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E-Gov Travel FAQs



General Questions and Answers:


What is E-Gov Travel?
E-Gov Travel, one of the five GSA-managed E-Government initiatives, was launched in response to the President's Management Agenda's mission to improve the internal efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government. E-Gov Travel is a collaborative, interagency program. Its purpose is to realize the cost-savings, and increased service associated with a common, automated, and integrated approach to managing the travel function of the federal government's civilian agencies.

What Does the E-Gov Travel service include?
The E-Gov Travel Service includes an online booking engine, travel management services, and a travel authorization and vouchering system (TAVS). GovTrip is the name of the Northrop Grumman (NG) E-Gov Travel system and it provides all of the aforementioned elements with Sato Travel as the embedded TMC.

When is the change to the GovTrip system effective?
DOI is implementing the GovTrip System in two phases. The first phase is the conversion to the Stand-Alone Online Booking Engine and that has been completed as of November 30th, 2007. The second phase of the implementation is the Travel Authorization and Travel Voucher System which is to be implemented throughout FY 2008, and will be completed by November 30th, 2008.

Where can I find more information about the E-Gov Travel initiative?
To find out more about E-Gov Travel, go to GSA's webpage at: www.gsa.gov/portal/category/27096

How do I login to GovTrip as a first-time user?
Your first step for logging into GovTrip: www.govtrip.com as a first time user will be to create an account. Please print either the Quick Start Guide or the detailed step-by step guide found here before trying to log in the first time.

How do I obtain my user id and password?
Once you enter www.govtrip.com, you must click the Change Edition link located at the top of the page to exit the GovTrip General Version. Once you click Change Edition, choose Department of the Interior from the Select Agency Name drop-down box, check the Remember my Agency checkbox, and click the Set Version button. Then, click the small green Log In button in the upper right section of the webpage. After reviewing the privacy and ethics policy, Click the First Time User? Create an Account link. Your will be able to choose your own User id and Password.  If you get an error message when setting up your user id and password, you have either picked a user id that already exists, and have to pick another one OR you have not been loaded by GovTrip system administrators yet. For more help, click on the Help Desk Link on the left side of the www.govtrip.com webpage to find your local system administrator.

Why can't I find Department of the Interior in the organization field?
If you click on Department of the Interior in the organization search and get "No data returned", you are still in the GovTrip General Version and must change your edition to the Department of the Interior Version. Click the Change Edition link located at the top of the page to exit the GovTrip General Version. Once you click Change Edition, choose Department of the Interior from the Select Agency Name drop-down box, check the Remember my Agency checkbox, and click the Set Version button.

What is my unique id?
The unique id is not the user id and password you selected. It historically would have been your SSN and it's used to validate your identity the first time you log in. Once you enter your user id and password, it will ask you to activate your account. The unique ID convention is as follows:
 
BIA/BIE – The letters BIA or BIE, followed by the first letter of your first name, first four letters of your last name, and the last four of your SSN. If your last name only has 2 or 3 letters, just use those letters.
Example: BIAJDOE1234 (the letters must be in all caps)
 
BLM – The letters BLM, followed by the first letter of your first name, first four letters of your last name, and the last four of your SSN. If your last name only has 2 or 3 letters, just use those letters.
Example: BLMJDOE1234 (the letters must be in all caps)
 
BOR – The letters BOR, followed by the first letter of your first name, first four letters of your last name, and the last four of your SSN. If your last name only has 2 or 3 letters, just use those letters.
Example: BORJDOE1234 (the letters must be in all caps)
 
FWS – The letters FWS, followed by the first letter of your first name, first four letters of your last name, and the last four of your SSN. If your last name only has 2 or 3 letters, just use those letters.
Example: FWSJDOE1234 (the letters must be in all caps)
MMS – The letters DOI followed by your FBMS vendor code.
Example: DOI40000000
 
NPS – The letters NPS, followed by the first letter of your first name, first four letters of your last name, and the last four of your SSN. If your last name only has 2 or 3 letters, just use those letters.
Example: NPSJDOE1234 (the letters must be in all caps)
 
OS – The letters OS, followed by the first letter of your first name, first four letters of your last name, and the last four of your SSN. If your last name only has 2 or 3 letters, just use those letters.
Example: OSJDOE1234 (the letters must be in all caps)
 
OSM – Use your FBMS vendor code.
Example: 40000000
 
SOL – The letters SOL, followed by the first letter of your first name, first four letters of your last name, and the last four of your SSN. If your last name only has 2 or 3 letters, just use those letters.
Example: SOLJDOE1234 (the letters must be in all caps)
 
USGS – The letters GS, followed by the first letter of your first name, first four letters of your last name, and the last four of your SSN. If your last name only has 2 or 3 letters, just use those letters.
Example: GSJDOE1234 (the letters must be in all caps)

How often will my password expire?
Your GovTrip password will expire every 90 days.

