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A Passenger Name Record (PNR) is
|“||a record in the database of a Computer Reservation System (CRS) that contains the itinerary for a passenger, or a group of passengers traveling together.||”|
|“||the record created by air carriers or their authorized agents for each journey booked by or on behalf of any passenger and contained in carriers' reservation systems, departure control systems, or equivalent systems providing similar functionality.||”|
The concept of a PNR was first introduced by airlines that needed to exchange reservation information in case passengers required flights on multiple airlines to reach their destination ("interlining"). For this purpose IATA defined a standard for the layout and content of the PNR.
When a passenger books an itinerary, the travel agent or travel website he uses will create a PNR in the Computer Reservation System it uses. This is typically one of the large Global Distribution Systems (GCS), such as Amadeus, Sabre, Worldspan or Galileo, but if the booking is made directly with an airline the PNR can also be in the database of the airline’s CRS. This PNR is called the Master PNR for the passenger and the associated itinerary. The PNR is identified in the particular database by a record locator.
When portions of the travel are not provided by the holder of the Master PNR, then copies of the PNR information are sent to the CRSs of the airlines that will be providing transportation. These CRSs will open copies of the original PNR in their own database to manage the portion of the itinerary for which they are responsible. Many airlines have their CRS hosted by one of the GDSs, which allows sharing of the PNR.
The record locators of the copied PNRs are communicated back to the CRS that owns the Master PNR, so all records remain tied together. This allows exchanging updates of the PNR when the status of trip changes in any of the CRSs.
Although PNRs were originally introduced for air travel, they are now also being used for bookings of hotels, car rental, railways, etc.
- ↑ Agreement Between the United States of America and the European Union on the Use and Transfer of Passenger Name Records to the United States Department of Homeland Security, Art. 2, at 7.
See also Edit
- Agreement Between the United States of America and the European Union on the Use and Transfer of Passenger Name Records to the United States Department of Homeland Security
- PNR data
- EU-US PNR data exchange agreement
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