What is PNR: Passenger Name Record Explained in Details

PNR meaning and lifecycle

Flight booking steps and key systems involved.
PNR as a part of the flight booking process.
Amadeus vs Travelport vs Sabre: explaining main global distribution systems.
The first PNR generated by Amadeus, January 7, 1992 for “Wolfgang Amadeus”. Source: Amadeus for Developers

Booking reference or what is PNR number

Receipt for booking confirmation where 01FH53 is the record locator or PNR number. Source: Bank Info Security.

Why airlines need Super PNRs

Super PNR connects all parts of the multi-leg trip.

Passenger name record data

What is IATA and how does it work?
Key data components of a PNR file.

Mandatory data elements

  • phone either a traveler’s or travel agent’s to enable contact;
  • received from field indicating the last person who has made changes in the PNR, typically, a passenger or travel agent;
  • itinerary that must include at least one segment of the journey;
  • name of a passenger or passengers, containing the full first and last name (the middle name is not required); and
  • ticketing specifying how and when a ticket is to be issued.

Optional data elements

  • additional itinerary segments that can be a flight, hotel reservation, car rental, etc.;
  • payment method (cash, credit/debit card, or check);
  • credit card number;
  • passenger email address;
  • frequent flyer number;
  • travel agency name and address;
  • fare and pricing details;
  • restrictions that may apply to the ticket;
  • age details relevant to the travel (for example, unaccompanied children or elderly people who need assistance);
  • special service requests (SSRs) like meal or seating preferences;
  • agency service fees;
  • other remarks related to the trip; and
  • historical changes to the PNR.

Secure flight passenger data and advance passenger information systems

  • full name with the middle name or initial if it appears on the ID card, passport, driver’s license, or another valid identity document with the photo;
  • date of birth;
  • gender; and
  • redress number issued by the (TSA) to facilitate identity checks. This unique number is particularly important if a passenger has a common name shared by many people or if he or she has been already misidentified in the past when crossing US borders.
Secure Flight screening facilitated by the TSA PreCheck program. Source: Papers, Please!

Commercial use of PNR data and privacy concerns

The future of PNR: One Order

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