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GSA Announces New Discounted Airfares for Federal Travelers

Savings through the City Pairs program are expected to total $2.35 billion in fiscal 2016.

The General Services Administration on Thursday announced that it has finalized contracts with seven major U.S. air carriers that will provide discounted tickets to federal employees on official travel next year.

The newly negotiated contracts for the City Pairs program will save the government $2.35 billion in fiscal 2016, GSA said. The program saves money by setting a fixed price for tickets up front, which is 52 percent lower than the price for comparable commercial airline tickets. The program also gives federal employees more flexibility in how they book their business trips, by eliminating added costs such as cancellation or change fees.

Next year’s contracts will expand into 1,266 additional markets, GSA said. The average price for one-way tickets under the program decreased 3 percent, while commercial airfare prices have increased 3 percent so far in 2015, the announcement stated.

The program has also expanded its use of dual markets, in which there are even more heavily discounted fares for federal travelers who are able to book their tickets in advance. The number of dual-fare markets grew 24 percent to 8,564 in the fiscal 2016 contracts, GSA said.

“GSA’s mission is to help federal agencies save money, and that includes getting the best price for government travelers,” Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe said in a statement. “By leveraging the government’s buying power through the City Pair Program, we help federal agencies reduce travel costs and save billions of taxpayer dollars.”  

The new rates will take effect on Oct. 1. For more information click here

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