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E-Gov Travel Service Transaction Fees



Contract Definitions

Self Service Transaction – one in which travel reservations and fulfillment are initiated and completed online; i.e. without direct contact between the traveler or travel arranger with a customer support agent for the explicit purpose of making and/or fulfilling travel arrangements.

Non-Self Service Transaction – one in which the services of a customer support agent are used explicitly for making and/or fulfilling travel arrangements. The use of eTS customer support services for technical support or assistance in completing self service actions shall not constitute a non-self service transaction.

  1. Scenario A – Traveler books online but inserts a note in the eTS booking engine for an agent to complete the hotel or non-air reservation. A customer service agent must intervene to complete the online transaction but does not need to have direct contact with the traveler to do so. Is this a self service or non-self service transaction?

    Response: This scenario requires the services of a customer support agent for the explicit purpose of making and/or fulfilling travel arrangements (completion of the hotel or non-air reservations) and therefore the transaction is a non-self service transaction.

  2. Scenario B – Traveler books online but the reservation for some reason (availability, etc) cannot be completed online. Traveler emails customer support agent to complete reservation. Is this a self-service or non-self service transaction?

    Response: By emailing the customer support agent to complete the transaction, the traveler has transferred responsibility of making the reservation to the customer support agent and the transaction now becomes a non-self service transaction. However, if the email is requesting technical support for determining the next step in making a reservation and the traveler has not transferred responsibility for making the reservation to the customer support agent, the transaction remains a self service transaction.

  3. Scenario C – Traveler books online but the reservation for some reason cannot be completed online and the reservation is queued to customer support agent for follow-up. Customer support agent calls traveler to complete reservation. Is this a self service transaction or non-self service?

    Response: If the customer support agent notifies the traveler that the reservation was not completed online and the traveler transfers responsibility for completing the reservation to the customer support agent, the transaction now becomes a non-self service transaction. However, if the traveler is informed that the reservation was not completed online and why and the traveler maintains responsibility for completing the transaction, then the transaction remains a self service transaction.

    In an attempt to prevent travelers from being surprised (and potentially dissatisfied) in situations where a customer support agent informs them that higher costs will be incurred when the agent books the reservation, eTS contractors and customer agencies should ensure their travelers are properly trained. Travelers should understand before this situation occurs that transferring the responsibility for a reservation to a customer support agent triggers a higher transaction fee.

  4. Scenario D – Traveler completes a hotel reservation online (self-service) but the online booking engine does not have a place to request a non-smoking room. If the traveler inserts a note requesting that a non-smoking room be confirmed, does this action transition the transaction to non-self service?

    Response: If the online booking engine enables the traveler to request a non-smoking room, and/or the non-smoking preference is in the travelers profile and included in the reservation request transmitted to the hotel, then the traveler has done everything the customer support agent can do to complete the reservation. If the traveler wants additional reassurance that the non-smoking room request has been received, the traveler may call the hotel direct. If the traveler requests the customer support agent to perform additional services to complete the reservation, the non-self service fee will apply.

    eTS contractors and customer agencies should train travelers in whether their profile information contains smoking/non-smoking preference or whether their eTS solution allows for the traveler to indicate this preference in some other mode online. If either of these circumstances exists, the traveler's preference information is transmitted during the reservation to the hotel and there is no need to insert a message to the customer service agent.

  5. Scenario E – Traveler completes a flight reservation online (self-service) but finds that no aisle seats are available. If the traveler inserts a note requesting that an agent attempt to get the traveler an aisle seat on the reserved flight, does this action transition the transaction to non-self service?

    Response: If the online booking engine enables the traveler to access live seat maps to make seat selection, then the traveler has done everything that the customer support agent can do to select her/his preferred seat selection. If the traveler did not receive the desired seat, the traveler may call the airline direct or periodically check her/his reservation using the online booking engine to see if better seats are available. If the traveler transfers the responsibility for completing the reservation to the customer support agent, the non-self service fee applies.

    eTS contractors and customer agencies should train travelers that, if an airline allows for advanced seat assignments, the eTS solution allows the traveler to select a seat assignment online. Travelers should understand that the seating availability a traveler sees online is the same information available to a TMC. It is therefore recommended, in these situations, that travelers routinely check the online eTS themselves to make a change as seats become available or call the airline direct to check on seat availability. Sending a message to the customer support agent will not generate any activity that the traveler may not perform themselves online.

  6. Scenario F – Traveler completes a flight reservation online (self-service). If the traveler inserts a note requesting that ticketing be accomplished early, does this action transition the transaction to non-self service?

    Response: The online booking engine has been configured to support the agency's business rules on ticket issuance. If the online booking engine enables the traveler to make an automated request to change the ticketing date, the transaction remains self-service. If the change requires the traveler to communicate to a customer support agent via phone, email or message, the traveler has transferred fulfillment responsibilities to the customer support agent.

    eTS vendors should clearly communicate the ability of their online booking engine to automate this request so that the transaction can remain self service. Customer agencies should train travelers on benefits of the agency's business rules for ticket issuance and on the benefits of eTS automated processing and the use of eTickets.

