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Information and Procedures for Government Travelers

Information & Procedures for Government Travelers

Reservation Procedures

TRANSPORTATION SERVICES – Omega will provide all transportation services to your agency, including reservations and ticketing for air, rail, car, and hotel.

CAR RENTAL RESERVATIONS – Department of Defense (DOD) has negotiated flat rates with major car rental companies for use by all government employees traveling on official government business. Omega will make reservations with the car rental company offering the lowest rate that is consistent with the traveler’s overall mission requirement.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS – Omega will confirm hotels (for federal government travelers on official business) that are compliant with the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR). Using the Global Distribution System (GDS), Federal Travel Directory, and Omega’s Government Travel and Hotel negotiated hotel program, we will give first consideration to facilities that offer the FedRooms rate, or assist in securing the best non-government rate available at the time of booking.

LATE ARRIVAL RESERVATIONS – If you are arriving after 4 p.m., most hotels require a credit card guarantee. If; for any reason, your plans change, please advise Omega or the hotel directly by the established check-in time (in most cases, by 4:00 p.m. hotel time). Most hotels are moving to a 48 hr. cancellation policy, it is the traveler’s responsibility to confirm these policies. Failure to do so could result in one or more night deposit not being returned. For your protection, always note the date, cancellation number (if applicable), and the name of the person changing or canceling your reservation.

Government Fares

GOVERNMENT CONTRACT FARES  – YCA – The official negotiated fare between the carrier and the General Services Administration (GSA). _CA (Dash CA) – A capacity-controlled (limited number of seats) fare that is more deeply discounted than the YCA fare. The _CA fare is only available in markets where dual fares exist. The “_” can be any letter, such as D, Q, or K, etc. The fare is fully refundable and retains all benefits of the YCA fare.

DISCOUNTED GOVERNMENT FARES (DG Fares) – Discounted government (DG) fares, sometimes referred to as “Me Too” fares, are offered by other non-contract airlines to match GSA contract fares. The first letter of the fare basis code can be any letter, e.g., YDG, MDG, or KDG, and are not guaranteed until ticketed. These fares are fully refundable and changeable; however, many airlines are not required to maintain the booking class and have the ability to change that class of service; in turn, creating an invalid fare and booking class, although rare, It is crucial to check the rules before using this government fare. These fares may not be used as a reason to fly non-contract based on lower price.

EXEMPTIONS TO THE USE OF CONTRACT CARRIERS – The use of a fare (other than the negotiated contract fare) on the basis of convenience or personal preference is not allowed. Exceptions to the use of contract carriers must be based on one of the following travel conditions: Space or scheduled flights are not available in time to accomplish the purpose of travel, or use of contract service would require the traveler to incur unnecessary overnight lodging costs which would increase the total cost of the trip; The contractor’s flight schedule is inconsistent with explicit policies of individual Federal departments and agencies, where applicable, to schedule travel during normal working hours;

A non-contract carrier offers a lower fare to the general public, the use of which will result in a lower total trip cost to the Government, to include the combined costs of transportation, lodging, meals, and related expenses. *This exception does not apply if the contract carrier(s) offers a comparable fare and has seats available at that fare, or if the lower fare offered by a non-contract carrier is restricted to government and military travelers on official business and may only be purchased with a GTR or government credit card, e.g., ‘YDG’, ‘MDG’, ‘QDG’, ‘VDG’, and similar fares.

Rail service is available and such service is cost effective and consistent with mission requirements.

Smoking is permitted on the contract flight and the nonsmoking section of the aircraft for the contract flight is not acceptable to the traveler.

Ticket / Itinerary / Invoice Delivery

TICKETS – Electronic tickets are the preferred method of ticketing whenever possible. The benefits include:

  • Electronic tickets cannot be forgotten or lost.
  • No airline paper ticket fee (fee varies from airline-to-airline – $20 to $50)
  • No delivery cost
  • Additional Security – The traveler must have a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license or passport) when checking in at the airport.

ITINERARY – An itinerary will be automatically generated and sent via email (or fax). The itinerary will include air, rail, car and hotel reservations. The itinerary will include dates, costs, and confirmations numbers (where applicable).

INVOICE – An invoice will be generated and sent once the ticket has been issued or the car and/or hotel confirmation processed. The invoice will include the ticket number, cost, applicable fees, and type of credit card used (IBA, CBA, listing the last four digits). Nationwide Network Delivery – In special circumstances it is possible for Omega to provide ticket delivery in U.S. cities, using one of over 135 global branches. This ticket delivery method is reserved for circumstances in which the other delivery methods are not suitable.

