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Programs & Services > Allowances > Frequently Asked Questions > Airline City Pair Program

Airline City Pair Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: 10/21/10

  1. Who can use the GSA Airline City-pair Airfare Program?
  2. Who can't use the Airline City-pair Airfare Program?
  3. Where can I get information about the GSA Airline City-pair Airfare Program?
  4. Where can I send Questions, Comments, and Suggestions Concerning the GSA Airline City-pair Airfare Program?
  5. May City-pair Airfares be used to Transport Foreign (non-U.S.) Military Personnel?
  6. Are surcharges such as airport taxes, fuel, passenger facility charges, passenger security fees and segment fees include in the GSA City-Pair and non city-pair airfare?
  7. What is a fuel surcharge (FSC)?
  8. Are the GSA contract city-pair airfares still a "Best Value"?

1. Who can use the GSA Airline City-pair Airfare Program?

The following persons use (as "mandatory users") the GSA Airline City-pair Airfare Program while on official travel at (U.S.) Government expense.

  1. Federal employees, and uniformed members in the Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coast Guard (USCG), Public Health Service (USPHS) , and dependents of Federal employees and uniformed members.
  2. Foreign (non-U.S.) military personnel who are not Grantees (See question Q5 for an explanation of Grantees).

2. Who can't use the Airline City-pair Airfare Program?

The following persons cannot use the City-pair Airfare Program.

  1. Federal employees, uniformed members and their dependents traveling at personal expense.
  2. Federal employees and uniformed members traveling to or from places of leave in connection with official travel.
  3. Contractors and contractor employees.
  4. Grantees (See question Q5 for an explanation of Grantees).

3. Where can I get information about the GSA Airline City-pair Airfare Program?

This information can be found at the GSA Airline City-pair Airfare Program website. There is also information in JFTR/JTR, Appendix P.

There are fact sheets on the following topics:

  • Airport choices
  • Baggage allowance
  • Booking engines
  • Business class
  • Change fee
  • Code share
  • Contractors
  • Dual fares
  • Feul surcharges
  • Groups
  • Paper tickets
  • Payment
  • Refunds for partially or unused tickets and
  • Reservists

4. Where can I send Questions, Comments, and Suggestions Concerning the GSA Airline City-pair Airfare Program?

Go to the GSA Questions, Comments, and Suggestions page.

5. May City-pair Airfares be used to Transport Foreign (non-U.S.) Military Personnel?

Foreign (non-U.S.) military personnel who are not Grantees may use City-pair airfares (as �mandatory users') on official travel paid for by the U.S. Government. Grantees (whether civilian or foreign military personnel) cannot use GSA city-pair airfares. The command issuing the travel authorization/order must determine whether a foreign military individual is/is not a 'Grantee'. PDTATAC staff does not have information on whether or not individuals qualify as grantees.

The following information concerning Grantees is provided to assist in making the determination. The statutory authority for Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements is 31 U.S.C. Chapter 63. OMB regulates Grants and Cooperative Agreements through OMB Circulars; however, OMB has delegated what it calls the "Grants Management Common Rule" to the agencies that administer grants. This includes DoD, which regulates through the DoDGARS (32 CFR Subpart 21, etc.) that covers all DoD grants. DoD grants are issued under statutory authority. The only place DoD uses the term "Grantee" is with respect to grants to state and local Governments, otherwise they are generally called "recipients"(32 CFR 21.657). Grants are defined at 32 CFR �21.655. 31 U.S.C. �6302, statutory definitions, is also helpful in that it defines Grant Agreement by what it is not.

It does not appear that many foreign military are individually grantees. 31 USC �6302 excludes many individuals who may be thought of as "grantees." "Grant agreement" and "cooperative agreement" do not include an agreement under which is provided only

  1. direct United States Government cash assistance to an individual;
  2. a subsidy;
  3. a loan;
  4. a loan guarantee; or
  5. insurance

6. Are surcharges such as airport taxes, fuel, passenger facility charges, passenger security fees and segment fees include in the GSA City-Pair and non city-pair airfare?

Yes, mandatory surcharges imposed because of Government regulatory fees and airlines fees are rolled into the airline fare.

7. What is a fuel surcharge (FSC)?

A fuel surcharge is allowed on a market where a fuel surcharge has been imposed commercially to all customers in the booking inventories (buckets) corresponding to the YCA, _CA and _CB contract fares for a minimum of 14 consecutive days. A fuel surcharge that has been imposed and terminated can only be re-instated after being imposed commercially for 14 consecutive days. This protects the governments interest and reduces the governments administrative process when these types of charges are retracted due to consumer acceptance.

A carrier must cease any fuel surcharge on contract fares when the fuel surcharge is no longer imposed commercially. The carrier must also notify the GSA Contracting Officer in writing when the fuel surcharge is removed, identifying the end date of the fuel surcharge. In no instance shall the government be charged a higher fuel surcharge than that imposed commercially.

Should a carrier not comply with the above terms, the Government may terminate for cause the market(s) for which the carrier failed to comply with the provisions of �B.19. Audits of contract fares will include a review of fuel surcharges. Improperly assessed surcharges on contract fares must be reimbursed to the Government, or, if not, subject to the issuance of an overcharge under �B.27, Audit of Contract Fares.

Fuel Surcharge Methodology: The carrier is obligated to notify GSA that a FSC has been imposed commercially when they assesses a FSC to their commercial customer. This starts the 14-day clock process. If the commercial FSC remains intact for 14 consecutive days, the carrier then sends the supporting data of the affected markets to GSA for audit and review. If valid, the responsible GSA Contract/PMO will approve the FSC and the data will be uploaded onto the GSA Fuel Surcharge �Fact Sheet'.

Fuel Surcharge History: As soaring fuel cost became a reality in 2005 and beyond the industry made this a much greater concern and possible contract participation re-evaluation on their part. Meetings were held with industry and selected customer agencies in 2006 prior to the FY 07 draft City-Pair Contract. This concluded with Business Case Analysis (BCA) being drafted by the GSA City-Pair Program (CPP) team. It was decided that beginning with the FY 07 GSA City-Pair Program solicitation a Fuel Surcharge (FSC) inclusion would be incorporated.

8. Are the GSA contract city-pair airfares still a "Best Value"?

Absolutely. Since FSC's are first assessed to the commercial customer there is no cost advantage lost: CPP base fare remains in tact during any FY vs. commercial fare escalations throughout the year. There are even times when a carrier may assess a lower FSC on their contract rates then they did on their commercial fare(s). The other fundamental advantages still remain intact with the contract fares.

 

 

     
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