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Passenger Transportation Services and Unused Ticket Refund Procedures

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  1. Passenger Transportation Services and Unused Ticket Refund Procedures Peggie Poss and Corinne BachillerSenior Program Analysts GSA Training Conference & ExpoMay 4-6, 2010, Orlando, FL

  2. What we will cover • Arranging Passenger Transportation • Lowest Cost Air Travel • Airport Arrival Times/Baggage Allowance/Check-in • Possible Airline Compensation • Service Delays/Flight Cancellations/Tarmac Delays • Frequent Traveler Benefits • Excess, Lost/Delayed Baggage • Preparation of GTRs • Unused Ticket Refund Procedures

  3. Arranging passenger transportation • As designated by your agency • E-Gov Travel Service (ETS) Contractors • Travel Management Service (TMS) • Defense Travel System (DTS)

  4. Arranging passenger transportation (Con’d) • E-Gov Travel Service (ETS) when fully deployed by agency to include: • Government-contracted, end-to-end travel management web-based service to include travel authorization and expense reimbursement • Online self-service travel planning and booking tool • Reservations for transportation (air, rail, and car rental) • Reservations for Lodging

  5. GSA ETS Contractors • CW Government Travel (CWGT) – E2 Solutions • Electronic Data Systems (EDS) – FedTraveler • Northrop Grumman Mission System (NGMS) - GovTrip

  6. Arranging passenger transportation (Cont’d) • Travel Management Service (TMS) • Travel Management Centers (TMCs) (GSA Contracts) • Travel Agent Services under Travel Services • Solutions (TSS) Schedule 599 (GSA Contracts) • Commercial Travel Offices (CTOs) (DoD Contracts) • Other Federal Agency Contracts • Defense Travel System (DTS)

  7. Some Available fares • Government Contract Fares (YCA & _CA Dual Fare) • Group Fare • Discounted One-way Coach Fare • Round Trip Discounted Coach Fare • Full Coach Fare

  8. Request lowest available fare • Contract Airlines City Pair Fares - Mandatory • Combination City Pair Fares (No city pair - destination) • Combination City Pair Fare(s) and Other Fare(s) With Prior Approval • Other Fares Without Restrictions With Prior Approval • Restricted Fares Upon Request With Prior Approval

  9. Use of Non-contract Airline FTR §301-10.108 • Before purchasing non-contract fare, you must meet one of the exceptions; and • If non-contract fare is non-refundable/restricted, you must reasonably anticipate, based on the planned trip, that you will use the ticket; and • Management must determine that the proposed non-contract transportation is practical and cost effective for the Government. Note: Ticket/Flight Change fee - up to $150.

  10. GSA Airline City Pair Program Websites • Airfares (City Pair Program) www.gsa.gov/citypairs • Airfares (City Pair Search) www.gsa.gov/citypairsearch • Domestic fares include taxes, but not fees such as passenger facility charges, fuel surcharges, segment fees, and passenger security fees • Airfares FAQs and Fact Sheets www.gsa.gov/citypairs Select FAQ or Fact Sheets on the left

  11. Airport Choices Baggage allowance Booking engines Business class Change fee Code share Contractors Dual fares Fuel surcharge Groups Paper tickets Payment Refunds for partially or unused tickets Reservists; Seat choice; and Secure Flight Airfares (City Pair) Fact Sheets (Topics Include)

  12. Airline Reservations • When requesting seat assignment – Should choose only those seats that are available without an additional fee (e.g., bulkhead, exit row, aisle seat) • Any cost due to seat choice preference – not reimbursable

  13. Airport arrival times Transportation Security Administration (TSA) information and requirements (www.tsa.gov) • Security wait times different at each airport • Follow TSA guidelines for going thru TSA checkpoint • TSA set carry-on restrictions about liquids/gels • See “For Travelers” tab at top to access “Liquid Rules: 3-1-1 for Carry-Ons” & “What To Know Before You Go” for current restrictions

