What is PNR????

» Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Airlines, Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

What is a PNR and do I need one?  In the travel industry, PNR stands for Passenger Name Record.  PNR is a record in the Computer Reservation System (CRS) database that contains your itinerary and other information about you.  If you have traveled by air, then you needed one and was assigned one whether you knew it or not. 

PNRs were developed by airlines so they could exchange reservation information since passengers frequently use more than one airline to reach their destination.  In the electronic travel system we use, the travel management center (TMC) creates a PNR in the Global Distribution System when an airline reservation is made. 

The PNR contains various information such as the traveler’s name, contact and ticketing details, itinerary, fare details such as ticket restrictions and method of payment.  To assist in the tracing of criminals and/or terrorists, many governments now require the airline to provide gender, date and place of birth, passport details and WatchList exclusion number.

The PNR is identified by a record locator.  The record locator identifies a specific reservation or PNR.  The record locator is usually six characters long and combines alpha and numeric characters.  Since characters 1, I, L, 0 and O can be confusing, they are not used in record locators.  Examples of a record locator could be KRGB58, FG2B86 and RM252J. 

Record locator KRGB58 could identify the PNR for John Doe traveling to San Francisco, California on December 18, 2011 by two segments such as economy class on ABC airline and first class on DEF airline.  Some airlines use the term confirmation number, reservation number or confirmation code instead of record locator.

A cancelled or completed trip doesn’t erase the PNR information.  PNRs are transferred to archived storage systems and can be retained indefinitely by airlines, travel management centers and/or CRSs.  Despite the sensitive information PNRs can contain, they are treated as a form of commercial transaction data.  Therefore, many people and privacy organizations are concerned about the privacy of sensitive information in their PNRs.

 By Dean Cox

 “The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.”

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