Amenity Kit – The small toiletry packs most airlines offer International Business and First Class passengers.
American Express Membership Rewards – the name of Amex points
Advanced Passenger Duty or APD: APD is an excise departure tax charged by the UK government for flights leaving the UK. Airlines include it in the ticket price and then pass that money on to the government. While a departure tax isn’t unique to the UK, it is the largest short-haul departure tax in Europe and the largest long-haul tax in the world. It is why airline tickets leaving the UK cost more than many other countries. It is not levied on children under 16 flying in economy.
AvGeek: Aka an aviation geek. A person (typically a single white man) who is very interested or obsessed with aeroplanes and aviation including points and miles. Their goal with points and miles is usually to fly particular type of planes rather than for the travel itself. They dominate the points and miles forums, Youtube and websites.
Award availability: The number of available seats an airline has on a specific flight that you can purchase with Airmiles.
Award redemption: Spending (redeeming) your points or miles to pay for a flight or hotel room.
Base fare: Your airline ticket cost before taxes and fees.
Blackout dates: Certain days during high-traffic seasons and holidays when airline and hotel-award travel is restricted or not available. Introduced in 1989, blackout dates help protect travel dates when the airlines have the most revenue to gain.
Burning: A nickname for spending points and miles. ie Churning and burning or earning and burning.
Churning: A term used to describe opening a credit card for the miles bonus, then closing it and opening a new one. Banks and credit card issuers have caught on to this and put a stop to it. It ranges from illegal to frowned upon. It is typically a US concept because there are more credit card issuers.
Club Europe: Short-haul Business Class for British Airways
Devaluation: One of the top reasons experts give not to hoard points and miles. When an airline or hotel raises the prices of award redemptions or makes it more difficult to make award redemptions, the points and miles you currently hold are worth less than before (aka devalued).
Economy Classic – Virgin Atlantic’s most basic Economy section
Economy Delight – Virgin Atlantic’s Economy section with slightly nicer seats but still in the same Economy cabin.
Euro Traveller – British Airways’ short-haul economy section.
Fare class: Airlines name your ticket based on the cabin you fly in (economy, premium economy, business or first class) and then further divide it based on a letter code (such as Y for full fare economy, J for full-fare business, F for first). The fare class is often tied to what you paid. It’s important because it can affect whether you can get an upgrade and many Avgeek forums refer to the classes in this way.
First Class: the smallest cabin on larger planes and an exclusive experience on a long haul flight with lay flatbeds and are only available on certain aeroplanes. Usually, it has six to eight seats in the whole cabin and can feel like flying on a private plane. On British Airways, some of their planes still have a First cabin. Some airlines (like Emirates) have entire Suites for First Class. It’s best to only pay for First Class with points and miles.
IFE: In-Flight Entertainment or what the airline provides on the back of your seat.
Jumbo jets: In most cases, what you fly long haul and the largest commercial aircraft.
OTA: Short for “online travel agency.” It’s a third-party website that sells flights, hotels or car rentals. Examples are Hotels.com and Expedia – sometimes, particularly with hotels, it means you can miss out on earning points if you book through them.
Premium – Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Economy
Premium Economy – A separate section between Economy and Business in a long haul flight that has a slightly larger seat and legroom and some additional amenities (like an amenity kit) but not a lay flatbed. Usually uses Economy section’s bathrooms and is a smaller cabin than Economy or Business.
SSSS: Secondary Security Screening Selection. When you see these dreaded letters on your boarding pass, it means another round of security screening.
Status: The perks you get with a particular airline, hotel or loyalty programme by meeting their criteria. Sometimes status can be bought or as a bonus by holding a higher fee credit card. It helps with points and miles because it increases your earning rate. We will not thoroughly cover status on this course.
Transferrable points: Transferable points do not belong to a particular airline or hotel loyalty programme, in the UK, the top example is American Express points but could also be Tesco Club Card points. You can transfer these flexible points to other programmes. Also called flexible points.
Transfer rate: Transfer rate or ratio is the rate at which you move your points from one programme to another. For example, when you move points from Amex to Hilton in the UK, it is usually at 2 Amex Points become 4 Hilton Honors Points. Sometimes programmes give a bonus, Amex in November 2020 increased their transfer rate so that 2 Amex Points transfers to 5 Hilton Honors Points.
Travel hacking: Using points and miles to spend less on travel than you would if paying cash. An American term that you’re “hacking” or getting around the travel and credit card system. May or may not include churning (see above) based on the person using the term.
Upper Class: The name of Virgin Atlantic’s highest cabin of service, their Business Class
World Traveller: British Airways’ long haul Economy cabin
World Traveller Plus: British Airways’ long haul Premium Economy cabin