  14. Airline Baggage Allowance - Domestic • Airlines may charge a fee for checked bags – $15/$20/$23 – 1st bag and $25/$30/$32 – 2nd bag • Most Airlines have additional surcharge fee ($5/$2/$3) per checked bag ~~ May avoid surcharge fee (up to 2 bags) by checking in on-line within 24 hours of departure • 1st checked bag and $5/$2 fees – reimbursable with overnight stay or on one day with preapproval • 2nd checked bag and $5/$3 fees – reimbursable with preapproval

  15. Airline required check-in deadlines • Set by each airline at each airport for baggage check-in and gate arrival – Check your airline’s/airport’s web site • Baggage check-in time – If not met, you must have carry-on bag(s) only or your reservation may be canceled and you may be scheduled for next available flight • Airport Gate arrival time must be met to qualify for any compensation, if involuntarily bumped • Allow extra time for arrival at airport

  16. Voluntary vacating airline seat • Airline overbooks/oversells flight • Before denying boarding to anyone, Airline shall request volunteers to give up seats in exchange for compensation • Any voluntary action should not interfere with performing • official duties (FTR 41 CFR §301-10.117) • COMPENSATION: Whatever compensation offered by airline • Any compensation received is retained and used by employee

  17. Airline denied boarding compensation • Compensation only required for oversold flights • Insufficient number of volunteers vacate their seats • Passenger “Bumped” Against Will • Airline must provide written explanation of denied boarding compensation and boarding priorities • Any Compensation received by Government traveler must be given to Government and, if monetary, must be by check

  18. Service Delays and Flight Cancellations • Airlines are not required to compensate passengers due to bad weather, air traffic delays, mechanical repairs, etc. • Large Airlines, depending on cause/length of delay, MayProvide (most often only upon request of traveler): • Free telephone call • Free meal(s) voucher(s) • Free ground transportation • Free overnight lodging

  19. Tarmac Delays – Domestic Flights • Holding of aircraft on ground with no opportunity to deplane • Maximum - No more than 3 hours • Exceptions • Safety or security • Returning to terminal would disrupt airport operations • Provide adequate food/potable drinking water within 2 hours • Must maintain operable lavatories • Must provide adequate medical attention, if necessary

  20. Frequent traveler benefits • Includes benefits from airlines/hotels/rental cars • Benefits earned may be used for/during • Future official trips • Personal use, including upgrading to a higher class of service

  21. Excess baggage For domestic travel, most airlines: • Charge additional fee for overweight bags (over 50 pounds) (in addition to fees for checked bags) • Should obtain authorization to check more than one bag or if excessive/overweight bag is anticipated consider second bag (with approval) or shipping gov’t material via FedEx, UPS, etc. • Use travel card for payment to airline

  22. Domestic baggage liability • For provable direct or consequential damages resulting from loss of, damage to, or delay in delivery of baggage • $3,300 – Ceiling per passenger (depreciated value basis) • Report loss of, or damage to, bags before leaving airport • Obtain receipt • Obtain a phone number, IF POSSIBLE, • direct to the airline baggage office

  23. Limited use of Government Transportation Requests (GTRs) • Use of GTRs (SF 1169) for air travel very limited – generally for international air travel • Use travel cards (individually and centrally billed accounts) to purchase passenger transportation

  24. Government Transportation Request (GTR)

  25. Importance of proper preparation of GTR • Individual GTR • Fiscal Data • Bill Charges To Address • Date And Place of Issue • Actual Travel Date • Any Special Accommodations

  26. Preparation of GTR (Cont’d) • Number of Passengers • List each City/Airport (Segment/Leg) of Trip • List Airline with Fare Basis for each Segment, if Different • Enter “Lowest Coach”

  27. Unused Ticket Refund Procedures

  28. Time limitation on collection of unused tickets • Pursuant to American Airlines, Inc. v. Austin, 75 F.3d 1535 (Fed Cir 1996) refunds for unused tickets may be recovered by GSA up to ten (10) years from the date of purchase.

