Posts Tagged "benefits"

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Secure Flight

»Posted by on Dec 25, 2014 in Airlines, Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

Secure Flight is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) traveler pre-screening program that matches limited traveler information against government watch lists to identify known and suspected terrorists, prevent known and suspected terrorists from boarding an aircraft, facilitate legitimate traveler air travel, and protect individuals’ privacy.  The laws that mandate Secure Flight are the 9/11 Commission Report, which recommended that TSA take over watch list matching from the airlines, and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004, which codified the 9/11 Commission Report and required DHS and TSA to assume from airlines the function of conducting pre-flight comparisons of airline...

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Government Car Rental Program

»Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in Rental Cars | 0 comments

As a frequent government traveler, I have used the Government Car Rental Program many times.  Its ease of use and benefits to the government are similar to the Airline City Pair Program.  I use FedTraveler to process my travel orders and to book my rental car, as well as air transportation and hotel lodging, for my official government trips.  I charge these travel expenses to my government issued charge card.  Since I use the government approved booking channels, I can take advantage of all the benefits specified in the Car Rental Agreements which are not available to the general public.  This allows me to fulfill mission requirements and reduce the overall cost of renting vehicles.  Some of the benefits which I personally appreciate are: free...

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»Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms ®is the official government- wide, GSA sponsored lodging program.  The program is compliant with Federal Travel Regulations  and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and available to all federal government and military personnel.   The program was created in 2004 and is currently the largest managed hotel program in the world, offering federal travelers rates at or below per diem with over 7,000 hotels to choose from in prime locations. Additional  benefits  of the program to the travelers include: 4 p.m. or later day-of-arrival cancel policy No early departure fees No minimum stay requirements No reservation deposits No add on fees The FedRooms® program offers benefits to the government and private industry lodging providers.   The...

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Government Rental Car Program

»Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Rental Cars | 0 comments

A few years ago the Defense Travel Management Office was designated to be in charge of the Rental Car Program for the entire Federal Government.   The Rental Car Program is designed for official business used only to meet mission requirements. It offers special benefits for federal government employees on TDY such as unlimited mileage, insurance, free upgrades, etc.  While participating in this program you are required to show a valid drivers license and TDY orders.  A traveler can only request a compact size car unless otherwise authorized by their approving official.  Rental cars can be purchase using your government travel card, personal card or cash depending on your agency local travel policy. While on TDY, you must treat the automobile as if it were...

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Split Disbursements… The best Idea Ever!

»Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

Section 4.4.3 of OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B mandates split disbursement and salary offset for travel charge card holders.  However, agencies may request exemptions when they determine that the cost of implementing split disbursement and/or salary offset exceeds the benefits.  Agency heads must request such exemptions from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in writing, and provide the reasons therein.  The Director of OMB, in consultation with the Administrator or General Services Administration (GSA), will respond no later than 30 days after receiving the request for waiver or exemption.  Due process requirements for salary offset are contained under section 4.4.4 of Chapter 4 OMB Circular A-123…” Split Disbursements is a...

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Airline City Pair Program

»Posted by on Sep 24, 2014 in Airlines | 0 comments

It appears that there are still a few Federal Travelers still having a hard time grasping the benefits and functions of the GSA City Pair Program.  The program has been extremely successful, starting over 30 years ago when they had originally covered only 11 markets and now have expanded to over 5,000 city pairs.  Yet still, the average Federal Traveler automatically wants to compare these flights to the ones that they can find out on the internet through sites such as; Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz.  It only makes matters worse when these airlines try enticing them through commercials and advertisements with their great deals that no one would want to pass up, especially when it is the airline of your choice.  Finding a cheaper fare that is...

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City Pair Program

»Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Airlines, History and Overview | 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.  The airfares offered under this program are discounted considerably off comparable commercial fares saving the federal government billions of dollars annually.  The City Pair Program is administered by the General Services Administration (GSA) for use by all government travelers. The CPP is important to the government and the airlines though it only represents 2% of the airline business.     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,...

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The City Pair Program

»Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Airlines | 0 comments

The General Services Administration contracts with airlines for reduced airfares for official government travel. Travelers who are on official travel are required to use these reduced fairs in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations.  GSA has urbanized a tremendously successful Airline City Pair Program. This service originally covered only 11 markets, but over the last 27 years, it has stretched to over 5,000 city pairs. The airfares offered under this program are discounted considerably off comparable commercial fares–saving the federal government billions of dollars annually. Each year, the General Services Administration awards contracts for air transportation for travelers on official government travel. Contracts are awarded competitively based...

