Government Saves on Federal Travel

Flickr user andrewmalone

This story has been updated. 

Average air fares for federal travelers will be cheaper in fiscal 2014, the government announced.

The General Services Administration said on Friday that it negotiated and awarded new contracts for the fiscal 2014 City Pair Program to 10 U.S. air carriers, saving the government an estimated $2.2 billion. Average one-way plane tickets for feds flying domestic on government business will fall 4 percent in fiscal 2014 from current rates, while international fares are dropping 7 percent. Also, the program is increasing available routes by 25 percent to more than 6,300 destinations, and government travelers will benefit from 20 percent more non-stop flights to 1,887 routes, according to GSA.

The fiscal 2014 rates take effect on Oct. 1.

The pre-negotiated airfare rates under the program offer up to 59 percent off of commercial airfare for feds on government travel. More secondary markets will be available at discounted rates in fiscal 2014 as well. “Following the 2013 decision to not award the secondary markets, instead directing federal travelers to the lower commercially-available rates, the airlines came back to GSA with competitive pricing in those markets this year, allowing for travelers to book lowest rates and receive the benefits associated with booking through City Pairs,” said a GSA press release.

GSA said its “data-driven analytical approach to managing the program and negotiating with the carriers” helped reduce costs.

In addition to cheaper fares, the City Pair program allows the federal workforce the flexibility to change, cancel or make last-minute reservations without incurring additional fees. The fiscal 2014 program will retain all the same benefits as previous years.

Airlines are providing more "dual fare markets" for 2014 than 2013, which helped the agency obtain a better deal, said Mafara Hobson, GSA's deputy associate administrator for media affairs. Dual fares, which are part of many city pairs, include a discounted unrestricted rate and an even cheaper restricted rate. The restricted rates, called capacity controlled fares, have a limited number of seats and availability varies by carrier and market. "Dual fare markets offer lower priced capacity controlled fares which means federal travelers have more opportunities to take advantage of lower fares which brings the average fare down," Hobson said.  

Click here to search for fares. 

(Image via Flickr user andrewmalone)

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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


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