What are the rules when creating a password in GovTrip?
Passwords should be a minimum of eight characters with at least one number, one upper case letter, two lower case letters, and one special character (!@#$%^&*).

What if I can't remember my password or the answer to my challenge question?
If you have forgotten both your password and the answer to your challenge question, you will need to contact the GovTrip Help Desk at 1-866-486-6135 and press the option for password reset.

Is the answer to my challenge question case sensitive?
Yes.

How do I contact SATO travel agents?
If you must call a travel agent, you should call 1-866-486-6135 and press option 2.


Questions of Transactions Fees:


What does it cost to use the Stand-Alone Online Booking Engine?
The current transaction fee rates as of November 12, 2008 are:

  • Domestic Self Service with Air ($4.35)
    Reservation and booking is initiated and completed utilizing the GovTrip Online Booking Tool with no TMC Counselor support.

  • Domestic Self Service without Air ($4.00)

  • Domestic Full Service with Air ($28.25) – Services which require the assistance of a TMC Agent which may include:

    • Initiating an Authorization on behalf of a Traveler

    • Creating and booking reservations through a live agent

    • Booking certain Airlines that do not participate in the GDS, such as Airtran and JetBlue; a complete listing of these airlines can be found here.

    • Changes to a reservation that might have begun as a No Touch Service transaction but later requires agent assistance

    • Changes to ticketed reservations

    • Adding a request or a comment for assistance while in the reservation module

    • Additional support requests that require the intervention of a TMC Agent

    • Rail Reservations

  • Domestic Full Service without Air ($17.50)

  • International Full Service ($37.00)

When is the transaction fee charged?
The transaction fee is charged when the ticket is issued. Tickets will be issued 2 business days prior to travel, unless you have purchased a restricted fare, then tickets are issued immediately. You also have the option to request tickets be issued at anytime, by using the Advanced Ticketing Date functionality on the signature page in GovTrip


Questions of Profiles:


Do I have to enter all of my individual traveler information into the traveler profile in the GovTrip System?
For most users, much of your basic profile has been done. However, when you log into GovTrip for the first time, you should verify all of your profile information to verify that it is indeed correct. You will need to enter your charge card information or verify it was loaded, before you start your first reservation. The traveler profile only has to be created one time, and the information and preferences will be stored for future travel.

How do I enter my charge card information in the GovTrip System?
Once you have logged into to GovTrip with your user name and password, activated your account, and chosen a challenge question; you will be on your GovTrip Welcome page. The third blue tool bar says Traveler Setup, and you will click on Travel Profile under that tab. Then click the link called My Account Information, and scroll to the bottom and click the Edit EFT and Credit cards button. Enter the 16 digit account number in the account number field. Leave the Routing number field blank. Use the calendar to enter your expiration date, choose the last day of the month even though your card does not display that day. Choose GOVCC from the EFT type drop down list and click the Save Permanent button. You will have to click the Return button to get back to the other Profile sections.

How do I enter Frequent Flyer, Hotel, and Car Rewards numbers?
From your GovTrip Welcome page, roll to the third blue tool bar that says Traveler Setup, and you will click on Travel Profile under that tab. Then, click the link called My Preferences. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see three buttons call Freq Flyer, Hotel Rewards, and Car Rental Club. Click on these buttons as desired and enter information.

What is the traveler profile information used for?
Your traveler profile gives Northrop Grumman (NG) and SATO Travel valuable information they need to book a trip, provide tickets, and meet your travel needs. It includes information such as your ticket delivery address, phone, e-mail address, charge card number, preferred airport, frequent flyer numbers, preferred seat request, and any special needs you may have. Your basic information including charge card information must be in your traveler profile before you can use GovTrip.

How long do I have to wait until I can make a reservation once my profile is complete?
You do not have to wait. Once your traveler profile is saved in the system, you can begin making reservations.

Is there a place to include a travel arranger's email to get notifications and itineraries?
Yes. In the traveler's profile there is a field for alternate email addresses. You can enter more than one email address in this field, please separate email addresses by using a comma.

What information should go in the emergency contact fields?
The emergency contact information is not a personal emergency contact, but rather the person at your agency that can help with ticketing issues in the event you can not be reached.

