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New travel policy means 72-hour auto cancellation

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Beginning Oct. 1, any authorization that includes air travel must be approved 72 hours in advance of the trip start date to avoid airline reservation cancellation. This is due to the new policy being instituted by the airlines under the Fiscal Year 13 GSA City Pair Program contract.

Under the new policy, if an authorizing official does not approve an authorization at least 72 hours before departure, the airline reservation will be cancelled and the traveler will arrive at the airport without a ticket or a reservation in the airline's system. This applies to all City Pair and non-contract government flights that are either booked through DTS or through a Commercial Travel Office. Those travelers making travel plans within 72 hours of departure must have their authorization approved within 24 hours of creation to avoid cancellation.

Travelers are not advised to rebook at the airline counter. Often, counter agents are not familiar with GSA's City Pair Program and may book the traveler on a full priced fare at a much higher cost due to the last-minute booking. To rebook a flight, travelers should follow normal travel ticket procurement process.

In the near future, DTS will be modified to automatically send a notification to the traveler before cancellation occurs. Until this change can be implemented, travelers will not receive any notification.

In the current fiscal environment where it is necessary to be conservative with travel budgets, monitoring the statuses of travel documents and ensuring travel authorizations are approved is the best way to avoid unnecessary costs and stress associated with rebooking travel.

For more information contact Dan Bermudez at 556-5179.

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