Chauffeured Transportation Industry Terms

Jim Luff
Posted on June 16, 2016

In its 33 years as a professionally organized business sector, the U.S. limousine industry has developed its own vocabulary full of operational terms and abbreviations. Here is LCT’s ever-evolving list for newcomers and traditionalists alike.


A to B: The trip starts at one point (A) and concludes at another (B).

A/D or A.D.: As Directed. Based on hourly rates, an as-directed means the client directs the chauffeur where to go as needed or desired.

Advance: An entertainment term used for planning for transportation, lodging, equipment, catering in advance of a production. Commonly referred to as “advancing the show”; i.e., “I will provide more information as we advance the show.”

AE or A/E: Account Executive.

Affiliate: Networks such as EmpireCLS, Music Express, and Carey International maintain relationships with independent affiliated operators to deliver service in specific geographic areas nationwide.

AI: Additionally Insured. Having an affiliate additionally named on your insurance policy specifically covering the affiliate in case of a liability issue.

Airport Hustler: A limousine operator who parks at the airport waiting to be hailed like a taxi; commonly unlicensed.

Alliances (Affiliate Representatives): Peer-to-peer strategic relationships between transportation companies for reciprocal business relying on industry-standard professional practices. These are typically less than $100,000 in annual volume transacted between the parties.

All-In: All-inclusive price with gratuity, tolls, taxes, parking fees, etc. presented as one price to a client or affiliate.

AMX/AMEX: American Express Card.

AP: Airport

ARI: All Rows In. Requests all rows of seats in an SUV be in the vehicle for seating without any cargo.

AW: Authorized Wait.


BC/BCG: Baggage Claim greeting.

BCAC: Black Car Assistance Corporation.

Booker: A person who books transportation for passengers on behalf of their company or an agent of a passenger.


CA: Cash.

cc: Carbon Copy. To provide a duplicate copy of a document to another party.

CC: Credit Card.

CC-INO: Credit card is in the name of....

CG: Curbside Greet.

Charter: An arrangement between a client and transportation company to provide services.

Charter Party Carrier: The official term used by the state of California referring to for-hire private transportation licensed by the California Public Utilities Commission.

CIC: Client In Car.

Client: A person who engages service, signs a contract, and pays for the service. May also be considered a passenger, but a client is financially responsible for payment of services. [The term client is preferred over customer].

Closed Ticket: A trip ticket (see definition) that has been finalized with charges, starting and ending mileage, chauffeur pay and other details to charge the client or affiliate for service provided.

CMC: Cadillac Master Coachbuilder. A certification program for manufacturers designed by Cadillac to ensure the structural and operational integrity of their base vehicles stretched or modified by a coachbuilder. The program follows strict specifications and standards.

CO: Call out. Calling a chauffeur out from home to respond to an immediate request for service not previously booked in advance.

Coach: A limousine, limo-bus, a cutaway-style bus, or full-size bus (motorcoach).

Coachbuilder: A company engaged in stretching or modifying vehicles for the limousine industry.

COI: Certificate of Insurance. Usually requested by affiliate networks to make sure an operator has valid insurance while performing work for the affiliate. It also may be requested by corporate clients to make sure employees riding as passengers are covered.

Convenience Bag: Also known as a “motion sickness bag” for use by passengers who become nauseaous in the vehicle during travel.

Copy: A brief word used to acknowledge and confirm instructions as given by two-way radio, text, or telephone.

CS: Curbside greeting.

Curbside: The front curb of a building, passenger terminal, etc.

CX: Run/Process credit card.

CXL: Cancel an order.

CXLD: Order has been canceled.


Day Of: Used in strategic planning performed in advance of a show, event, or meeting referring to the actual date of the event being planned.

DB: Direct bill account.

Deadhead: To travel a significant distance to or from the garage without passengers onboard.

DISC: Discover Card.

DOT: Department of Transportation. The chief agency in the U.S. for transportation oversight and management of all transportation methods including air, marine, railroads, and vehicles engaged in transportation services.

DP: Drop-off Point.

Drop Time: The actual time a passenger exited the vehicle and passenger service was discontinued.

DVRX: Driver Changed.


Entertainment Pole: A pole installed in party-buses for “pole dancing.”

ER: En Route. The vehicle is moving to a specific destination or pick-up location.

ESC: Abbreviation for Escalade, a specific SUV made by Cadillac.


Farm-In: To receive a job from another operator or network. The receiving operator will perform the work for the operator or network that provided the job as the originating operator or network was unable to do it due to availability or geographic area limitations.

Farm Job: A job received from either another operator or network or given to another operator or network to provide service.

Farm Out: To give a job to another operator or network to perform the work due to availability or geographic area limitations.

FB: Facebook. The world’s most popular social media network, and a valuable, cheap marketing tool for operators.

FBO: Fixed Based Operator. A private aircraft servicing company such as Atlantic Aviation where private planes embark and disembark passengers.