My profile lists my Government Charge Card with correct account no., expiration data, etc. but I get an error when booking a flight?
If this happens you can click on a tab at the top of the page called Additional Options, then click on My Account Information and then look for the small link towards the bottom that says Refresh Account Data, it will pull the credit card info into that document.

GovTrip Profile


Questions on Using GovTrip for Obtaining Travel Reservations:


I need to make a travel reservation.  Where do I go to make that reservation?
Effective October 15th, 2007, you should use the GovTrip System located at www.govtrip.com. If you have less than 24 hours for a trip or need agent assistance, you should contact SATO directly at 1-866-486-6135.

How do I begin a new reservation?
From your GovTrip Welcome page, the first blue tool bar says Official Travel, and you will click on Authorizations/Orders to begin your new authorization/reservation if you are a traveler. Then, you will click the Create New Authorization/Order link to begin your authorization/reservation.
 
If you arrange travel for others, you will go to the second blue tool bar that says Official Travel-Others. Click Authorizations/orders, then a search window will open. You will search for your traveler by entering their last name and clicking Search. You will select your traveler from the listing that pops up and click the Proceed button. If you can not find your traveler you may need assistance from your system administrator to grant you group access.

Who should I contact if I have a problem with GovTrip and the Stand-Alone Booking Engine?
You can click on the Help Desk Link found on the left side of the main www.govtrip.com page for your local system administrator and the NG Help Desk number.

What if I need to make changes to my travel plan?
The GovTrip System will allow you to make as many changes as you want for air, car and/or hotel after you have started an authorization. If the change is before you have signed the authorization, you would click on the view/edit link next to the document. If you want to make a change, be sure to uncheck the "view only" checkbox. If the change is after it has been signed/approved, you will click the "Amend" link next to the document. Then you can go in and make any changes to the authorization/reservation and resign the document for routing.
 
Once a ticket is issued (2 days prior to travel), you will not be able to make changes online in GovTrip to the ticket. You will need to call SATO at 1-866-486-6135 to make the change. There will be a full service charge applied due to making changes to a ticketed reservation. There will not be additional charges to cancel a ticketed reservation over the phone.

How will the system handle emergency travel?
There will be an after hours emergency number on any booked invoice and the regular number will roll to the emergency desk after hours. The phone number is the same as the regular number (1-866-486-6135) and there will be an option for "Emergencies."

Can I use the GovTrip System to book invitational travel charged to a corporate account?
If your bureau has set up access to corporate cards in GovTrip, you may be able to accommodate invitational travel booked by DOI travel arrangers. Contact your local bureau administrator for more information.

Can I book international travel on GovTrip?
International travel can only be booked through Govtrip if your bureau has set up foreign routing. Contact your local bureau administrator for more information.

Can I get both etickets and paper tickets from GovTrip?
Etickets are the standard issued by most airlines. If any airline requires a paper ticket to be issued, a courier fee will apply.

Are the hotels that GovTrip displays all within per diem for that destination?
Fedrooms properties should be listed at or below per diem. Other hotels can post any amount as their "Government" rate. The Lodging allowance will always be posted on the lodging webpage for quick reference.

Can I make train reservations on GovTrip?
Amtrak does not allow any outside Global Distribution system to purchase tickets directly from their inventory. The Amtrak schedules are posted on GovTrip and can be reserved online, but an agent will have to contact Amtrak to actually get the ticket. This will incur the full touch fee of 28.25 until Amtrak changes their business process.

Can I book leisure travel on GovTrip?
No, GovTrip is for official travel only.

How do I obtain a trip itinerary?
Travelers should be automatically sent an itinerary from Sato Travel once they mark their trip "Signed" in the OBE. Invoices will be sent once a ticket is issued, and both can also be accessed at www.virtuallythere.com.

Will I be able to combine official travel with personal travel on the new system?
No, travelers will have to call an agent and book the official trip and then trade in the value of that ticket for what they really want to do. All personal costs and fees will be charged to the traveler's personal card.

How do I cancel reservations?
For detailed instructions use the training guide located here.  You can only cancel online if you have not already been ticketed.  Otherwise, you can either call 1-866-486-6135 to cancel or you can amend the document online: go to the digital signature page under the Review/Sign tab and stamp the document canceled.

