Pre-negotiated rates will result in a 53 percent discount for the federal government.
The General Services Administration announced Monday that it has awarded the fiscal 2018 contracts for federal travelers to fly at discounted rates, and it expects to save $2.44 billion in the process.
The agency’s City Pair Program awarded contracts to eight major U.S. carriers. Airfare prices for official federal travel are negotiated and fixed up front, which results in a 53 percent discount when compared to regular commercial fares.
The program also secures a waiver for the federal government on cancellation and change fees, which gives agencies greater flexibility in booking. GSA said fares will remain flat in fiscal 2018, with an average cost of $227 for domestic flights, compared to $225 in fiscal 2017. International fares on average increased from $724 in fiscal 2017 to $742 next year.
“GSA’s ‘best-in-class’ City Pair Program is a valuable tool to help us accomplish our goal of helping federal agencies save valuable taxpayer dollars,” said Alan Thomas, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service commissioner. “By leveraging the government’s buying power through this strategically sourced program, we are able to provide simple travel solutions to meet the government’s needs while saving taxpayers more than $2.4 billion.”
The new rates will take effect Oct. 1. More details are available at the GSA website.