Passenger Travel Services Committee update and recent activities.

Author:McShea, Denise
Position::NDTA Focus on Passenger Travel
 
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The stated objective of the NDTA Passenger Travel Services Committee (PTSC) is to create a forum for open exchange between government and travel industry decision makers to improve programs, trends, policies and other matters affecting the government traveler and the travel industry. It fills communication and information gaps between the government and the travel industry to benefit the government traveler and it acts as a link between government and travel industry leaders.

Since the United States defense travel and transportation capability is provided from military, government and commercial resources, the need is critical for a civil-military/government partnership to enhance that capability for the nation. NDTA and specifically the PTSC acts as a facilitator in this relationship by providing a forum for open communication.

The General Services Administration (GSA) and the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) provide administrative support to the Chairman of the PTSC. The committee currently has 11 sub-committees: Academia, Airlines, Bus Companies, Car Rental Companies, Computer Reservation Vendors, Hotel Companies, Labor, Passenger Railroad Companies, Payment Mechanisms, Travel Publications and Travel Management Companies. Over 30 percent of NDTA Corporate Membership comes from the passenger travel and related services industries. All current members of NDTA working in any of these 11 areas are encouraged to join and contribute to the appropriate sub-committee.

Please call the PTSC Chairman, Ms. Denise McShea, at 703-358-1446, if you are interested in participating.

The NDTA Passenger Travel Services Committee (PTSC) has been very active since the beginning of the year. At our most recent meeting at the Wyndham Palace Hotel in Orlando, Florida, on March 14th, the committee received and discussed briefings on: GSA's E-Travel Initiatives by Tim Burke, Director of GSA Travel Policy; A Defense Travel System (DTS) update from Colonel Larry Schaefer, DTS Program Manager; and the GSA City Pair Contract Fare Program, by Contracting Officer, Tom Uberto. Other recent issues discussed by the committee include: government lodging programs being studied by the Hotel Sub-committee such as the new Premiere Lodging Program administered by GSA; accident liability insurance for government travelers by the Car Rental Sub-committee; and best practices of business by the Business Practices committee.

The prestige and importance of the committee are attested to by the many invitations it receives to discuss and be a voice for the passenger travel, hospitality, and related services industry. In January of this year, the committee was invited to present at the US Navy Transportation Symposium in Norfolk, VA. Before a packed military and government audience, the PTSC updated and discussed the effects of 9/11 on the travel and hospitality industry. Airline sub-committee members also provided a briefing on the many changes and challenges of new security requirements at all US airports. Attendees were provided "travelers tips" on how to be better prepared in order to avoid the long delays the new security requirements have created. Many thanks to the panel members: Denny Clifford, Northwest Airlines; Richard Sweet, Southwest Airlines; Patt Hall, Omega World Travel; Rocky Mobaraki, Hertz Corporation; and Lori Brooks, Cendant Corporation. We have also been invited to address GSA's National Travel and Transportati on Forum in Nashville, TN, in mid-June. Our focus will be providing an industry perspective on the latest Airline Security Measures and Current GSA Initiatives. The PTSC panel members will be addressing nearly 2000 attendees during the five day conference.

Furthermore, the PTSC is providing an all-travel oriented panel, "Transportation Freedom", on September 30th, 2002, at NDTA's Forum and Exposition in Greensboro, NC.

Finally, an on-going project of the PTSC is this special Passenger Travel Issue of the DTJ. Your articles about the travel industry are welcomed for the 2003 issue.

We are in the process of preparing for our second annual PTSC meeting which is scheduled for September 18, 2002 and will be held in Washington, DC at the Virginian Suites. Many thanks to Ms. Vicki Jameson from the Virginian Suites for her offer to host this meeting.

