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GSA Expands Reach, Increases Savings of City Pairs Federal Travel Program

Travel program leverages government’s buying power to save an estimated $7.4 billion.

GSA# 10804

July 13, 2011
Cara Battaglini, 703-605-9375

WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration has awarded its Airline City Pairs Program contracts for 2012, expanding the program's reach to more than 6,000 destinations and saving taxpayers an estimated $7.4 billion.

The largest managed airline program in the world, City Pairs leverages the buying power of the federal government to price airline tickets approximately 70 percent below commercial market airfares, while giving federal travelers maximum flexibility.

“A key part of GSA’s mission is to help agencies save money and make smart decisions when it comes to travel," said GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Steven J. Kempf. "Our expertise in travel management and skillful negotiations allows us to be extremely effective in generating cost-savings for federal agencies through our travel programs. City Pairs provides significantly discounted rates with firm fixed pricing, flexible policies, and governmentwide savings. The success of City Pairs is a direct result of GSA’s knowledge and experience combined with the airline industry's sustained partnership and participation.”

For fiscal year 2012 the City Pairs program has set average federal rates at 70 percent below full commercial airfares. The program gives federal travelers the flexibility to book one-way, multileg, and round-trip airfare at the lowest cost possible, while retaining the ability to adjust or cancel flights at no additional cost to the government.

The 2012 program also expands available destinations by 7 percent to cover 4,374 domestic and 1,783 international city pairs. All major U.S. carriers participate in the City Pairs program.

The program has benefited from increased access to granular data and tools that help GSA and its federal agency customers better manage travel spending, and can even identify greenhouse gas emissions associated with government travel.

“GSA’s Travel Management Information Service, along with our E-Gov Travel Service, provides us with a transparent view of travel transactions," said GSA Director of Travel and Transportation Services Tim Burke. "This data enables our program team to build on our relationships with industry and customers. Leveraging that data, GSA is able to negotiate best-value pricing for the City Pairs program, while balancing policy, programs, and procurement. Just as important, that same data is used by our federal agency customers to efficiently manage their agencies' travel.”

The 2012 rates will become effective Oct. 1, 2011. When awarding City Pairs contracts to airlines, GSA considers a number of criteria, including availability of nonstop service, total number of flights, flight availability, average elapsed flight time, availability of jet service, and price of service. The program also offers dual fare markets to provide flexibility for immediate travel and discounted fares for booking flights early.

For more information on the Airline City Pairs Program or to view air fares, please visit Airline City Pairs.

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As the federal government's workplace solutions provider, the U.S. General Services Administration works to foster an effective, sustainable and transparent government for the American people. GSA’s expertise in government workplace solutions includes:
• Effective management of government assets including more than 9,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 215,000 vehicles in the federal fleet, and preservation of historic federal properties;
• Leveraging the government’s buying power through responsible acquisition of products and services making up approximately 14 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars;
• Providing innovative technology solutions to enhance government efficiency and increase citizen engagement; and,
• Promoting responsible use of federal resources through development of governmentwide policies ranging from federal travel to property and management practices.

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