muslim country" can be seen as one where the laws of the country are affected by the rules of the religion (like Dubai), whereas ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What is overbooking (of flights), and why do airlines all seem to do it?

I know that they want to "fill every seat." If you take this LITERALLY, then you'd want to overbook, because of the statistical percentage of "no shows." That, of course, leads to "bumping" when more ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What does it mean when a flight is delayed due to a “tail swap”, if anything?

My flight was delayed due to a "tail swap" at the destination airport (the airport I will be flying into). Does that mean anything specific? If so, what is it?
11
votes
1answer
407 views

Why does an airline include “seamen” in its list of special requests?

I was trying to book my ticket on-line with PIA when under the special request section I saw the request for a "seaman". What would be your best guess as to what this service entails? This site ...
11
votes
1answer
159 views

What does Flight Pending Government Approval mean?

When searching on Orbitz for round-trip flights, I see a number of results with this note highlighted in yellow when expanding Flight Details: "This flight is pending government approval." What does ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Is Vatican City considered a country?

I have a life-long goal of seeing at least 50 countries before I die. I'm behind but I figure I would see most of them over the next 20 years as I get closer to retirement and make my fortune. :-) ...
10
votes
2answers
759 views

In Japan, what is a “Philippine pub”?

In Japan, what is a "Philippine pub" (フィリピンパブ)? I tried googling for "Philippine pub Japan", but didn't have much luck. The Japanese edition of Wikipedia has a description, but Google Translate ...
10
votes
3answers
292 views

What's the travel insurance definition of a war zone?

Some travel insurance companies have clauses stating that they won't insure travel to a war zone. What's their definition of this? The best I could find was Wiki's list of ongoing military ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between customs and immigration?

Maybe this is a question that should be asked at english.se in stead. I am just wondering if you can talk about "going through customs", when referring to all processes involved in ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

What exactly is a “No Objection Certificate” (NOC)?

In researching a potential trip in Pakistan on Wikivoyage I came across this term which is not well explained: The visitor should be aware of the ever changing rules regarding sensitive areas and ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What exactly is a open-jaw flight?

Recently, I was looking for a flight from A to B and then a flight back from C to A. Using my English dictionary, I found that this is called an open-jaw flight. However, several native English ...
8
votes
2answers
469 views

What is “cattle call seating policy”?

In a Facebook thread about Amtrak trains I saw a user comment complaining about Amtraks cattle call seating policy. What is this?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What's a “trip kitty”?

On some organized tour operator's sites, I see tour prices listed with a +amount labelled as "kitty" or "trip kitty" like this one. What is a "trip kitty"?
7
votes
2answers
360 views

Is there a official classification for turbulence?

This winter I was on a flight in Europe during a huge winter storm. That's why the pilot announced for the flight that we will have some medium turbulence during the flight. However, it wasn't really ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Miles & More: What is a booking class?

I'm member of the frequent flyer program Miles & More. Now I wanted to request additional miles for a flight during summer 2011 when I wasn't yet a member. To fill out the online form, I have to ...
7
votes
3answers
253 views

What is usually an American breakfast outside of the US?

A number of hotels outside of the US offer something they call an American Breakfast. What does that usually include in terms of food and beverage? I have seen this choice offered in a few countries ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What is ticket reconfirmation and why does it exist?

I have never personally had to reconfirm the ticket, but have read that in some case you can lose a place on a flight, even if you paid for it! Where does the idea of ticket reconfirmation comes ...
7
votes
2answers
387 views

What is a global number?

If you look at GoSim's rates (or the rates of other international sim cards), you can see that it has both a US and a global number. What is a global number? Is it the number you dial internationally ...
7
votes
3answers
946 views

Why does my boarding pass read “APIS OK”

I flew from Turkey to France on a direct flight. When I checked in, I saw the boarding pass given to me read "APIS OK". I thought APIS was a program of US immigration, mostly for passengers to the ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

What's a “Redress Control Number”?

When booking a flight reservation recently, I noted it had a non-compulsory field asking for a Redress Control Number for your reservation. I gather this is somewhat related to the No Fly list, but ...
7
votes
1answer
64 views

What is a Toronto Traffic Commission code 299 or 506?

I heard this on the TTC (Toronto's subway system) public address system: "506 Eglinton." What is this about? Any enlightened folks out there, who may have an answer?
7
votes
1answer
321 views

What's “border surfing”?

In the comments of a recent answer, which had mentioned the detention of hikers by Iran, one of the people referred to "border surfing". What is border surfing? Edit: I'd rather not have to link to ...
6
votes
1answer
269 views

How is a hightop different to a camper van?

I just wanna hire a campervan to travel from Sydney to Cairns. I have had a look at a hire company and they have a lot of campervans but I don't know what the difference is between high tops and ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

What is an open ticket?

When speaking of an airline ticket, I have heard the term open ticket which has to do with dates not being fixed I believe. What exactly is an open ticket? How do you get an actual flight from one? ...
6
votes
1answer
337 views

What is the meaning of “Marine Fares” regarding airline baggage?

The terms of an airline company regarding their checked baggage rules refers to two concepts: Piece and weight. A section of the "weight" concept mentions "Marine Fares of Economy Class". What does ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Where to find out more about “ライダーハウス” / “riders' houses” in Japan?

I just learned of a very interesting kind of minimal budget accommodation in Japan principally for people on bicycle and perhaps motorbike tours called "ライダーハウス" - "riders' houses". There is an ...
6
votes
1answer
183 views

What are transit visas?

What is the purpose of a transit visa, under what circumstances is is it required, and what happens when an individual arrives at an airport without one?
6
votes
1answer
3k views

STATI Schengen : What does it mean

I am going to Europe for my honeymoon. My entry and exit is from Rome. My Visa says Stati Schengen, Type C. I understand Type C is for short term travel. Can anyone help me understand Stati means ? ...
6
votes
1answer
348 views

What is an “Approval Letter”, and how do I get one?

I was doing a bit of reading up on how to get a visa on arrival for Vietnam, and several sources mention that I need to get an "Approval Letter" to pick up my visa at the airport. What is an ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

For countries that issue e-visas, do any also take up a full page of your passport when you arrive?

Even though I travel a lot I've never had an e-visa. I just found out at least some countries that issue e-visas do not then attach a full page version of the visa into your passport when you arrive. ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Traveling by train over night in Poland, what's the difference between a 6 person couchete and a 6 person cheap couchete?

I am planning a trip in Polish rail. While doing some simulations to find out the best option I was presented with an overnight train that has the following options besides others: 6 persons couchete ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

Is there a website for figuring out who secret carriers / super saver fares are with?

I've seen both on onetravel and kayak now, where it describes flights as: "Secret Carrier" or "Super saver fare" eg: Seven months ago, I asked on this site what that meant, as it was new to me. ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the fuel surcharge?

Reading on the web about the "Fuel Dumping" trick made me aware of the fuel surcharge, one of several possible charges being added to the base price of a flight. In order to understand the trick ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

In Aviation terms, what is a Ground Stop?

This week Boston Logan Airport had a Ground Stop issued, and with the network outages across America, some airlines had them too. What is one?