Making Better Use of Profiles

» Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Global Distribution Systems, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

As soon as it is determined that a government employee will be traveling in order to fulfill specific official missions it is time for that employee to create a level 2 profile.  The level 2 profile is assigned specifically for the traveler and pertinent information within the profile can be copied over into the GDS (Global Data System) by the booking agent at the time of booking. When working with travel plans for federal government employees it is important to understand that arriving safely to and from their destination is of utmost importance and is generally only a small percentage of the employee’s job duties.  The government employes responsibility to travel is only necessary to accomplish a greater mission.  Therefore, I hope to continually be of assistance in making travel arrangements go as smoothly as possible for the government traveler whenever possible.

It all starts with the relatively simple one time step of creating a travel profile.  Our clients will generally create one of two types of profiles. For clients that have chosen to book travel through an on-line provider, employees will create an on-line and/or E2 profile. If the client has chosen the traditional way of booking by contacting an agent their employees will create a profile via the profile system that is commonly created and managed by the TMC.  Although this sounds relatively simple one would be quite surprised to learn that many travelers do not understand the importance of creating and maintaining a profile.  Having a travel profile really helps to make the travel experience go smoothly for the traveler as well as the TMC.  The traveler has needs and preferences that can be easily met based on the information in the profile and the booking agent will be allowed to work more accurately with these important details already being in place.

As most may know the travel profile generally consists of basic TSA information such as the passengers name as it appears on the identification that will be presented at the airport, date of birth, and gender.  Also, information may be captured in the profile such as meals and seating preferences, emergency contact information, frequent flier information, and passport information.

With the sometimes complicated task of the travel authorization process that is associated with the approval of government travel I often wonder if anyone has thought of including the travel authorization and trip details into an individual’s travel profile.  The profile would be designed to have a separate section for travel authorization and specific travel detail information.  Each time an employee travels he/she or an authorized arranger could go into this section of the profile and enter important information such as trip itinerary, travel authorization numbers and accounting information. Other personal information needing to remain secure for the benefit of the employee would not necessarily be available for the arranger who has access. Once the trip is completed the traveler would then upload travel receipts for reimbursement into this section of the profile, log in voucher amounts, add comments, etc.  The arranger or authorized official could then be alerted via email that the trip is complete and the voucher information is ready for processing.  Naturally the data could be sent via electronic file, data linked, loaded to spreadsheets, etc.  This would also be wonderful for the TMC who could view the traveler’s trip authorization and details at the time of booking for ticketing purposes since the information would be previously loaded by the passenger or authorized arranger.  This would save a lot of time that is currently spent emailing and calling requesting travel authorizations.

All of this does sound to good or simple to be possible, but may be a wonderful idea and who knows, we may see this implemented one day!

By Michelle Kennard



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