  7. Scenario G. The traveler requests a hotel through the online booking engine but, the hotel reservation system did not accept the reservation. The customer support agent has to call the hotel or the traveler to complete the reservation.

    Response: The traveler believes he/she has completed that reservation online and reasonably expects to be notified if the transaction was unsuccessful. If the traveler requests technical support for determining the next step in making a reservation, the transaction will remain self-service. If the traveler asks a customer support agent to make the reservation, it becomes a non-self service transaction.

  8. Question: Why does the eTravel Service Master Contract not address lite-touch transactions?

    Response: Market research consistently reveals that there is neither a common industry standard for 'lite touch' or assisted transactions nor a common standard for the price differentials between touchless, assisted and full service transactions. To simplify pricing, eTS bidders were instructed to factor the resources required for assisted transactions into their self-service and non-self service transactions. The Master Contract allows the traveler to seek customer assistance from the eTravel Service customer support agent and still be charged self-service fees as long as the traveler or travel arranger retains the responsibility for booking the reservation. Only if the traveler transfers responsibility for booking the reservation to the eTravel Service customer support agent, will the traveler be assessed non-self service transaction fees.

Fees for Transaction A – Air and/or Rail Ticket with or without Lodging and/or Car Rental Reservations

Contract Definition

Transaction A fee applies for all arrangements and reservations related to one itinerary for which an air or rail ticket is issued. The fee includes making and changing arrangements (air/rail, lodging, and/or car rental) for one or multiple locations. The fee may only be charged at time of ticket issuance and is not required to be refunded if the travel is subsequently cancelled. The transaction fee covers the processing of refunds or credits for unused tickets. An additional transaction fee may be incurred if changes in the itinerary require the issuance of a new ticket. The contractor shall not charge a fee for cancellations made prior to issuance of tickets. Activities that do not result in the issuance of a ticket (e.g., research of travel arrangements, changes to existing arrangements prior to ticket issuance, air and/or rail reservations for which tickets are not issued, etc) shall not be considered Type A transactions.

  1. Scenario A: If the TMC must issue multiple tickets to complete an itinerary, can the TMC charge multiple "Transaction A" fees?

    Response: No. By definition, the fee applies for all arrangements and reservations related to one itinerary for which an air or rail ticket is issued. The fee includes making and changing arrangements (air/rail, lodging, and/or car rental) for one or multiple locations prior to issuance of tickets.

  2. Scenario B: When a traveler originally performs a self service reservation and then changes the lodging or rental car reservations (using the online booking engine (OBE)) AFTER tickets are issued (but does not change air/rail itinerary), can the traveler be assessed an additional fee?

    Response: No. The traveler is using the same mechanism (OBE) to change the lodging/rental car reservations as when making the original reservations. The original Transaction A self service fee already includes changing arrangements (air/rail, lodging, and/or car rental) for one or multiple locations.

  3. Scenario C: When a traveler originally phones the Travel Management Center (TMC) for a non-self service reservation and then requests that the TMC change the lodging or rental car reservations AFTER tickets are issued (but does not change air/rail itinerary), can the traveler be assessed an additional fee?

    Response: No. The traveler is using the same mechanism (TMC) to change the lodging/rental car reservations as when making the original reservations. The original Transaction A non-self service fee already includes changing arrangements (air/rail, lodging, and/or car rental) for one or multiple locations.

  4. Scenario D: When a traveler originally performs a self service reservation and then changes the lodging or rental car reservations by phone through the TMC AFTER tickets are issued (but does not change air/rail itinerary), can the traveler be assessed an additional fee?

    Response: First the eTS contractor/TMC should remind the traveler that the original transaction was self-booked and that to use the TMC to change the reservations will entail a higher fee. If the traveler wants to proceed, the contractor retains the Self-Service fee that has already been charged and the contractor is entitled to charge the "Non-Self Service Domestic or International Travel without Air and/or Rail (Lodging and/or Rental Car Only)" fee e.g., CLIN 0002AE.

    In an attempt to prevent travelers from being surprised (and potentially dissatisfied) in these situations, eTS contractors and customer agencies should ensure travelers are aware of the repercussions associated with contacting a TMC to change a self-service reservation after ticket issuance.

  5. Question: Can the eTS contractor charge Transaction A fees at the time the traveler makes reservation?

    Response: No. The fee may only be charged at the time of ticket issuance.

  6. Question: Is there any time when an eTS contractor may charge me an additional full Transaction A fee after I have been issued my tickets?

    Response: Yes. An additional Transaction A fee may be incurred if changes in the itinerary require the issuance of a new ticket.

  7. Question: Can the eTS contractor charge the traveler a fee if the traveler cancels the reservation prior to issuance of tickets?

    Response: No. The contractor shall not charge a fee for cancellations made prior to issuance of tickets.

