Posts Tagged "CPP"

Airline Fare Codes

»Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Airlines, Industry Postings | 2 comments

YCA, CA, CB, DG . . . What do all of these airfare codes mean?  Airfare codes were designed to help us, but they can be very confusing when we don’t know what they mean.  Don’t worry; I was confused too until I did a little research. First, let’s look at what an airline fare code is.  Fare codes are a way for airlines to differentiate between class of service, cost of ticket, award ticket, etc.  We will be looking at four airline fare codes used for government travel, but let’s first look at the government’s airfare program. The airline city pair program is a successful program between the US General Services Administration (GSA) and the airlines.  Yearly, GSA contracts with airlines to get discounts off the price of commercial...

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Corporatizing or Improving TDY Government Travel Solicitation Processes

»Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Contracting for Travel Services, Hotels | 0 comments

Each year, it is my responsibility to solicit all four thousand plus of our hotels for each agency or third party we have relationships with, who have government lodging contracts. The rates must be at or below per diem, must be contracted January 1 through December 31 of program year, are preferably both commissionable and last room available. Also, the hotels offer their own non-contracted government rate that may or may not be at per diem. Although these are pretty simple requirements and standard for all participating properties, they do have challenges that corporatization may improve. First, per diems are issued in early August to be effective October of that year through September of the following year. Since we currently contract January to December, all...

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Procurement and Management, the Federal Travel Disconnect

»Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

When considering travel programs, program management and procurement are both essential.  Once travel is procured, the role of the program manager is to focus on getting the maximum value from any and all negotiated agreements through careful follow up, tracking, and compliance monitoring. In turn, suppliers are more inclined to offer better deals if they believe the corporate client closely tracks usage, trains travelers, and communicates policy in ways that lead to significantly higher compliance levels.  It is the combination of procurement and program management that leads to effective overall travel programs.  In this paper I explore and assess the federal government’s approach to procurement and program management, and offer recommendations to...

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Airlines, Hotels, and the TMC

»Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Airlines, Hotels, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

To ensure the value a TMC can bring to government travelers and all governments agencies, a TMC must understand the regulations and rules and that influence airfare and hotel reservations on an ongoing basis.  CPP, City Pair Program, and understanding the difference between YCA, _CA, and _CB air fares is most important for TMC agents booking each government traveler with an air itinerary.  It is a TMC’s responsibility to know how to get the CPP contract, display the options in the GDS, and follow each specific government agencies rules for approval and ticketing.  Other essential knowledge for booking airfare for government travelers is interpreting and applying the Fly America Act, the Airline Open Skies Agreements, airline code shares, frequent flyer...

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City Pair Program

»Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Airlines, Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Payment Methods | 0 comments

The GSA City Pair program has helped save millions of taxpayer dollars since it’s inception in the early 80’s.   This program allows government employees to travel on negotiated flat airfares in most markets with up to 70% discount on refundable airfares.  Government contractors, however, are not allowed to participate in the CPP with GSA, but can negotiate with airlines on their own. Working for an FFRDC proves to show significant differences between GSA CPP rates and corporate rates.  As airlines continue to struggle to make profit in today’s world due to fuel hikes, competition, union employees, airport fees, mergers, etc., corporate contracts have been revamped to tiered programs which provide small discounts on published airfares with heavy...

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Code Share FAQ’s

»Posted by on Aug 30, 2014 in Global Distribution Systems | 0 comments

The implementation of our E Travel System brought about new challenges in understanding the travel industry. One of the first airline practices that we had to identify and share with our travelers was the practice of code sharing. The following is the guidance we created from the list of frequently asked questions we received on our customer service help desk. What is Code sharing? A code share is an agreement between airlines that allows the sale of seats by a partner airline on another airline’s flight as if the flight were its own.  Code shares can provide a cost-effective way for a carrier to enter new markets by using the facilities and operations of a partner carrier. This can be misleading for travelers who believe they have purchased a ticket on...

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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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Why Federal Travelers Should Not Use a Commercial Internet Site to Book Reservations

»Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Business Practices | 0 comments

The prudent person rule in the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) requires travelers to take the same care in incurring travel expenses as they would if they were traveling on personal business.  The FTR mandates the use of the electronic travel system (ETS) for travel reservations and the use of city pair fares for flights.  However, it should be noted that there is a provision within the FTR which allows the traveler an approved exception to either one of these mandates. The City Pair Program (CPP) which was developed by the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide discounted air transportation services to Federal Government travelers with an average savings of 60-69% below commercial air fares.  The CPP is projected to save the Federal Government...