AIR

Even as the national economy is coming back slowly, the nation's airlines are still struggling. The Air Transport Association puts the airlines' 2001 losses at over $7 billion. Revenue passenger miles were down nearly 700 billion miles in late September and October. At one point, US airlines were losing over 3.3 million a day. Some airlines had reduced service by as much as 20 percent from their pre-9/11 levels. Furthermore, orders for new aircraft plummeted from 955 firm orders and 1663 options before the attacks to 844 orders and 1195 orders post-9/11. Regional and discount carriers are recovering the quickest, perhaps because the smaller jets operate more economically and they have fewer seats to fill. Also, impacted by the events of 9/11 is airport expansion. Two notable examples -- San Francisco International's budget was slashed 23 percent, and Las Vegas has $520 million of construction on indefinite hold.

BY THE NUMBERS

* 18-24 months -- FAA prediction for airline numbers to return to pre-9/11 numbers.

* 16.1 percent -- average reduction in airline fares since 9/11.

* 88 - average number of city ticket offices closed by three largest carriers after 9/11.

* 4,700 - number of "trace-detection" machines (at $40,000 each) to be in place by year end at nation's 429 key airports.

* 30,000 - number of airport security personnel being recruited by government to replace military agents.

American Airlines

AMR Corporation, incorporated in October 1982, has operations that fall almost entirely in the airline industry. AMR's principal subsidiary, American Airlines, Inc., was founded in 1934. In April 2001, American Airlines, Inc. purchased substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Trans World Airlines, Inc. (TWA). American (which includes TWA and American Airlines) provides scheduled jet service to more than 161 destinations throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Pacific. American is also a scheduled air freight carrier, providing a full range of freight and mail services to shippers throughout its system.

American Trans Air

ATA is the largest charter passenger carrier in North America, and the 11th largest passenger carrier in the US. ATA offers both charter and scheduled services to over 350 domestic and international destinations annually. ATA is a value leader in the leisure travel market, and a primary supplier of airlift for US Military travel.

Boeing

The Boeing Company, together with its subsidiaries, is an aerospace firm. The Company operates in principal areas that include commercial airplanes, military aircraft, missile systems, space and communications and customer and commercial financing. The Commercial Airplanes segment is involved in development, production and marketing of commercial jet aircraft; the Military Aircraft and Missile Systems segment is involved in the research, development, production, modification and support of military aircraft; the Space and Communications segment is involved in the research, development, production, modification and support of space systems, missile defense systems, satellites and satellite launching vehicles, rocket engines and information and battle management systems; and the Customer and Commercial Financing segment is primarily engaged in the financing of commercial and private aircraft and commercial equipment.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines has met the transportation needs of the defense industry for more than 70 years, beginning as a small Southern airline in 1929 and growing to become one of the largest airlines in the world with a route network that circles the globe.

Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance which provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. With SkyTeam, top tier frequent flyer privileges follow our Elite and Elite Plus members around the world, and global travel is that much more comfortable and convenient. With a network of 512 destinations and more then 8,200 flights a day -- worldwide -- SkyTeam has destinations in every time zone. With six distinctly different airlines and one unbeatable team, we care more about the customer.

SkyTeam offers customers worldwide access, improved choice and convenience, consistent service and the ability to be recognized and rewarded for their loyalty. SkyTeam commitment to providing quality service is supported by the strategic collaboration among its carefully selected members. It is SkyTeam's attention to superior customer service that differentiates the Alliance from its competitors.

Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines is a major air carrier engaged principally in the commercial transportation of passengers and cargo, directly serving more than 155 cities in 24 countries in North America, Asia and Europe. Northwest's global airline network includes domestic hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Memphis, as well as an extensive Pacific route system with hubs at Tokyo and Osaka, a trans-Atlantic alliance with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which operates through a hub in Amsterdam, and a global alliance with Continental Airlines, Inc.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is a domestic airline that provides primarily short-haul, high-frequency, point-to-point, low-fare service. Southwest focuses principally on point-to-point rather than hub-and-spoke service in markets with frequent, conveniently timed flights and low fares. Southwest's average aircraft trip stage length in 2001 was 514 miles, with an average duration of approximately 1.5 hours. At the end of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2001, Southwest served approximately 344...

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