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Bookings, Segments, PAX, PBs, Tickets and PNR
  • A Segment is the operation of a flight with a single flight designator (flight number) between the point where passengers first board an aircraft and their final destination.
  • A Leg is a trip of an aircraft from one airport to another. Short flights are 1 leg. Long-haul may have 2 or more legs. The rough rule of thumb is that segments are what you buy, Legs are what you fly.
  • Passenger Boarded (PBs) - is a segment flown by a passenger. So PB is the same as a segment, but excludes cancellations or no-shows. There are exceptions (see below)
  • PAX - for airlines it is an abbreviation for a Passenger. In hotels it refers to a Person or occupant.
  • PNR - Passenger Name Record. It is a virtual container which can include a selection of flights, car rental bookings, hotel bookings, train journeys and other parts related to a passenger journey.
  • Booking - This can have different meanings. It can be the same as a PNR. Not necessarily ticketed. It can mean a passenger booked on a segment.
  • Ticket - is the same as a PNR or Booking but it is actually ticketed. In a ticketed airline, the ticket is the thing you buy that enables you to fly. Tickets are needed to exchange information between carriers in an interline or codeshare PNR.
  • Coupons - There may be coupons within a ticket. Coupon eventually corresponds with a boarding pass. Often a leg per coupon, but, in the case of a through-passenger the coupon is for the segment.
  • Ticketless In ticketless systems, the PNR is considered to behave as a ticket. That does mean, however that the PNR may go through status changes depending on when it was ticketed and other factors.
Simple Examples
  • A one-way flight without a stop (eg. LHR-CDG) for one person is
    1 Segment
    1 Leg
    1 PB
    1 PAX
    1 PNR
    1 Booking

  • A return flight for 1 person on this route LHR - CDG > CDG - LHR booked on 1 ticket.
    2 Segments
    2 PBs
    1 PAX
    1 PNR
    1 Booking

  • A return flight for 2 people on this route LHR - CDG > CDG - LHR booked on 1 ticket.
    4 Segments
    4 PBs
    2 PAX
    1 PNR
    1 Booking
Complex Examples
  • It is not always obvious how many segments, and thus PBs are counted in a journey.
  • Example 1
    British Airways flight BA0015 is London to Sydney. It is one flight number all the way but it does stop to refuel in Singapore. So a passenger travelling LHR-SYD on BA0015 is one segment.
    However if you fly LHR-SIN on BA11 and then SIN-SYD on BA0015, this accounts for two segments.
    Whether a route like this is one or two PBs depends on what happens at the refuelling point. If the passengers have to deplane and then re-enplane during the refuelling it may be two PBs on the one segment. If the refuelling were unexpected, then it would just be one PB. Depending on the system, it could be viewed as 1 leg or 2.

  • Example 2
    A Southwest Airlines customer buys a ticket HOU - MCI, but the plane does HOU - DAL - MCI, This is 1 segment but with 2 legs. Since SWA does not force passengers to deplane at the intermediate point, it is just one PB. Southwest manages the through-passengers by counting the people in the cabin at the stopping point. (they call it the through count).

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