Fees for Transaction B – Lodging and/or Car Rental Reservations

Contract Definition

Transaction B fee applies for all arrangements and reservations related to one itinerary for which an air or rail ticket is not issued. The fee includes making and changing lodging and/or car rental arrangements for one or multiple locations when air or rail transportation is not included in the itinerary. Research of travel arrangements and activities that result in changes to or cancellation of lodging and/or car rental reservations prior to the check-in or pickup date shall not be considered Type B transactions.

  1. Scenario A: The traveler requires a change in hotel reservation prior to check-in at the hotel. Is the eTS contractor allowed to charge an additional Transaction B fee for the change in hotel reservation?

    Response: No.

  2. Scenario B: The traveler cancels the hotel reservation prior to check-in at the hotel. Is the eTS contractor allowed to charge a Transaction B fee in this scenario?

    Response: No, the eTS contractor is not allowed to charge a Transaction B fee in this scenario if the traveler cancels the reservation via the Online Booking Engine or via the TMC. If the traveler does not notify the eTS contractor and/or designee of the cancellation, the eTS contractor is entitled to the Transaction B fee.

  3. Scenario C: The traveler changes rental car reservations prior to the pickup date. Is the eTS contractor allowed to charge an additional Transaction B fee for the change in rental car reservation?

    Response: No.

  4. Scenario D: The traveler cancels the reservation for a rental car prior to the pickup date. Is the eTS contractor allowed to charge a Transaction B fee in this scenario?

    Response: No, the eTS contractor is not allowed to charge a Transaction B fee in this scenario if the traveler cancels the reservation via the Online Booking Engine or via the TMC. If the traveler does not notify the eTS contractor and/or designee of the cancellation, the eTS contractor is entitled to the Transaction B fee.


Aggregated Fees

  1. Scenario A: The eTS contractor aggregated CLIN 0002 (reservation/fulfillment) and CLIN 0003 (authorization/voucher) fees and charged the traveler at the time that tickets are issued. Is this allowable?

    Response: No. Performance must have occurred prior to fee assessment. In this scenario, the contractor is entitled to CLIN 0002 fees but not CLIN 0003 fees because travel has not yet occurred and no voucher has been approved for payment. In this scenario it is possible for the traveler to cancel the trip, in which case the eTS Reservation and Fulfillment fee would apply. However, the traveler may not be required to file a voucher (e.g., tickets and fees are central billed) so, the Authorization and Voucher fee would not apply.

  2. Scenario B: The eTS contractor aggregated CLIN 0002 and CLIN 0003 fees and charged the traveler at the time of authorization approval. Is this allowable?

    Response: No. Performance must have occurred prior to fee assessment. In this scenario, the contractor is not entitled to CLIN 0002 or CLIN 0003 fees. CLIN 0002 fees may only be assessed at time of ticket issuance and CLIN 0003 fees may be assessed only after the voucher has been approved for payment. In this scenario, the trip may never be approved so neither the eTS Reservation and Fulfillment fee nor the Authorization and Voucher fee would apply.


Voucher Fees

Contract Definitions

Travel Voucher: A digitally signed claim for reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of official travel. For the purposes of pricing, the travel voucher includes travel planning authorization, travel advance, and travel voucher functionalities described in this contract.

Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Voucher: Claim for expenses incurred in connection with travel away from an employee's official duty station, where the employee is authorized to travel.

Local Travel Voucher: Claim for expenses, including taxi and mass transit fares, privately owned vehicle (POV) mileage, and other miscellaneous expenses incurred while performing official business within the vicinity of an employee's designated post of duty, not connected with TDY travel.

Amended Voucher: An amended voucher is a revised version of a voucher already prepared and/or submitted, but not yet paid. The amended voucher is substituted for the original voucher and only the amount claimed on the amended voucher, if proper and correct, is paid.

  1. Scenario A: The traveler completes a travel voucher and submits it for approval. Prior to the travel voucher being approved through all levels of the routing chain, the traveler amends the voucher which subsequently receives final approval and is ultimately paid. May the eTS contractor bill the agency two voucher fees, once for the original travel voucher and again for the amended voucher?

    Response: No. By definition, an amended voucher is substituted for the original voucher, not in addition to the original voucher. The voucher is not considered to be a "claim for expenses" until such time as it has received approval through all levels of the agency's routing chain.

  2. Scenario B: The traveler completes a travel voucher which receives approval from all levels of the agency's routing chain and is paid. The traveler then notices an error which requires another voucher for additional expenses be submitted. May the eTS contractor bill the agency an additional voucher fee for the additional expenses?

    Response: Yes. By definition, an amended voucher is one where the original travel voucher has not been paid. In this scenario, the original voucher was paid and the traveler is submitting a new voucher for additional expenses. Therefore, the eTS contractor is entitled to another voucher fee.

Miscellaneous Scenario

  1. The traveler inadvertently deletes his itinerary/invoice e-mail and requests that it be sent again.

    Response: If the traveler has a self-service transaction, the traveler should be instructed to print the itinerary from the eTravel Service. If the traveler has a non-self service transaction, no additional fee applies.