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 on the best overall value to the Government. Best Value is based on type, distribution and number of flights, the average flighttime and the offered price.

Did you know?

•         GSA provides the City Pair Program for the federal government.

•         Usually remains the same for the entire period of the contract (typically one year)

•         The City Pair Program saves money

•         There are no penalties for cancellations or changes in itinerary

•         Advance purchases are not required

•         There is last seat availability

•         The tickets are fully refundable

•         Fares are priced on one –way routes permitting multiple destinations planning

•         The two basic fare codes that identify the GSA City airfare are YCA and-CA

Our travelers are mandated to use City Pair Program unless otherwise authorized. The Defense Travel System actually triggers an audit flag which ask you to explain why you didn’t take a contract flight. There are always exceptions. Our travelers are allowed to use non-contract fares only if meets the mission of our agency or if space is not available on a scheduled contract flight.  GSA cannot require a carrier add non-stop service. This is because while the City Pair program has sales well over $1 billion per year, it still represents only about 2% of the airlines business. If the commercial traffic warrants it, a carrier will not add a new route or improve service levels for the government. Although, non-stop service is well favored, it is not always available or the best value.

By: Stacey Clark

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