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Travelator – Glossary Definition


Want the definition of a travelator? Learn the meaning of travelator, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!

Wondering about the definition of travelator? Keep reading to learn the meaning of travelator, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!

travelator moving sidewalk
Passengers at an airport terminal using the travelator, or autowalk, to quickly get from one side of the terminal to their gate. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user D. Delso. [CC BY-SA 2.0].

What is a Travelator?

A travelator is a conveyor-type device that helps transport people across longer horizontal distances in a faster and easier manner than walking would. A travelator may also be known as a moving sidewalk, autowalk, or moving walkway.

A travelator (also spelled sometimes travolator or travellator) is similar to escalators, but transport people horizontally instead of diagonally from floor to floor.

More on Travelators

These moving walkways are often found in airports, where the walking distances can get quite long, especially moving from concourse to concourse or terminal to terminal.

Just as with an escalator, a person can step onto the autowalk and just stand, allowing the travelator to transport the passenger from one end to the other.

Otherwise, the person using the moving sidewalk may also walk forward, essentially multiplying their moving speed, allowing them to reach the end faster.

Proper moving sidewalk etiquette follows the same general rules as an escalator – if someone wants to stand, they should remain on the right side, leaving the left side open for people to walk past.

There is also such a thing as an inclined travelator, or an inclined moving sidewalk, which has a slight variation in its starting and ending heights. An inclined moving walkway is still not the same as an escalator, however, as it has a flat surface compared to the stepped platform of an escalator.

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