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GSA City Pair Fares and Government Fares

»Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in Airlines, Government Traveler Comments | 0 comments

There are two types of government fares that our travelers can book in the E Travel System, GSA City Pair Fares and Government fares. In 1980 the General Services Administration (GSA) developed the City Pair Program (CPP) to provide discounted air passenger transportation services to Federal government travelers. In the beginning, this service only covered 11 markets, but has grown to over 5,000 city pairs. The average savings is 63%-77% below commercial full fares. A critical aspect of travel planning is flexibility and the CPP has many features that allow Government travelers all the flexibility possible. Features of the Service include: Non-stop service was awarded on 95% of the markets where non-stop service was offered. Fares are priced on one-way routes,...

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Reporting Using Simplified ETS

»Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

Reports, reports, and more reports – every member of management has had a need for a report of some sort at some time or another.  Reports are crucial in today’s business world.  A report can advise management of budget constraints.  A good report also tells management where a company is spending, and maybe even losing, money.   Reports can also indicate how much time was spent on particular jobs/assignments. It is nearly impossible to function without reports. My agency receives many requests from our customers for various reports.  Nearly every day, we receive a new request for information.  In addition to the requests that we receive from our customers, we also receive data calls from the Department and General Services Administration (GSA). ...

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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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eGov Travel System Featuring GovTrip

»Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

There are three choices when an agency selects an eGov Travel System.  The choices are; Carlson Wagonlit Government Travel’s E2Solutions, EDS’s Fed Traveler and Northrop Grumman Mission System’s GovTrip. All of the eGov Travel Systems meet the minimum requirements which were defined by General Services Administration (GSA), who awarded the contract.  This article will be referencing GovTrip. GovTrip forces the  travelers to comply with the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR).  The FTR governs the expenses the traveler is allowed to claim and the requirements which must be met in order to conduct official travel on behalf of the Government.  An agency can have travel policy which is stricter than the FTR.  GovTrip can be set up to reflect some...

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History of Government Travel Management and GDS

»Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 in Global Distribution Systems, History and Overview, Industry Postings | 0 comments

The value of travel management began shortly after the deregulation act of the airlines of 1978 and the value to government workers was to help not only with the financial concerns but also to glean data that would benefit the government agencies but also those working to establish a better financing within the government. This opened up flexibility for pricing and scheduling for government workers. Once a trial testing program in 1980 was launched, now known as the GSA (General Services Administration) program, was established and cost cutting as well as time efficient scheduling for travel became extremely beneficial. This continues to be a cost cutting benefit to the government. However, on it’s initial run, the GSA program had concerns for the travel agents...

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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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ETS and the FTR

»Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

A major benefit of converting to an E-Gov travel system is that the system enforces travelers to comply with the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR).  The FTR governs what expenses the traveler is allowed to claim and what requirements must be met in order to conduct official travel on behalf of the Government.  An agency may also have a travel policy which is stricter than the FTR.  The E-Gov travel system can also be set up to reflect some of the agency’s requirements in addition to the FTR requirements. Pre-audits have been built into the electronic system, which makes the travelers follow the guidelines. The E-Gov travel system has a built-in reservation module, which allows travelers/document preparers to select their airfare reservations.  Travelers...

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Reducing the Cost of Federal Air Travel

»Posted by on Nov 25, 2012 in Airlines, Contracting for Travel Services | 0 comments

The success of GSA’s contract City Pair Program (CPP) is widely acknowledged and well documented.  The CPP has now “expanded … to include 13 carriers in over 5,700 markets.”  GSA estimates that “CPP fares will provide average savings of 68% below full, commercial air fares” and that the program “is projected to provide the Federal Government cost avoidance and potential savings of $6.3 billion in fiscal year 2011.” (1)  While this number is significant on its own, it becomes even more impressive when compared to the $3.4 billion estimated cost for all federal travel in 2006. (2) In order to keep the program’s fares to a minimum, the government has mandated use of CPP fares through the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR).  While there are certain...

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City Pair Program (CPP)

»Posted by on Aug 8, 2011 in Airlines | 0 comments

As a government traveler, I appreciate the City-Pair Program (CPP) administered by the General Services Administration (GSA).  I was surprised to learn that the CPP only represents 2% of the airline business.  This number may be larger today with the down economy and fewer leisure travelers.  At least in my line of work – facility inspections – travel is a necessary part of the job.  Thus, the many benefits of the CPP are routinely utilized.  There have been many times when I have had to change or cancel my flight itinerary and the no fee penalty and fully refundable ticket benefits for YCA Fares have definitely saved my agency a lot of money.  Recently, however, I have noticed both for myself and fellow colleagues that non-contract carriers frequently...

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