Posts Tagged "savings"

The Advantages of One TMC

»Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

For those states that have a managed travel program, each state puts a different spin on how to contract for a Travel Management Contractor.  Some states will contract separately for an online and a traditional provider.  Some will contract for a single agency and others will contract for multiple.    Some states may have statutes or laws like the federal government where a portion of the contracts is required to be spent with minority or small business. Oregon has had a managed travel program for over 15 years.   The model was patterned after the GSA and has worked well.  One thing that Oregon does is it keeps the number of travel agencies who are authorized to provide contracted air fares, to one.    The State of Oregon partners with the...

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City Pair Program Benefits Unrecognized

»Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Airlines | 0 comments

One thing I’ve noticed while assisting travelers with booking reservations through ETS/GDS is that sometimes the prices on certain city pair legs are higher than what the public would see on other sites such as Orbitz or Travelocity.  We get this complaint quite often.  The fact that city pair fares can save up to 50% to 70% on unrestricted coach fares is a big deal.  Unfortunately I don’t think a lot of travelers quite understand this.   In times like these when travel budgets are being slashed all over the Federal Government, many travelers are becoming even more conscientious of their travel expenses.   They are encouraged to minimize their travel expenses as much as possible.  This has caused many travelers to become upset when they see a plane...

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»Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms is a government-sponsored lodging program designed for the federal traveler.  FedRooms negotiates hotel rates for those areas where government travelers need to stay while performing official government business.  This program provides a substantial savings to the government because rates are at or below per diem, no hidden costs or penalties are associated to the rate, travelers are not charged for early check-out, and travelers can cancel a reservation until 4:00 pm on the day of arrival without incurring a penalty. For the convenience of travelers, FedRooms offers a website which offers helpful information.  There’s a convenient search page for travelers to easily find a FedRooms hotel.  This site also offers an overview of the FedRooms...

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Government Rental Car Program

»Posted by on Sep 20, 2014 in Industry Postings, Rental Cars | 0 comments

The U.S. Government Rental Car/Truck Program provides special rental benefits and reduced rates to all federal government employees on official business. Designed to meet the needs of the federal traveler, the program provides quality rentals through 16 companies at over 10,000 rental locations.  The Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) administers the program through an agreement with participating rental car companies. There are many benefits of the Government Rental Car Program.  One of the most significant benefits to government personnel on official business is the collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance.  This insurance is included at no extra charge.  Besides attractive rates, other benefits include unlimited mileage, age restriction reduced from 25...

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Promoting Efficient Travel Spending

»Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Hotels, Industry Postings, Payment Methods, Travel Professional Resources, White Papers | 1 comment

Last year I wrote about the emphasis on reduced travel budgets and gaining cost savings and efficiencies related to Federal Government travel.  Since that time, the Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have further reduced travel funding.  The President signed an Executive Order entitled “Promoting Efficient Spending” dated November 9, 2011 asking agencies to review policies and procedures to find savings and efficiencies related to official travel, and in other areas such as fleet, IT and printing.  The Order calls for reductions of not less than 20% below fiscal year 2010 budget totals, effective by 2013. The Order states: “As they serve taxpayers, executive departments and agencies also must act in a fiscally responsible...

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Initial Thoughts on CGTP Course

»Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in History and Overview | 0 comments

I took the first two modules of the CGTP certification, and it appears to be pretty complete.  I did notice one flaw between the study material and the exam.  The study material indicates that the GSA experimented with its first city-pair program in 1980 with 11 city-pair contract air fares.  The exam asks how many airlines the GSA contracted with in 1980. It almost reads as a trick question to help define the differences between and city-pair and an airline.   As we know, a city-pair is a pairing of cities.   Either the reading material should indicate how many airlines, or the exam question should be written to say how many city-pairs were originally contracted. The first two sections seem to be a 30,000 foot view and what the GSA and Federal...

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Travel Budget Savings

»Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Airlines, Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Hotels, Rental Cars | 0 comments

The Bureau of the Public Debt performs reimbursable administrative services to other Government agencies.  Our office administers travel services that include GovTrip E-Travel services and travel policy.  In the current economic climate with all the focus on cost savings and reduced budgets, saving travel dollars is taking center stage. Agencies are faced with reduced funding for travel and using video conferencing wherever feasible. The Government is tracking the ‘carbon footprint’ of their trips and setting targets for reductions.  This stemmed from a Presidential Executive Order last year and has been highly visible since reporting began. Also centralizing reporting for adherence to Federal and agency travel policies is appearing with the new GSA...

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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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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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History of Travel

»Posted by on Mar 2, 2014 in Government Traveler Comments, History and Overview | 0 comments

History. I always hear how things were better in the past. When things were slower, and less advanced. Where things took a lot longer to accomplish and where people took time to visit with others because televisions and computers were not invented yet. But as time has shown, not all things are better in the past. Travel in the old days took whole days just to travel a few miles, and now you can be halfway around the world in just a few hours. Technology is not a bad thing. Advancements in vehicles and computer systems have opened the travel arena to heights never imagined in the past. And as technology continues to advance, the travel industry will also advance with it. Government travel began as a small portion of the government budget but has grown to play a...

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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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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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