GDS

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» Posted by on Apr 5, 2014 in Global Distribution Systems | 0 comments

My agency uses the program, FedTraveler.com E-Gov Travel Service (ETS), for travel services for its federal employees.  This is an example of a Global Distribution System (GDS).  The ETS can be used to book flights, hotel lodging, and rental cars, as well as reimburse employees for travel services.  ETS is primarily a self-service system whereby employees enter their travel plans and budget authorizers approve or return plans.  Overall, the ETS is convenient and user-friendly.  I have entered dozens of travel plans for my job as a facilities inspections officer.  One of the biggest benefits I have found is that the ETS automatically calculates the correct government per diem.  My major complaint with the ETS is the transaction fees.  As stated on page 43 of the text, “GDS vendors are now shifting the airline transaction fee burden to the travel agents” and the travel agencies pass the transaction fee charges to their clients.  I can see how transaction fees generate a majority of the system’s total revenues.  There are fees for generating a travel plan, ticketing airfare, calling customer service, and even cancelling a transaction.  However, despite the numerous fees, I am glad my agency opted to use the ETS.  In fact, my experience with the ETS makes me more comfortable when using public travel sites such as Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz.  I believe the entire travel industry has benefited from greater access to travel resources through GDS programs.  It is now easier for travelers, both business and leisure, to plan their trips and obtain the best value for their money.

L. Henderson

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