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Memo: December 28, 2005 Airline Contract Update

To: State Agency and University Travel Coordinators
Date: December 28, 2005
Re: State Airline Contracts Update

The current airline contracts for the State of Texas will expire December 31, 2005. TPASS will continue to review and monitor the airline industry for potential contracts in the future. Moving forward, entities may want to explore the option of preparing guidelines or developing practices to ensure purchases of lowest ticket fare in the public marketplace. Below TPASS provides items that entities may consider in making airfare decisions.

Most Utilized Airlines. Direct links to the state's most commonly utilized airline vendors are provided below for your use. Comparing two or three airlines for the lowest available airline fares is reflected in T.A.C. Rule  §125. (b) (c) as reference below.

Domestic Airline Carriers

Alaska Airlines
America West Airlines
American Airlines
Continental Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Frontier Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
US Airways

International Airline Carriers

Aeromexico
Air Canada
Air France
British Airways
Emirates Airlines
Japan Airlines
Korean Airlines
Lufthansa German Airlines
Quantas Airlines
Scandinavian Airline System
Tap Air Portugal
Turk Hava Yollari

14 day advance. When travel requirements allow, booking and purchasing airline travel 14 days in advance will aid in obtaining lower ticket fares. Flexibility in your departure and arrival times will also impact your ability to price the lowest cost available fares.

National Travel System (NTS) or your preferred travel agency. The State of Texas contract with NTS is available to assist with your entity's travel needs. NTS can research all available airlines' flight schedules to find the lowest cost fares.

Online Sources for Research (Travelocity, Expedia, etc.). If an entity chooses to use an online booking source other than the airline's websites, the following should be consider:

1. All airlines may not be listed.

2. Receipts may be provided by the online booking source rather than the airline vendor, which may not meet reimbursement requirements.

3. Transactions fees are incurred by the online booking source, which should be included when evaluating various booking methods for the lowest total cost.

4. Oftentimes, direct booking with an air carriers' web portal such as SWABIZ, AA.com, provides a lower total cost than sites providing multiple air carriers inventories such as Travelocity, Expedia, etc.

Â

Travel Card. T.A.C Rule  §125.8 (a)

â State agencies, officials and employees shall use state travel credit cards to purchase contract and non-contract travel services.â

TPASS Travel Rules. The following is a link to the new travel rules for your convenience. T.A.C Â §125.1-Â §125.8

The present state of the air travel industry has presented a variety of new challenges, but, as always, TPASS will continue to address and resolve these challenges in ways that best meet the needs of the State of Texas.Â

Sincerely,Â

Christopher E. Burton, MBA
Manager of Procurement Policy & Strategy
Texas Procurement and Support Services
Christopher.Burton@cpa.state.tx.us

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