New city-pair contracts feature advance-purchase discounts

Federal travelers will have an incentive to plan their business trips early this year, thanks to a new airfare program negotiated by the General Services Administration. The program offers prices even lower than the already discounted federal rates for a limited number of seats for airfares in 337 test markets. GSA chose the markets from a random sample of the federal government's 2,000 most-traveled markets. The restricted fares are anywhere from $20 to $100 less expensive than the traditional unrestricted, or "walk-up," rates available to federal travelers. But since they are available only on a limited number of seats, budget-conscious travelers will book the reduced fares early. "Federal travelers are going to have to make some changes," said Sue McIver, director of GSA's Services Acquisition Center. While it remains to be seen whether federal travelers will actually take advantage of the new test fares, airline carriers are happy because the early booking will help them manage their inventories better, said McIver. Tickets can still be bought under standard government rates at the last minute if seats are available. There are no cancellation fees on the special discounted fares. Unrestricted standard fares will continue to be available in the test markets. This year, GSA awarded contracts for walk-up fares to 14 airlines at an average 72 percent savings over unrestricted coach fares offered to the general public. Walk-up fares are negotiated each year under GSA's city-pair program. The contracts are awarded competitively based on the best overall value to the government for travel between specified pairs of tickets. Walk-up tickets don't require advance purchase and have no minimum or maximum stay requirements, travel time limits, charges for cancellations or blackout periods. The terms of the agreements are so favorable to travelers that airlines refuse to extend the rates to government contractors. Federal fliers will have almost 5,000 routes to choose from in fiscal 2002. Discounted fares for federal employees include $37 one-way from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National airport (down from $40 in 2001); $90 one-way from Chicago's O'Hare to Washington Reagan (up from $52 in 2001); and $66 one-way from Boston Logan to Washington Reagan (down from $70 in 2001). The 2002 contracts include 91 additional markets offering nonstop routes. "In 95 percent of markets where nonstop was available, we were able to offer it," said McIver. The contract awards and prices are effective Oct. 1, 2001, through Sept. 30, 2002. Travelers can search for fares online at GSA's city-pairs Web site:
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.