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Travel Program Saves Billions for Federal Agencies

Air Travel program leverages government’s buying power to save nearly $6 billion annually

August 9, 2012

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. General Services Administration announced the award of its cost-saving air travel contracts for 2013, which save taxpayers an estimated $5.9 billion a year. Under GSA’s City Pairs Program, airfare rates for the federal government’s official travel are pre-negotiated and offer up to 73 percent off of commercial airfare for the federal workforce. In addition to offering considerable discounts, the City Pairs Program allows the federal government additional flexibility in how it books air travel.

“GSA’s mission is to help federal agencies save money, and that includes getting the best price for government travelers," said Mary Davie, Acting Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. "By leveraging the government’s buying power, we are able to maximize cost-savings for federal agencies and save taxpayer dollars.”

The City Pairs Program establishes standard airfare rates between cities where the federal workforce typically travels, and these pre-negotiated rates save the government money. GSA is able to negotiate best-value pricing for the government by using travel data. All major U.S. carriers participate in the City Pairs Program. The 2013 rates will become effective October 1, 2012.

For fiscal year 2013 the City Pairs Program retained all of the same benefits, which save the federal government on commercial travel rates. 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.

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, 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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