  29. Agency’s responsibility • Establish (and provide to employees) agency procedures for collecting unused, partially used, downgraded and exchanged tickets, and denied boarding compensation (see FTR 41 CFR §301-72.101) • Promptly process all unused tickets

  30. REMEMBER • Promptly return all unused or partially used paper tickets as directed by your agency for processing • Under no circumstances should paper tickets be filed, destroyed, or thrown away! • Alert agency when all or a portion has not been used (per agency instructions)

  31. Unused tickets have monetary value !! • Examples: • Tickets that haven’t been used • Travel is terminated short of the authorized destination • Return portion not used

  32. How to identify unused paper tickets • If there is a “coupon number” • Looks strange (colored ticket or doesn’t read “passenger receipt”)

  33. ARC TICKET - COUPON 1

  34. GTR purchases • Obtain unused ticket or information about nonuse of electronic ticket from traveler • Issue SF 1170 • Return unused ticket with SF 1170 to TMC/CTO or TSP • Note: All GTR billings should be prepayment audited

  35. SF 1170 (Revised 4/2001) Now on Internet as a fillable form http://www.gsa.gov/forms, select “Standard Forms Listing,” select SF 1170

  36. Redemption of Unused Tickets SF1170

  37. Redemption of Unused Tickets SF1170

  38. Unused electronic ticket(s) • Traveler must notify TMC/CTO immediately when trip or portion of trip will not be made • Obtain a receipt • Notify agency of unused portion(s) • Make sure account was credited or check received

  39. Centrally Billed Account (CBA) • Return paper ticket to TMC/CTO that issued ticket • Eticket (per agency instructions) • Obtain notification from TMC/CTO • Receipt • TMC/CTO Report • Confirm refund credit

  40. Employee’s Individually Billed Charge Card • Traveler should return all unused paper tickets to the TMC/CTO or TSP in exchange for a receipt • Traveler should keep the receipt and verify credit refund for paper or electronic ticket

  41. After 90 calendar days, any refunds that have not been received or a satisfactory explanation as to why no refund was due should be sent to GSA. Agencies must forward SF 1170s along with supporting documents for appropriate action when refunds are not received within 90 calendar days. Documents should be sent to:

  42. General Services Administration Attn: Inez Thompson Transportation Audits Division (QMCAA) 2200 Crystal Drive, Suite 300 Arlington, VA 22202 703-605-9409 inez.thompson@gsa.gov

  43. It is your responsibility to follow up on any information sent to GSA • If you have received a refund after you sent documents to GSA, please notify GSA/Inez Thompson with the following information: • Date of check • Check number • Amount of check • Name of carrier • Traveler/ticket information from SF 1170

  44. Bottom line • ACCOUNT FOR ALL UNUSED TICKETS – Paper and Electronic • Receipt • Suspense File • TMC/CTO Unused Ticket Report (include in task order) • SF 1170 • MAKE SURE YOU/AGENCY RECEIVE CREDIT/MONEY

  45. Transportation Service Provider (TSP) Requirements • TSPs must refund the value of unused tickets (after expiration) even if they do not receive a SF 1170. • TSPs are required to make such refunds within 90 days after the expiration date. The value of the unused tickets should be refunded to the GSA, Transportation Audits Division.

  46. TSP Requirements • Must provide GTR number (if applicable), ticket number, amount being refunded, and all pertinent information with the refund. • Refund checks should be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent to: General Services Administration Federal Acquisition Service Transportation Audits Division (QMCA) 2200 Crystal Drive, Suite 300 Arlington, VA 22002

  47. Where to find information • U.S. Government Passenger Transportation Handbookwww.gsa.gov/transaudits Click on left side for “Handbooks and Regulations” • Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) 41 CFR Chapter 301 • www.gsa.gov/ftr • Unused Ticket Refunds Information • www.gsa.gov/unusedticket

  48. Where to find information (Cont’d) • Handouts: • Compensation for Airline Service Deficiencies • Summary Sheet – Unused Ticket Refund Procedures • Travel and Transportation Web Sites Listing

  49. Questions? Corinne Bachiller Senior Program Analyst Transportation Audits Div. (QMCA) GSA - Arlington, VA 703-605-2872 corinne.bachiller@gsa.gov Peggie Poss Senior Program Analyst Strategic Business Management Div. (QMCB) GSA - Atlanta, GA 404-331-0559 peggie.poss@gsa.gov Office of Travel and Transportation Services program.education@gsa.gov