Posts Tagged "reservations"

Embedded vs Accommodated

»Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

Prior to moving to an eTS in 2006 our agency placed task orders off of the GSA Travel Services Solution (TSS) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) 599-2 for three separate TMC’s.  As a cross service provider we wanted to provide options to our customers.  Most of our customers selected a mid-sized TMC that provided the best price and also was well know for outstanding customer service.    We rarely had issues with the TMC and knew we could always count on them when our travelers where in a bind. Once we moved to an eTS we considered continuing with one of our current travel agencies as an accommodated TMC.  However, the one TMC, which partnered with our eTS and was embedded, offered a lower price for both traditional and on-line booking and came with a great...

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Global Distribution Systems

»Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Airlines, Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems | 0 comments

The information in Section 2A on Global Distribution Systems (GDS) was very informative and interesting. It has been my experience that many Government travelers do not understand the GDS underlying our Online Booking Engines and E-Gov travel Systems. One improvement that would be extremely helpful to the Government would be if the General Services Administration could convince all airlines that want to participate in the City Pair Program, be required to be mandatory participants in the GDS. It is frustrating to our users when they follow all the Government’s mandatory requirements such as mandatory use of the city pair program, mandatory use of an E-Gov Travel system and are still charged a full service fee because the airline does not participate in the GDS....

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Code Sharing

»Posted by on Oct 11, 2014 in Airlines | 0 comments

What is code sharing? Code sharing 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. While code sharing is beneficial to many airlines, it can be misleading for travelers who believe they have purchased a ticket on one airline only to discover that they are actually flying on another. Or worse, when the traveler believes they are staying on a single airline on a multi-leg trip only to discover that they are not only changing planes, but also changing airlines in their connecting city. An important factor that a traveler should...

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Travel and Government Quarters

»Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Hotels, Industry Postings, Travel Professional Resources, White Papers | 0 comments

Government agencies are faced with reduced budgets in recent years due to the economy. At our agency, employees have been asked to submit suggestions to improve processes and save money during this time of limited resources. Several suggestions have been submitted that relate to Government travel. One suggestion that was submitted was that the agency should require that Government quarters be used because they are much less expensive than commercial lodging. This paper provides an overview of what the regulations state about the requirements to use Government quarters. In accordance with the Department of Defense (DoD) Financial Management Regulation (FMR) Volume 9, Chapter 5, the orders for travelers must specify the actual TDY duty location For example, if a...

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»Posted by on Sep 7, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Hotels, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

Finding hotels that meet government standards and the travelers’ needs has historically been a tedious process for travelers and document preparers alike. Numerous searches would be made to find and compare hotels that were in compliance with per diem rates and travel regulations. In 2004 the General Services Administration (GSA) partnered with Carlson Wagonlit’s Hotel Solutions Group to redesign the government’s lodging program. The program has undergone several significant changes–one of the most obvious is the transition from the legacy program’s name, Federal Premier Lodging Program (FPLP), to the new program name, FedRooms. Additionally, the number of participating properties in the FedRooms program has increased from just over 600 in 2004 to...

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The Travel Process

»Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Business Practices, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The travel process can be a very complicated process without the proper training. The Bureau of the Public Debt offers training for all agencies in which we perform travel for. Many people are involved each time an individual goes on travel. Everyone involved has a specific duty to perform in order to make the travel process run smoothly. The following is the normal process an individual would follow when traveling for the government. The first step of the travel process is being asked to perform travel. Whatever the need is for the travel, the authorization to travel must be approved by management. Once management has approved the need for travel, they may give specific limitations, exceptions, approvals that pertain to the travel at hand. This information will...

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Government Travel Policy Administration II

»Posted by on Jun 14, 2014 in Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

My agency offers E-Gov travel reimbursable services to other government agencies as a means for them to more cost effectively provide travel and let’s the agency concentrate on their core mission. In support of this, we offer a travel Help Desk. Initially, our intent was to offer better service administrating E-Gov Travel and travel policy questions for our customers than we felt the vendors could provide, and we were able to accomplish this. (We were used to doing this even before E-Gov Travel). However we have noticed that our Helpdesk has expanded somewhat in the scope of questions being asked. We receive more than just the routing administration questions such as routing lists and group changes. Travelers have questions about finding the correct flights...

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Developing Relationships with the Travel Management Center Team

»Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Contracting for Travel Services, Electronic Travel Systems, Travel Management Centers, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

It is imperative that Travel Administrators develop a good working relationship with their Travel Management Center (TMC) and the E-Gov vendor’s TMC team. As a matter of fact, it is a must.  You will find that it nearly impossible to administer your agency’s travel program without their assistance. My agency has developed a mutual friendship and good working relationship between both parties.  The TMC has been very helpful in assisting us with resolving issues and creating guidance for educational purposes.  The same also applies to the E-Gov vendor’s TMC team. The majority of our travelers were used to using an automated system.  However, the reservation module was new to them, so they experienced quite a few problems in the very beginning.  Of...

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»Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

Smartpay 2 is the biggest change in payment methods that most agencies have experienced in 10 years. The original Smartpay program took years to enhance and develop, but most agencies are extremely proud of their partnerships with the charge card vendors. It absolutely revolutionized the micro purchase process throughout the Government and has eased the burden of incurring travel expenses on Government travelers. One major shock of the Smartpay 2 solicitation was that a current Smartpay vendor – Bank of America, who serviced several Government agencies, decided not to participate in the resolicitation. This meant even agencies that were comfortable with their electronic access systems and reporting processes would be forced to choose a new vendor. Most...

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What Is IATA?

»Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Business Intel/Data Mining, Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Global Distribution Systems, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

What does having an IATA mean? Do you need one to book a reservation on your own? Do I need to use the DTS to book my reservation? What amenities come with my room? It is not easy to get an IATA number but IATA numbers are basically the Travel agent’s ID number; this is also used to identify individual travel companies so that they will receive a commission check once the person has traveled to the destination.  When you put the IATA number in, it’s not for the discount…it’s so the companies know which travel agent to pay the commission to. To get the travel agency rate, you generally need to get the right rate codes (at least with rental cars & hotels – not sure how airlines interact with the GDS systems since they do not get paid...

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Global Distribution Systems and the Federal Traveler

»Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Hotels, Rental Cars | 0 comments

The Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) require that all federal travel be booked using a government travel agent, also known as a Travel Management Center (TMC).  Reservations can be made on-line using an e-Gov travel systems or via a phone call to the TMC.  When you use a TMC, your reservations are booked using one of the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) such as Sabre, Galileo, or Worldspan.  The GDS were previously known as Computer Reservation Systems (CRS) and were created by major airlines to aggregate the schedules, pricing, and inventory of the world’s airlines that could be used by travel agents to make reservations. The GDS eventually began including hotel, rental car, tour and cruise inventory for those companies that wanted to pay to participate....

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Changes in the Travel Business World

»Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 in History and Overview | 0 comments

The travel business is constantly changing which makes my job interesting and challenging.  When I first started working for my agency, the travel software was a simple program with limited capability.  The software we are currently using is much more complex with features enabling the traveler to access airline, hotel, and car rental reservations all within one program.  Specializing in one particular area is very helpful and having a team of people to work from every aspect makes a travel team complete.  As an analyst in the Accounting area of our office for five years, I acquired knowledge of the E Gov Travel system.  Even though the main objective was to reimburse the traveler in a timely manner, many factors entered into the equation.   A lot of...

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