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Utilizing SGTP Resources

»Posted by on Jun 28, 2014 in Airlines, Business Practices, History and Overview, Hotels, Rental Cars, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

Overview:  The largest membership base within SGTP are smaller companies such as travel agencies, individual hotels, and or other industry suppliers that are currently or looking to enter or increase sales revenue within the government travel sector. Challenge: To communicate effectively with our membership in a two way dialogue of the SGTP resources and have them utilize them to better understand the government travel marketplace.  And to assist in creating developing increased sales for their organization in his $20 billion annual spend by arena. Issue: New members are continuously joining SGTP on a year round basis.  And though we would like all to be successful immediately with positive results we are aware of the lengthy process, time commitment and...

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GSA City Pair Fare

»Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Airlines | 0 comments

The airline industry has seen many changes in the past few years.  For government travelers the most significant change occurred in 1980 with the implementation of the City Pair Program (CPP).  Governed by the General Services Administration (GSA), CPP started out with 11 city pairs but has now expanded to over 5,000 city pairs for both domestic and international locations.  The program offers competitive rates which saves the government an average of 50% to 70% off unrestricted coach fares. Government travelers, following the requirements set forth in the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR), must use a contract fare when available unless the traveler has a valid justification.  Some of the justifications are: There are no seats available on a contract...

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»Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Industry Postings | 0 comments

The federal government spends more than $2.5 billion on hotels every year.  The Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) states that one lodging program, FedRooms must be given first consideration when Government travelers book lodging for government business travel. FedRooms is the official government-wide, government-sponsored lodging program, in support of the President’s Management Agenda simplifying the lodging process for federal travelers and saving the government money. FedRooms negotiates hotel rates on behalf of the federal government in markets where government travelers need to stay.  FedRooms offer more than 12,000 properties in 3,300 cities across the world.  Outside of the U.S. FedRooms has 1,276 properties in 612 international cities including...

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Rental Cars

»Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Rental Cars | 0 comments

The government’s rental car program has established a successful car agreement with most competitive rental car companies. The agreement lowers the cost of rental cars, offering exclusive special benefits to its employees. The government also has access to the vehicles being offered, rates, and rental vendors as they are listed under the Defense Travel Management Office website. Renting a car can be very expensive while causing a burden. Many rental car companies require further identification and documentation just to rent a car for hours or days, with many restrictions. My experience with rental car companies has not been very pleasant.  One major factor contributor to this unpleasant experience is the required deposit, which is extremely high. While...

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»Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

When a government employee is preparing to go on travel to conduct official government business, one question the person may ask is “Where am I going to stay”?  When it comes to selecting lodging, there are many regulations the government has established to try and be cost effective. The Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) offers guidance concerning lodging for civilian government travelers.  Travelers are required to stay at hotels that are at or less than the per diem rate allowed.  Per diem rates consist of lodging, meals, and incidental expenses.  The per diem rates are released by the General Services Administration (GSA) after they have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Budget and Management (OMB).  The rates are reviewed and adjusted...

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Benefits of the Electronic Travel Systems (ETS)

»Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

At a minimum, let’s talk automation with the Electronic Travel System. How about “working smarter NOT harder?” You will think in this day and age of technology where 5 year olds are using computers, that agencies would embrace the ETS… Well, that’s what you will think, but as you can tell from the frustration in my voice, not all agencies have embraced the ETS.  An agency I am familiar with (agency XYZ) is using a system that is so OLD, that it’s a shame to even talk about. Nothing is linked and even though you enter the information in the system, it has to be printed out (talk about going green) and sent through the various chains for approval. After all that is done, there is a totally separate process on the financial systems part. With the...

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Why Use the City Pair Program?

»Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Airlines | 0 comments

Often travelers question why they must use the “City Pair Program” by choosing contract flights for their travel.  I will briefly try to justify the benefits and reasons for the Government’s use of the “City Pair Program”. One obvious benefit of using the City Pair Program for airline flights is that there are no penalties to Government travelers.  For example, if one’s travel is cancelled at the last minute, the agency does not need to pay a hefty cancellation or change fee.  This is one of the reasons why the contract City Pair Program airline fares are priced higher than the typical fare one would find at Orbitz or Travelocity.  The fares that one usually books for personal travel are penalty-laden, and full of restrictions.  Using the contract...

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Global Distribution Systems

»Posted by on Oct 30, 2012 in Global Distribution Systems | 0 comments

My agency uses the program, 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...

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The Government Rental Car Program

»Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in Payment Methods, Rental Cars, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The government’s rental car program has established a successful car agreement with most competitive rental car companies. The agreement lowers the cost of rental cars, offering exclusive special benefits to its employees. Renting a car can be very expensive while causing a burden. Many rental car companies require further identification and documentation just to rent a car for hours or days, with many restrictions. My experience with rental car companies has not been very pleasant.  One major factor contributor to this unpleasant experience is the deposit required, which is extremely high. While traveling on a business trip to Los Angeles last year, I was asked to put down a $250.00 deposit.  This became a burden as I was unprepared for this cost, or if I...

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