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GSA "City Pairs" Airline Contracts Will Save Government $2.8 Billion Next Year Government Travelers to Fly at 69% Less than Commercial Rate

GSA # 9721

August 16, 2000
Contact: Viki Reath (202) 501-1231


WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has negotiated rates for about 5,000 routes with U.S. airlines that are projected to save the federal government an estimated $2.8 billion next year.

Through the "city pairs" contracts, 14 airlines will provide heavily discounted air fares to the government for official travelers. GSA gave considerable weight to customers' strong preference for nonstop service, which was awarded in more than 1,500 markets.

"Our city pairs air fare rates are a great example of how GSA's expertise negotiating contracts saves the government billions of dollars every year," said GSA Administrator Dave Barram. GSA began negotiating contracts for federal travelers in 1980.

This year's city pairs contracts will continue to make hassle-free tickets available to federal travelers at about 69% less than unrestricted coach fares offered to the general public. The contract awards and prices are effective October 1, 2000, through September 30, 2001.

Even while the airline industry experiences record traffic volume, the government contract fares continue to be unrestricted at extremely good prices. In addition to significantly lower fares, GSA's city pairs give customers several advantages over commercial fares:

No advance purchase is required.
No minimum or maximum length of stay is required.
The tickets are fully refundable. There is no charge for cancellations or for schedule changes.
The seats are not capacity controlled. As long as there is a coach class seat available on the plane, it can be purchased at the contracted fare.
There are no blackout periods.
The price will not change throughout the length of the contract, enabling agencies to better plan their travel budgets.

Under the City Pairs contract rates, a nonstop, one-way ticket to Washington's Reagan National airport from New York LaGuardia will cost $40 and from Boston will cost $70. Discounts are generally greater in larger markets. More city pairs were awarded this year than last, due to changing travel patterns by the Department of Defense and other agencies.

Awards were made to the following airlines:

Carrier City Pairs Estimated $ Value
Delta Airlines 1,067 $ 250,670,062
U.S. Airways 1,039 $ 286,364,102
American Airlines 578 $ 137,563,930
United Airlines 830 $ 272,569,992
TransWorld Airlines 273 $ 83,492,004
Southwest Airlines 422 $ 53,552,409
Northwest Airlines 93 $ 51,439,166
Continental Airlines 255 $ 74,281,707
America West 156 $ 27,037,964
Alaska Airlines 120 $ 32,558,006
AirTran 52 $ 9,673,460
Midway Airlines 51 $ 7,597,618
Midwest Express 42 $ 9,454,686
American Trans Air 12 $ 1,181,772

TOTAL 4,990 $ 1,296,436,878


Each year, GSA's Federal Supply Service awards contracts for air transportation for official government travel under the City Pairs program. The contracts are competitively awarded, based on the best overall value to the government. Average flight time, offered price, and the type, distribution, and number of flights are all considered in determining the best value.