72-Hour Air Reservation Auto Cancellation
On October 1, 2013, the 72-hour auto cancellation policy will be expanded to apply to international flights. This policy is already in effect for domestic flights. All travel authorizations that include air travel must be approved and ticketed at least 72 hours in advance of the scheduled flight departure to avoid airline reservations from being cancelled. This policy applies to domestic and international City Pair and non-contract government flights that are either booked through DTS or through a Commercial Travel Office (CTO).
Those travelers making travel plans WITHIN 72 hours of departure must have their authorization approved and tickets issued within 24 hours of creation to avoid cancellation. If making plans WITHIN 24 hours of departure, authorizations must be approved and ticketed at least 6 hours prior to flight departure time to avoid cancellation.
While a reservation may exist, it is not purchased (known as “ticketed”) until the Authorizing Official (AO) approves the travel authorization and the Commercial Travel Office (CTO) tickets the reservation. This means that if a travel authorization is not approved at least 72 hours in advance of travel, the traveler will arrive at the airport without a ticket or a reservation in the airline’s system.
If airline reservations are cancelled, a traveler will be notified via email or phone by their Commercial Travel Office.
If a traveler’s airline reservations are cancelled, he/she should follow their normal ticketing process to rebook the flight. 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. Travelers should take their travel itinerary with them to the airport because it provides contact information for their Commercial Travel Office, as well as, reservation details to help them rebook.
Monitoring the status of travel documents and ensuring that travel authorizations are approved is the best way to avoid unnecessary costs and stress associated with rebooking travel.
Last year, a warning message/pop-up was implemented in DTS that alerted travelers of the auto cancellation policy when travelers digitally sign an authorization that includes an air reservation or click the "CTO Assistance" button. This pop-up box has not been updated. We are currently working to update the message to include language for international flights, but this change will not take place on October 1, 2013, when the policy goes into effect. Please be aware that all reservations, both domestic and international, are now subject to auto cancellation and must be approved and ticketed at least 72 hours in advance of the scheduled flight departure time.
The "Pending Airline Cancellation Report" provides a list of all authorizations (containing both domestic and international airline reservations) that require review and/or approval prior to reservation cancellation. The purpose of this report is to identify those authorizations that are in jeopardy of having airline reservations cancelled. Users can generate the report based on a select number of hours (minimum selection 24 hours; maximum selection 150 hours), which is based on the flight departure date and time.
- Communication Toolkit - Communications products developed by the DTMO designed to assist you with communicating about the new Auto Cancellation policy to the field.