HUACA? HOOU? Resources that Solve the Travel Jargon Language Barrier


Has anyone ever given you the advice to HUACA or have you ever received a HOOU certificate? Perhaps someone suggested YMMV or that you should consider a “mattress run”.  Acronyms, slang, industry- specific terminology and related travel jargon can be confusing.  However, just like any other language on the planet, a little curiosity and an easy translation guide can motivate you to quickly understand what’s attempting to be communicated.  Here is a collection of great resources for translating it all.

Getting Started

A good place to start to improve your travel jargon vocabulary is this glossary from Their glossary list is concise and easy to access. It’s not all encompassing but has enough unique travel terms to expand your existing knowledge if you’re a beginner.

The Jackpot Glossary for Flight-Related Terminology!

Ever wanted to be a flight attendant or at least be able to understand one? Not only can you access these flight attendant training modules, you can print out flash cards and study the terminology until you’re fluent. You’ll find summaries from United Airlines, Delta, Air France, and many other airlines’ flight training manuals. There are plenty of sample tests to evaluate your knowledge including a flight attendant quiz on 236 airport codes. This is the jackpot glossary for all on-board flight terminology.

For Aviation Geeks

A nice reference list of air travel terminology can be found on AirOdyssey.Net . But if you want to go all out and challenge your aviation knowledge, you have to check out and its thousands of flashcards on aviation topics. You’ll find study modules such as the aviation alphabet, aircraft landing gear systems, general airline terminology, how to explain fare basis codes, and the flight attendant checklist. There are so many topics to learn about and test your aviation language knowledge that I’m afraid you may not sleep much after visiting this site. Another site I suggest is for its Aviator’s Slang Glossary.

The Mother of all Glossaries for Travel Hackers and Wannabe Travel Hackers

By far, the best travel speak glossary out there is on It is a comprehensive community effort and covers every term you could possible want to decipher and many you’ve never heard of. Before you know it, you’ll be quoting stories of Pudding Guy, telling everyone about your mileage running plans and how you plan to use your SWUs to travel in style. It’s all there plus so much more.

Credit Card Terminology – Essential Information

Since credit cards can be a key component to earning points and miles for affordable travel, you’ll be served well to learn credit card terminology. Two glossaries stand out when it comes to learning basic and advanced credit card terminology. A basic glossary of credit card terminology can be found on the NASDAQ site. For an advanced list of credit card terminology created for merchants, access this comprehensive glossary.

The Best Travel and Tourism Glossaries

For a complete guide to terms used in the travel industry, access The Travel Industry Dictionary. It’s so complete that even Jet Blue has a link to it on their blog web site. Many companies supporting the travel industry also offer glossaries on their sites. 3P is one of these companies offering a very comprehensive dictionary of travel industry terms.

In case you weren’t able to take the time to reference the glossaries, HUACA refers to “hang up and call again”. It’s frequently used when a service representative gives you a questionable answer or cannot complete a request to your satisfaction and you know a better solution is possible. HOOU is a drink certificate issued by Delta Airlines and refers to “have one on us”.  YMMV or “your mileage may vary” is a common term used to let you know that the result I got may not be the same result you get. A “mattress run” refers to booking a hotel for the purpose of securing points, free nights, or other hotel loyalty program perk.

No need to be left in the dark when it comes to travel jargon, slang, and acronyms, the answers can easily be found in these online glossaries.



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