FHV: For-hire vehicle.

FMCSA: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A specific division of the DOT focusing on highway safety matters including vehicle maintenance and driver and passenger safety issues.

Fuel Surcharge: A separate charge passed on to a client specifically to pay a portion of fuel expense. It is commonly added during times of fuel price escalation or on long trips requiring a lot of fuel. Some operators assess fuel charges on all trips on a tier basis.


GPS: Global Positioning System. A navigation system using satellites to guide or monitor vehicle direction, speed, and operating history as well as provide directions and instructions via visual and/or audio tools to the driver.

Greeter: A person who greets passengers with a signboard upon their arrival, usually at passenger facilities such as airports, and escorts the party to the vehicle. The greeter may be a company employee or an independent contractor who greets for many companies.

Grid: The current view of a dispatcher of vehicles actively assigned, enroute, in-service, etc. using livery software. A specific mode of use, such as “currently on the grid.”

Gypsy: An illegal limousine operator who generally has no insurance, no operating authority, no airport permits, and prices his service far below market value.


Holiday Surcharge: A charge assessed to a client for services on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. Generally used to cover bonuses to chauffeurs who work on a major holiday.

Hourly: An hourly based charter/rental in which the client pays by the hour for services on a pre-arranged basis for a specified amount of hours.


IC: Independent Contractor: A self-employed chauffeur who pays his own taxes, provides insurance, and is responsible for expenses in operating a company-owned vehicle. May chauffeur for more than one limousine service as an “independent.”

IFO: In Front Of.

IO: Independent Operator. An operator who owns, drives, and maintains a vehicle used for original jobs or ones provided by another operator or network.


LC: Late Cancellation (fully billable).

LD: Loading Dock.

Livery: The business of keeping vehicles people can hire.

LM: Last Minute order/change.

LOL: Lots of luggage.

LV: Luggage Van.


M & G: Meet & Greet

MBZ: Mercedes-Benz.

Meet & Greet: A service performed by a greeter at a passenger transportation facility; to meet and greet the arriving passenger; an event before or after a concert or promotional appearance where celebrities meet and greet invited fans and media for autographs and photo opportunities.

Merchant Fees: Fees charged to a merchant/operator for processing credit cards. The term also refers to a “discount amount” or “points” the credit card companies deduct for each transaction based on a percentage of the sale.

Mystery Rider: A person who rides for the purpose of evaluating the chauffeur and vehicle and reporting the findings to the business owner.


NAVI: Lincoln Navigator. A specific make and model of SUV made by the Lincoln Motor Company. Also NAV.

Network: Large operations that maintain a “network” of limousine operators/affiliates to perform work in virtually any geographic area around the world with a need for chauffeured ground transportation, i.e., Music Express, EmpireCLS, Carey International, etc.

NLA: National Limousine Association.

NLT: Not Later Than.

NNS: Needs No Signboard.

NS: No Show. When a passenger fails to show up at the pick-up location and never calls to cancel the order. The reservation and arrangements are generally considered fully billable.


On Demand: Service ordered in real time without a reservation, such as with Uber, Lyft or other transportation network companies.

On Location: The vehicle is at the pickup location now; also known as On Loc.

OPS: Operations.

OSC: Onsite Coordinator/Contact.

OTW: On The Way.


P2P: Point-to-Point trip.

P & L: Profit & Loss Statement. A financial statement showing income and expenses for a specified period of time and the bottom line profit or loss during the specified period.

PAC: Passenger compartment.

Partnerships (Affiliate Partners): A detailed arrangement between large fleet operators and their local representatives. These are typically limited to one to three local operators per market with service standards uniquely defined by the national entity and offering the potential for relatively large annual volume.

Passenger: A rider who is a guest of the paying client. May also refer to a client traveling alone.

PAX: Passenger. Refers to either client/passenger or guests of client/passenger.

Platform: The computerized reservations system and software used by an operator.

Plus Plus: Plus taxes, plus gratuities, and other associated fees. Generally used when quoting a base rate to an affiliate (i.e., hourly rate is $80 plus plus) to indicate additional charges will be added.

POB: Passenger is onboard.

Points: The percentage being charged in a business transaction including but not limited to credit card fees, real estate loan fees, and similar transactions.

PU, P/Up: Pick-Up.

PULD: Pickup at loading dock (i.e. an arena pickup for an artist/performer).

PUC: Public Utilities Commission. The licensing authority for most states that oversees limousine/livery, chauffeured and/or charter party operations.


QVM: Quality Vehicle Modifier. A certification program for manufacturers designed by Ford/Lincoln to ensure the structural and operational integrity of their base vehicles stretched or modified by a coachbuilder. The program is based on strict specifications and standards.


R1R: Remove One Row. In a van or SUV job, the client requests a row of seats to be removed to handle cargo.

RAR: Remove All Rows. Requesting seats of a van be removed to handle cargo only.

