understanding key terms in the travel industry

the travel industry is a vast and complex network of businesses and services, all working together to provide seamless and enjoyable travel experiences. For those new to the travel industry, the array of terms like booking, ticketing and PNR can seem overwhelming. Especially in the international rail sector, where travelers, public stakeholders and private companies share the playing field and infrastructure. Getting to know all that terminology is like learning a new language. But no worries, in this article, we will teach you how to speak ‘Travel’ fluently in no time.


Understanding the leading players in rail travel is just the beginning. Let’s dive into PNR, for example. The Passenger Name Record, or PNR, is a unique code that links to the carrier’s inventory containing the itinerary of a passenger or a group of passengers travelling together. It’s found on the ticket and is a reference for any post-booking inquiries at the carrier. In other words, if a traveller wants to know their train timetable or wants to check if a delay qualifies for reimbursement, they need to know their PNR. Rail carriers also use it to exchange information if travellers require boarding trains of different carriers to reach their destination.


A Dossier Naming Record is a unique code that links to a dossier in a distributor’s distribution or sales system. It’s found on the ticket delivered by the distributor and serves as a reference for any post-booking inquiries at the distributor.

A DNR can contain multiple PNRs of different carriers and covers a journey for the traveller where the PNR can cover maybe a part of their journey.

booking and ticketing

Do you know the difference between booking and ticketing? Booking secures the fare with the price for the train, and if a reservation is made, it even secures a specific seat. Ticketing, conversely, signifies that everything is paid for, and the passenger has the right to travel, with the ticket bearing the passenger’s name and PNR sent via email.


Lastly, you must know what a segment is. You might think that a segment is just a one-way trip, but that’s not always the case. For instance, a trip from Brussels to Barcelona is considered to have two segments because it requires a change of trains in Paris. And if you travel together with a friend, that makes four segments.

The travel industry’s unique terms and abbreviations can perplex those just starting. However, with this comprehensive glossary, you’re now well-equipped to understand the key concepts and confidently navigate the industry.

Good luck!