City-Pair Program

» Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 in Airlines | 0 comments

The City Pair Program began in 1980 with 11 city pairs and has grown to over 5,000 city pairs, both domestic and international.  These airfares are very competitive and saves the government an estimated 50% to 70%.  The City Pair Program is administered by the General Services Administration (GSA) for use by all government travelers.  Each year GSA awards contract fares for air fare for travelers on  official government travel under the city pair program.  These contract awards are based on the best overall value to the government, taking into consideration type, distribution, number of flights, flight time, and price.

The Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) requires government travelers to use a contract fare when available, use coach class service unless otherwise authorized, and to use a U.S. Flag Air Carrier.  Contract fares must be used unless you have a valid justification.  Some of the justifications are:  1. There are no seats available on a contract flight(s), or the flights departure/arrival times do not enable you to meet your mission requirements, or would cause you to incur overnight lodging costs.  2.  The contract carrier would require travel during non-work hours.  3.  A non-contract carrier offers a lower fare available to the general public and using it reduces the total cost to the government.  4.  Rail service is available and is cost effective and meets mission requirements.  5.  Smoking is permitted on the contract flight.  The justification must be entered by the traveler in the Passenger Name Record (PNR) to justify usage of a non-contract fare.  This must be approved by the approving official.

There are several advantages to using a contract fare such as:

1.  No advance purchase required.  2.  No minimum or maximum length of stay required.  3.  Fully refundable tickets and no charge for cancellations or changes.  4.  Capacity fares availability.   5.  No blackout periods.  6.  Lock-in fares assist in travel budgeting.  7.  70% savings over regular walk-up fares.  8.  Fares are priced on one-way routes enabling agencies to plan multiple destinations.  9.  Contract business fares available. 10.  Prices in effect for one full year.

The City Pair Program fares can only be purchased with the government issued charge card, and in special circumstances, the Government Transportation Request (GTR).

By: Kathy Runion

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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