Federal Agencies Partner with the Travel Management Center

» Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Contracting for Travel Services, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

A professional travel agency, the Travel Management Center (TMC), is the federal agency’s link to the travel industry.  The TMC agent is experienced in the use of the Gobal Distribution Systems (GDS) and is specially trained in the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) to assist the federal traveler. As a partner with E-GovTravel Services (ETS), the TMC facilitates the federal agency in reserving and booking transportation and hotel services in compliance with the FTR.

How does the TMC assist in arranging for travel accommodations?  The federal agency and the TMC establish a written agreement or ‘Business Rules’ defining their relationship for reservation assistance, automated and full service. The on-line booking feature of ETS initiates automated contact with the TMC’s reservation, booking, and ticket systems.  To book ticketed transportation the document preparer creates a travel authorization in the ETS and selects the air carrier.  At this time a Passenger Name Record (PNR) is created.  This PNR identifies the trip for interface with the GDS.  When the ETS authorization document is signed the reservation is saved.  The PNR is submitted to a ticketing queue, retrieved by the TMC’s automated processes, and inspected for quality control.  If no errors are identified, the airfare reservation is booked and confirmation is returned to the ticketing queue.  The PNR continues routing through the agency’s ETS for required approvals. The ticket is issued 2-3 days prior to the scheduled departure date. If the PNR fails to pass the automation audits, the TMC agent intervenes and attempts to resolve issue.  When possible the agent corrects the PNR and continues the automated processes.  If the agent cannot resolve the issue in house, the traveler is contacted by email and provided options for making the reservation. This process is repeated for hotel and car rental reservations.

In addition to the ETS process, the TMC provides help desk support to assist federal travelers with travel arrangements that require manual handling, such as changes in reservation, emergency travel, and combining business and personal travel.  The federal agency also depends on the TMC as a source for obtaining travel related data to assist in reporting, evaluation, and management of their travel activity.  Some reports that can be generated are premium class travel, unused ticket report, top market reports, and other statistical reports on travel activity.

By Regina Potter

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

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