Travel Management Centers

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» Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

With the onset of ETS systems, the vendor of each system had to select an imbedded partner to act as the travel agent.  As referred to by GSA, the Travel Management Center (TMC) or Commercial Travel Office (CTO), had to be accredited by the Airline Reporting Corporation to sell airline tickets and other travel services.  The TMC/CTO is responsible for issuing tickets requested and approved through the ETS.  The TMC/CTO also had to provide full travel services along with 24/7 emergency services.

Travel agents working on government travel accounts receive customized training on policies and procedures for official travel.  They also have experience with the GDS system and have access to the Federal Travel Regulations.

The most common way of booking reservations through an ETS system is by creating an authorization, selecting reservations, adding expenses, and then electronically signing the document.  Once the document is signed, it is automatically transferred to the TMC/CTO.  These electronic files are called “queues” and transfer information from the ETS to the TMC/CTO and vice-versa.  These queues contain the Passenger Name Record (PNR) along with other information needed for booking.  Once the reservations are booked and the travel authorization is approved, the TMC/CTO tickets the reservations 2-3 days before departure.  Once the reservations are ticketed, the TMC/CTO charges a nominal transaction fee.  This process is referred to as a “self-service” transaction.  Another method of booking reservations is referred to as “non self-service”.  A non self-service transaction is when the traveler requires the assistance of a travel agent.  This type of reservation is usually complex and most of the time involves foreign travel.  A non self-service fee is usually more that a self-service fee because it requires manual intervention.

By: Chanda Garrett

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.  Use of this equipment is consistent with the agency’s policy governing limited personal use.

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