The Travel Management Center

» Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

The Travel Management Center (TMC) is the name designated by General Services Administration (GSA) for accredited travel agencies under contract to the government to provide travel services for official Temporary Duty (TDY) travel.

Travel agencies are professional organizations accredited by the Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) to sell airline tickets and other travel services. Airlines have numerous requirements that must be sustained in order to maintain their accreditation.

The TMC must work with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) who defines the three letter airport code identifiers throughout the world. These codes are also used by baggage systems to facilitate correct routing of luggage.

The Global Distribution System (GDS) contains massive amounts of travel industry information for travel agents, and gives them immediate access to virtually anything a client would need or want to know.

It is not uncommon for a government travel agent to process close to 20 transactions a day and well over 4,000 in a year.

Travel agents as a major marketing and sales force for airlines and other travel vendors were traditionally paid commissions for the sales and marketing services; averaging 10% of the price of a ticket or other travel accommodation. Commissions to travel agents have been phased out completely, thus the need for transaction fees was born to create a replacement revenue stream.

Logically it is understood that agents could not perform the required scope of service for nothing. The traveler has always paid a transaction fee, whether to the airline or travel agent.

It was interesting to me; a federal employee to learn about what the TMC had to go through in order to service us as Federal Travelers.

This is why we stress to our travelers the online booking through e-travel, and the substantial saving. If we can pay $4.35 for booking online vs. $28.25 for having an agent book the same reservation we are definitely saving by booking it ourselves.

By: Shirley Keller

“The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.”

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