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Make Your Own Reservations in DTS (For Distribution to Travelers)

There are some things in life that you probably feel more comfortable paying to have someone else do for you – things like cutting your hair or replacing a busted air conditioner.  There are other things in life that you could easily do yourself, but could pay someone else to do out of convenience – things like cutting your lawn or ironing your clothes.  But here’s one thing you should always be doing yourself: selecting your own official travel reservations in DTS.

In DTS, you have the option to ask the Travel Management Company (TMC)* to select some – or all – reservations on your behalf.  You may also be able to reach the TMC via phone or email to request reservations. Despite having TMC assistance at your fingertips, we’re here to tell you that making your own reservations in DTS is the way to go.  Here’s why:

- It’s easy.  After all, DTS guides you through the reservation process (using the itinerary you entered on your authorization) and, if that weren’t enough, we offer this step-by-step guide on the DTS authorization and reservation processes, just in case you need it.

You can select reservations that meet your preferences.* This includes things like flight times and lodging vendor or location.  But… if you simply ask for TMC assistance, you’ve removed your independence to make the final decisions about your reservations.  For example, if the only flight options on the morning your trip begins are 6:00AM and 9:00AM, the TMC will choose the flight on your behalf (and you may not be happy with their choice).

  • *There may be a mission or regulatory reason that requires you to select a particular reservation or travel vendor.  If that’s the case, go with the directed option.

You know exactly what you’re getting.  When you request TMC assistance, you have no idea what reservations you’re getting until the TMC emails you after your reservations are locked in.  But when you select your own reservations, you know your airline, rental car vendor, hotel vendor (and address), and reservation details up-front.

It’ll save your organization money.  Like any other commercial entity, the TMC charges a fee for its services.  When you book your reservations in DTS, it’s typically incurs a lower TMC fee than having a TMC provide manual assistance.

Aside: Just like there are times when it makes more sense to take your clothes to the dry cleaner rather than ironing them yourself (e.g., your iron’s busted, you’ve got a packed schedule), there are times it makes sense to contact the TMC for reservation assistance.  Maybe you have a complex itinerary, you’re traveling to a remote location that returns no (or limited) reservation options in DTS, or you need to make reservation changes while you’re en route for your TDY.

Trust us, virtuous traveler – just like it’s cheaper and easier to brew your own coffee at home, making your own reservations in DTS is usually your best bet.  And while we’re confident that you’ll find things to be straightforward, you can always consult the aforementioned Create an Authorization/Order trifold or take the DTS (Basic) – DTS Travel Documents (DTS 101) web-based training module in Travel Explorer.

*Note: In many places, DTS refers to the TMC as the Commercial Travel Office (CTO).

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