Transaction Fees

» Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 in Electronic Travel Systems, Payment Methods, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

The various transaction fees associated with Government travel are a source of confusion for travelers.  Whether using an embedded Travel Management Center (TMC) from the ETS Master Contract, or an accommodated (third party) TMC – usually from the Travel Services Solutions (TSS) Schedule 599 – there are multiple fees that need to be understood.

If an agency’s TMC services are provided via the ETS Master Contract, there are two primary fees to be concerned with in the most common domestic Temporary Duty (TDY) travel scenario which includes air and/or rail.  First is the TDY voucher processing fee, ranging from $10.28 to $13.50 per voucher.  I have heard users of my agency’s E-Gov Travel system wonder why they now have to pay to process travel vouchers when they see the voucher fees displayed in the E-Gov Travel system; not realizing that there was also a cost to process vouchers prior to E-Gov Travel.  The cost per voucher with my agency’s previous, in-house travel system (costs for hardware and software maintenance, system upgrades, staff salary) just didn’t display to the traveler.

The second fee is for reservation and ticket issuance/fulfillment: reservation made online “Self Service” (range of $4.35 to $10.03 per booking), or reservation made via a TMC agent “Non-Self Service” ($28.25 to $32.83).  Confusion occurs for a traveler when the initial reservation is made online but the traveler later calls the TMC to alter the booking.  Involving a TMC agent increases this fee from “Self Service” to “Non-Self Service.”

If an accommodated (third party) TMC is used with an E-Gov Travel system, there is a third fee:  for using the system’s online booking engine (OBE), ranging from $4.50 to $5.16.  In this scenario, there would be the fee to the E-Gov Travel vendor for using the OBE and another fee to the accommodated TMC to fulfill/issue the air and/or rail tickets.  Usually the TMC fee in this scenario would be the less-expensive “Self Service,” but if a traveler calls the TMC to alter the reservation, the fee will be increased to “Non-Self Service.”  Travelers sometimes ask why they are being charged the higher “Non-Self Service” fee when they made the reservation online.  Invariably, the reason is that the traveler later contacted a TMC agent to modify the reservation.

By:  Kevin Young

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