Using the TMC/ETS

» Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

Most government employees who travel on official government business know that they are supposed to use the TMC and ETS, but many may not know why they should do so.  American Express, SATO and for the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), National Travel, are the TMC’s used when booking travel through GovTrip.  There are many popular travel sites available for booking trips:  Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz, just to name a few.  Also, many airlines offer the service of booking directly through their websites.  While doing so may take less time and in some cases, may be significantly less expensive, there are risks involved that many may not be aware of.

Perhaps the most important advantage of booking travel through the TMC is that unused tickets are fully refundable.  This is not usually the case when booking directly through the airline’s website or through a third-party website, such as those mentioned earlier.  Also, the systems for non-traditional travel agencies do not have government contracts because their systems do not make accommodations for the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) and do not provide adequate protection for the traveler’s personal information, as mandated by the Privacy Act and other provisions that protect government travelers.  Additionally, booking through the TMC and using an ETS, such as GovTrip, provides an additional layer of security as far as being compliant with the FTR.  Travel services such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz do not take the FTR into account; therefore, the traveler runs a higher risk of violating the FTR.

By Mark Hartshorn

These are my opinions and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government.


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