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Information & Procedures for Government Travelers
Reservation Procedures, Government Fares, Ticket/Itinerary/Invoice Delivery, Seat Assignments, Responsibility of the Traveler, Problems or Complaints, and Traveler Services
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 Federal Travel Regulation (FTR). Using the Global Distribution System (GDS), Federal Travel Directory, and Omega's Government Travel and Hotel EDirectory, 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 6 p.m., most hotels require a credit card guarantee. If, for any reason, you change travel plans, please advise Omega or the hotel directly by the established check-in time (in most cases, by 4:00 p.m. hotel time). Failure to do so will result in a one-night accommodation cost. For your protection, always note the date, cancellation number (if applicable), and name of the person changing or canceling your reservation.
Government Fares YCA vs. YDG/MDG - There are two different and distinct types of government fares: Government Contract Fares and Discounted
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; however, many airlines now have ticketing restrictions and advance-purchase requirements for this fare. It is crucial to check the rules before using this fare government fare.
Discounted Government Fares (DG Fares) - Discounted government (DG) fares, sometimes referred to as "MeToo" fares, are offered by other non-contract airlines to match government contract fares. The first letter of the fare basis code can be any letter, e.g., YDG, MDG, or KDG, etc.
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. In cities with multiple airports, use of a contract carrier other than the primary contractor must be based on one of the following, not on the basis of the convenience of one airport over another to the traveler. 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 non-smoking 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).
Nationwide Network Delivery - In special circumstances it is possible for Omega to provide ticket delivery in U.S. cities, using one of our over 135 nationwide branches. This ticket delivery method is reserved for circumstances in which the other delivery methods are not suitable.
The demand for preferred seating has increased among business travelers. Omega cannot always provide a seat-of-choice, as 75% of all travelers request non-smoking aisle seats and 25% request window seats. Some guidelines are:
Book reservations early. Last minute changes mean there is a chance you will not get your desired seat.
Seats can only be reserved within 21-30 days prior to flight date. In most cases, seats cannot be assigned less than 24 hours prior to flight departure, because the seat manifest is under airport control.
When 70% of the seats have been assigned, the remaining seats are restricted to airport check-in only.
Usually there are no pre-assigned seats on shuttle and commuter flights and flights under 1 hour.
When reserved in a middle seat, please check in early at the airport gate to try and arrange better seating. At Omega World Travel, we will do all possible to reserve the traveler's seating preference.
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.
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.
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 the furthest point towards their final destination. 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 insure compliance with GSA/DOD 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. 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. 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 date of issue, the passenger will be liable for re-payment of the ticket(s).
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.