Itinerary means a list of places, routes, and transportation, etc. of a trip. In brief, it is a tour program. This word is derived from the Latin word ‘Itinerarium.’ In the Roman Empire, a ticket or coupon was issued to the Roman citizens who wanted to use particular highways. In that ticket, all places were mentioned where the travelers were willing to travel. Today, in tourism, we use the term itinerary, which is a tour program. In this, the place of origin, destinations, places of sight seen or programs at the destination, mode of transportation, etc. are mentioned.
The itinerary is an essential part of a tour package. Whenever a tour package is constructed, it needs a well-planned itinerary, which can attract the potential customer. Thus, an itinerary formulation needs proper market research, good knowledge of destinations, nature of routes, types of transportation, and above all, the psychology and need of customers. A tour package is a product, which is offered to the customers, so its essential qualification is its nature of satisfaction. If it satisfies the customer, then it is a right or successful package. If not, then it will be a flop case, which will ultimately affect the business of tour operators or travel agencies. Thus, the itinerary should be made in light of the customer’s need and satisfaction.
- Airline Itinerary Preparation
Any itinerary preparation needs a detailed survey of customers, destinations, attractions, services, etc. At first, one should know about the market, i.e., the profile of customers in terms of the age group, sex, literacy level, income level, and purpose of the journey, it determines the length of stay at the destination. It is crucial to know the tourist profile. Some tour packages are readymade, i.e., they suit to a broader group of customers, which is generally published in newspapers. Some tour packages are tailor-made, which are made at the request of the customer.
Next important thing is to know about the destinations, their distances, types of linkages (e.g., roads, railways, water or airways), types of accommodations available, main attractions of the places, time to see those attractions, season and climate of the area, law and administration situation, etc. This information can be found by electro-print media or by the first-hand visit.
A tour operator combines all attractions and services then presents to customers on a fixed or bargained price. This price depends on the policy of the tour operator. If a customer finds the package attractive on the proposed rate, then he purchases. A tour package is a prepaid product, there is no testing before purchase as in the case of ordinary product, so there is a chance of high risk to the customer. He pays the amount before the actual trip. That trip can be above or below his level of expectations that results in his satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
So, a tour operator should have a good knowledge of tourist products, well conversant with customers’ needs and psychology. He can make a popular package, and he will be successful in the business.
An airline itinerary is also similar to other tourist products,s which includes several destinations and attractions. In an airline itinerary, there are several parts of the journey known as segments, e.g., a person wants to visit Delhi-Paris-London-New York-Delhi. Each portion of this itinerary is referred to as a segment. In this itinerary, Delhi-New York is known as the outbound segment, and New York-Delhi is known as an inbound segment. If a portion is traveled by air, then it is known as an air segment, and if it is visited by surface, then it is known as a surface segment.
The first city or airport in the air segment is known as a board point or departure point (e.g., Delhi). The second city or airport is known as off point or arrival point, e.g., Paris & other cities, including Delhi. If the journey terminates the same place of origin, e.g., Delhi, in this case, then it is known as a round trip or circle trip. If this case would have finished at Mumbai (i.e., it was not a complete journey, though lying in the same region), then it will be known as ‘open jaw’ journey. If this journey ends Delhi via Tokyo, then it will make a round trip of the whole world, then it will be known as ‘Round the world trip.’
In this way, there can be the following types of the journey by air:-
- One way (OW)
- Round Trip (RT)
- Circular Trip (CT)
- Round the World Trip (RTW)
- Open Jaw (OJ)
However, the case may be complicated when we find that the same flight does not serve all places, and then we have to find out solutions with the help of flight connections.
Reference: “D.D.E.K.U.K” content is written by “Prof Ravi Kumar Bhushan” D.T.H.M, KUK