Lodging and the E Travel System

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» Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

We all have a favorite place to stay. Whether it is for the complimentary breakfast, the availability of certain amenities, or even the rewards programs, we all look for that one particular hotel when we travel for business or pleasure. Unfortunately, not all hotels will be available when searching the E Travel System for available lodging.

Currently, our E Travel System is dependent on the GDS (Sabre) for identifying hotel availability and the booking of inventory. What information is listed in Sabre and how often the inventory is updated is entirely up to the individual hotel properties.

How does this affect the E Travel Systems hotel query?  The first query of the E Travel System sends an availability command to Sabre.  The return is a list of hotels for which availability is not yet confirmed. Some reservation services pull their properties when they fill, and some do not. Consequently, when a particular property is selected for a rate check, it is possible that the query will return a response that the property is not available; however, calling that hotel property might yield a room at the desired rate, even though the property shows full in Sabre, hence in the E Travel System. The on site hotel staff has the best and latest information as to no-show trends, and the ultimate risk of overbooking their properties.

Travelers, have several options for searching for available lodging in the E Travel System. They can query by hotel name or zip code, near their TDY location or near the airport. Travelers can search a ten-mile radius up to 99 miles from the airport. In addition, there are two types of lodging searches to conduct:

  • Government Preferred – Displays all hotel properties that are FedRooms participants. FedRooms is the official government-wide, government-sponsored lodging program managed by GSA, in support of the President’s Management Agenda. Federal Travel Regulations require that you give FedRooms first consideration before looking at other hotel properties.
  • Other Lodging – If you are not able to find suitable lodging under the government preferred tab, searching under the other lodging tab will allow you to search for additional lodging.

Unfortunately, all of these options do not guarantee that the traveler will find that particular hotel where they can enjoy that complimentary breakfast every morning. However, the benefits of the E Travel System far out weigh the idiosyncrasies of booking lodging for government travel. For the prudent traveler, the E Travel System helps ensure that they are following Federal Travel Regulations and they are wise stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars.

by Carole Byrd

Disclaimer: The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.  Use of this equipment is consistent with the agency’s policy governing limited personal use.

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