What is PNR?

What is PNR?

In the travel industry, 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 concept of a PNR was first introduced by airlines that needed to exchange reservation information in case passengers required flights of 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 user will create a PNR in the Computer Reservation System it uses. This is typically one of the large Global Distribution Systems, 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 CRSes of the airlines that will be providing transportation. These CRSes 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 GDSes, 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 CRSes.

Although PNRs were originally introduced for air travel, they are now also being used for bookings of hotels, car rental, railways, etc.

Colloquially, "PNR" may also refer to the unique six-character record locator used to identify the record.

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