Res/Resv: Reservation.

RFP: Request for Proposal. A proposal and complete presentation to a prospective corporate or organizational client of how chauffeured services will be performed, including vehicle descriptions, training plans, payment arrangements, and all details of service delivery.

Ride: A trip, a job, a run.

RS: Road Show. Multiple-stop charter with financial executives presenting information to financial investors. It usually involves multiple vehicles and lasts the entire business day.

RSD: Road Show Desk. A specific phone number or agent managing road show transportation only.

RT: Round-trip or Return trip.


SCO: Senior Chauffeur Only.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization/Optimizer. A company or expert who promotes your website so it achieves higher page rankings on sites such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

Service Charge: A charge assessed in addition to the base rate. Considered a gratuity in some areas. In other areas, specifically not part of the gratuity but used to fund car washers, reservationists, and others involved in providing service.

Sharecropper: See Gypsy.

Standby Time: Time spent standing by for a client but not actually driving, such as waiting at the airport for a delayed flight or waiting through a concert. The term may be used synonymously with Wait Time.

STC: Service Transportation Charges. A generic term to include fuel surcharges, airport fees, tolls, parking fees, etc., collectively referred to as STC.

STR: Stretch limousine (You better know what this is).

SOF: Signature On File.

SOP: Standard Operating Procedure(s).

SUB: Suburban. A specific SUV made by Chevrolet; alternatively, to farm a job out to another operator.

Surcharge: An additional charge above the base fare for fuel, holidays, airport taxes, or other charges levied by an operator.

SUV: Sport Utility Vehice. Common chauffeured models include the Cadillac Escalade and ESV, Lincoln Navigator, Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Denali, Mercedes-Benz GLS (550), and Range Rover.


TA: Travel Agent.

Tail: The tail number of a private plane

T2T: Town-to-Town transfer.

TBD: To Be Determined.

TCP: Transportation Charter Party.

Tier: A unit of measurement for fuel and travel charge calculation. Tier 1 would be the perimeter closest to the base of operations. Tier 2 would be slightly farther away with the highest level tier being the farthest distance the operator would travel.

TN: Tail # of a private plane.

TNC: Transportation Network Company. A ground transportation company, such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, that provides passenger service in privately owned vehicles operated by individuals connected through mobile apps and summoned by passengers also using a mobile app.

TNP: Transportation Network Provider. A member of a particular network providing transportation services within the network.

Track a Flight: To use an Internet-based application such as Flightview, FlyteComm, or FlightArrivals.com to track a flight’s progress as it travels from one city to another. Used to adjust pick-up times to flights arriving earlier or later than originally booked.

Trade: To exchange service for product or service from the company/person receiving transportation instead of exchanging cash. Examples include trading radio commercials, print advertising, concert tickets, or other goods and services for limousine usage.

Transfer: To transfer a passenger or group to or from the airport to a hotel or private residence, most often with no stops. That is the full extent of the job.

Travel Charge/Time (TT/TRV): Time to or from the garage to a location when the vehicle must travel a great distance before service begins or after service ends, for which the client is charged. (Also see TT).

Trip Sheet: Also known as a waybill, this document given to the chauffeur has all the details of a trip such as mileage and times. A client or affiliate manager may ask to review a copy.


VC: Verbal Confirmation.

VIA: Vendors In Alliance. A group of industry businesses representing software systems, answering services, marketing, credit card processing, legal counsel, and other services dedicated to the ground transportation industry.

Virtual Booking: Usually built around a technology company with a special booking tool managed by an Internet-based marketing company.  Agreements with affiliates tend to be more formal and tend to favor the network model more than the affiliate model due to the formality of the contractual arrangement.

V/M: Visa/Mastercard.

VT: Vehicle Type.


W & R: Wait and Return to the original pickup location.

Waybill: Also know as a Trip Ticket. A small sheet showing the details of a run or job that may be requested by any law enforcement officer, DOT officer, or airport official.

WT: Wait Time. Time spent waiting on a client at a location while the client conducts business or attends a show.


XFER: To transfer a passenger or group to or from an airport to a hotel or private residence. A direct run with no stops.

XTS: A popular livery sedan model made by Cadillac and used by many operators as a go-to sedan for airport transfers and as-directed runs.

New Terms: Did we miss a term?

This is an organic glossary, which we can update anytime. Please send your term(s) to [email protected] or [email protected]

Related Topics: affiliate networks, Cadillac, charter and tour, Chevrolet, client greetings, coachbuilders, farm-in farm-out, Ford, GMC, GPS Navigation, Land Rover, LCT Fact Book, Lincoln, Lyft, Mercedes-Benz, motorcoaches, National Limousine Association, party buses, sedans, Sidecar, stretch limousine, SUVs, TNCs, Uber

Jim Luff General Manager
Comments ( 1 )
  • Fabio Gomez

     | about 8 months ago

    Garage to Garage?

More Stories