Seat Assignments

Demand for preferred seating has increased among business and government travelers. Always have a seat assignment before arriving at the airport. Any seat assignment is better than not having a seat assignment. Some guidelines are:

  • Book reservations early. Last minute changes mean there is a chance you will not get your desired seat.
  • Most airlines have varying advance seating policies as to when they can be pre-assigned, please check with your carrier. In most cases, seats cannot be assigned less than 24 hours prior to flight departure, as the seating manifest is under airport control.
  • When a certain percentage of the “No Cost” seats have been assigned, the remaining seats are restricted to airport check-in only. Most carriers now have preferred seating at a charge and can be reserved through our agents or with the airline directly, please refer to your agency for specific policy regarding these types of auxiliary services and fees.
  • Usually, there are no pre-assigned seats on many low-cost carriers; however, they often offer early check-in’s for a cost. Most shuttle and commuter flights do not offer pre-assigned seats.
  • When reserved in an undesirable seat, please check in on the airline’s website 24 hrs prior to flight time and secure better seating. At Omega World Travel, our technology will continually search for your seating preference; however, if unable please check-in with the gate agent immediately upon arrival.

Responsibility of the Traveler

VERIFY TRAVEL DOCUMENTS – Travelers should always verify travel documents (itinerary/invoice/ticket) to assure reservations held reflect current travel plans.

CHECK-IN – Late bags miss flights, and so do travelers. When traveling around holidays or other peak travel times, always allow ample time for check-in.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS – The suggested check-in time for domestic flights is 60 minutes before flight departure time if you are not checking bags and 90 minutes before flight departure time if you are checking bags. Seat assignments and/or special meals are subject to cancellation if you do not check-in and obtain a boarding pass at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. You must also be available for boarding at the departure gate at least 20 minutes prior to scheduled departure. Above guidelines are for reference only and you should always verify with the carrier you are traveling.

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS – The suggested check-in time for international flights (boarding within the U.S. to/from Mexico and the Caribbean and Canada) is 2 hours before flight departure time. For other international locations, travelers must check-in and obtain boarding passes at least 45 minutes prior to departure. Travelers must be available for boarding at the departure gate at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure. Above guidelines are for reference only and you should always verify with the carrier you are traveling.

FLY AMERICA ACT – All international travel, funded by the federal government must meet the Fly America Act guidelines, which means all travel must be via a U.S. flag air carrier (including the use of code share flights) to depart the U.S. or any of its possessions on the most used route. Exceptions to the Fly America Act are:

  • Travel to the destination would increase by six (6) or more hours.
  • Use of such service would require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
  • Medical reasons (with attending physician’s certification).
  • Open Skies Agreement.

CHANGES – For your protection and to ensure compliance with GSA/DOD/FTR/FAM/JTR rules and regulations, any itinerary changes should be made directly with Omega. This helps avoid unnecessary charges for guaranteed hotel reservations and airline change and cancellations fees. If you are out of town or calling after business hours, you may call Omega’s toll-free 24-Hour Emergency Desk at 800-US-OMEGA. For International travelers, you may call collect. A nonrefundable service fee may apply.

CANCELLATIONS/NO-SHOWS – If travel plans change, or you miss your flight, the airlines will consider you a “No Show” if you have not canceled your reservation. All down line reservations (including hotels and rental cars) could be canceled, possibly resulting in substantial penalties, and forfeit any and or all amounts that could have been refunded. Always call Omega to assure continuity of your travel arrangements.

REFUNDS – To obtain a refund of an unused electronic ticket, travelers should email or call their servicing Omega office and request a refund. Unused paper tickets should be immediately returned to the servicing Omega office for refund processing.

LOST TICKETS – If a ticket is lost, you should notify Omega immediately. Omega will complete a Lost Ticket Application and submit it to the issuing airline. The airline will refund (minus a processing fee) the unused value of the ticket within 6 months of the application. If the refunded ticket is used within one year of the date of issue, the passenger will be liable for repayment of the ticket(s).Ω

Problems or Complaints

If you have a problem or complaint, please check your itinerary or invoice for the name of the agent that arranged your travel and attempt to contact that person first. If the problem is not resolved, please ask to speak to the Site Manager at your servicing location. If you are still not satisfied with the resolution, please call Omega’s Government Operations at 703-359-0200. Note: If the problem or complaint concerns government rules and regulations, you should contact your government agency’s Travel Coordinator, General Services Administration (GSA), or Department of Defense (DOD) Regional Office.

Traveler Services

24 HOUR RESERVATION – When it is necessary to make or change reservations after regular office hours, government travelers may call Omega’s toll-free 24-Hour Global Assistance Center at 800-US-OMEGA.

Updated 7/28/17


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