Why do I get full services fees for certain airlines?
There are several carrier's who still require manual processing by the Travel Management Center regardless of whether they are booked online or not, because they do not participate in the travel industry's Global Distribution System (GDS). Those carriers are as follows: 

  • Africa Air Charter
  • Air North
  • AirTran Airways
  • Alaska Marine Highway
  • ATA Airlines
  • Bering Air Inc.
  • BIG
  • Canadian North/Air Norterra Inc.
  • Cape Air
  • ERA Aviation
  • Express Jet
  • FJORD Flying Service
  • Forty Mile Air
  • Frontier Flying 
  • Frontier Flying Service 
  • FS Air Service / Trans Air Benin
  • Great Lakes
  • Hagland Airlines
  • Homer Air
  • Island Air
  • Jet Blue
  • Kenmore Air Harbour Inc.
  • Lab Flying Service
  • Larry's Flying Service
  • Mesa Airlines
  • Olympic Airlines
  • Pacific Coast Airlines
  • PAN AM Clipper Connect/Boston Maine Airways
  • Penair (Peninsula Airways)
  • Penair/Penisula Air
  • Promech
  • Spernak Air
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Warbelows Air Ventures
  • Wings of Alaska 
  • Wright Air Service


Questions of Using GovTrip for Authorizations and Vouchers:


Can I still have a Blanket, Annual, Temporary Duty Limited Open Authorization in GovTrip?
This depends on your bureau/office policy. If your bureau/office allows Blanket, Annual, TDL Authorizations for field work, site visits, emergency travel and/or informational meetings; you would prepare the paper TDL authorization outside the system on Departmental Form DI-1020. The TDL signed paper authorization must be attached by fax or by upload to each GovTrip voucher and you would have to notify the local GovTrip System Administrator to designate the traveler as auto approve for authorizations.
 
The only step the paper TDL saves is the electronic routing of the authorization to the approving official. An authorization still has to be created in GovTrip for each trip in order to create the voucher in GovTrip.

How do I attache receipts and backup documentation in GovTrip?
You can attach receipts and backup documentation by fax or by scan. To fax or upload scanned documentation to the correct travel document, navigate to "Documentation/Receipts" either under "Expenses" or using the "Documentation/Receipts" button on the Preview Trip Screen.
 
To fax, click "Print Fax Cover Sheet." GovTrip will display a screen with a fax cover letter that has a bar code linked to your travel document. Fax this cover letter and the backup documentation to the number listed at the top of the fax cover letter.
The faxed documentation should appear at the bottom of the page within five minutes. Remember to print and use a different fax cover letter each time, when attaching documents to different travel documents.
 
To scan, scan your receipts and they should be saved on your desktop as a PDF document. Click the "Browse" button to find your scanned documentation, click "Open" and "Upload". You should see your file added at the bottom of the page.

How do I change the dates of my trip or change per diem locations in the Authorization or Voucher?
You can either amend the authorization to change per diem locations or make changes to the travel dates in either the authorization or voucher under the "Itinerary" Tab of GovTrip. First, you will adjust the dates in the itinerary and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the "Proceed to Per Diem Locations" button. On the next page called Per Diem Locations, you will have to click the "Remove" link next to the old per diem location (even if you are only making a date change) and click the "Search Location" button to add the location back in with the correct dates or to add new locations. Then click the "Save this Location" button at the bottom of the page. This should automatically refresh the per diem entitlements page with the new information, but will wipe out any previous adjustments made in the Per Diem Entitlements section. If you still have issues, click the "Reset All" button at the bottom of the Per Diem Entitlements page.

How do I change costs on the voucher for airfare, rental car, and lodging previously booked online through GovTrip?
If your airfare costs change from what was booked online in GovTrip, and there is an additional cost, you can add the difference in cost under the Travel section and click "Other Trans." You can choose Airfare Non-Reimbursable from the drop down box and enter the difference in cost in the "Ticket Value" field. This is also where you would enter any airfare not booked online through GovTrip.
 
If your rental car costs change from what was booked online in GovTrip, and there is an additional cost, you can add the difference in cost under the Expenses section. You can choose Rental Car from the drop down box and only enter the difference in cost in the cost field. This is also where you would enter any rental car not booked online through GovTrip.
 
If your lodging costs change from what was booked online in GovTrip, you can edit the lodging expense under Additional Options then click "Per Diem Entitlements". You can click the "Edit All" button to change all nights of per diem or you can click the "Edit" link next to specific days to change. This is also where you would enter any lodging costs not booked online through GovTrip.

How do I change costs associated with Lodging and/or M&IE?
You can adjust anything to do with Lodging and M&IE such as Increased Lodging/Actual Lodging, Leave Taken, Meals Provided, Reductions in M&IE, etc. under Additional Options then click "Per Diem Entitlements". You can click the "Edit All" button to change the per diem on all days of the trip or you can click the Edit link next to specific days to change.