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Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to frequently asked questions about the City Pair Program

What is the City Pairs Program?

We are not associated with the GSA. We simply provide the contract flight information in a format that is easier to find and use.

The City Pair Program (CPP) is a contract negotiated between the US Federal Government and the airlines. The U.S. Government uses their sizable market share to secure competitive flight prices.

The U.S. Government negotiates flat-rate one-way fares between most city pairs in the US. These city pare fares are guaranteed for federal employees flying between any given two cities.

The federal government spends over $1 billion per year on airfare for federal employees to travel on official duty. This figure accounts for 2% the the airlines business. Because the negotiated CPP fares are so attractive, there are strict rules surrounding their use. Only federal employees traveling on official duty are eligible for these fares.

Does the City Pair Program save tax payers money?

The City Pair Program is an enormous money saver for the US Government. Government travelers take over 7 million one-way flights for work each year. Without pre-negotiated ticket prices, airfare prices costly and unpredictable.

The U.S. Government estimates the the City Pair Program saved tax payers $305 million in 2015. [1] In addition, because of the governments large purchasing power, City Pair Program fares are lower than similar corporate airfare programs in 57% of cases, according the the GSA.

1. Myth vs. Fact. GSA.GOV. [PDF]

What are the advantages to the City Pair Program?

The City Pair Program does not just ensure affordable ticket prices, the program guarantees other benefits including:

  • No advanced purchase requirements
  • No blackout dates
  • 100% refundable tickets
  • No capacity limitations for YCA fares
  • Significant discounts over regularly available fares
  • No minimum or maximum stay requirements
  • Reduced airline fees
  • Last seat availability

Who is eligible to purchase City Pair contract flights?

The City Pair Program fares are so appealing many federal employees want to use the program for personal use as well. In order to secure the best fares for the federal government, the contract City Pair fares may only be used by federal government employees traveling for official work duties. The airlines are very strict about not allowing personal use of the CPP program.

In addition, not every possible city pair has a negotiated rate. Most major cities in the US and abroad have set fares. If your desired cities do not have a set fare you may have to travel to a near by city, chain two or more city pair flights together, or take regular commercial airfare.

Federal employees, and uniformed members in the Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coast Guard (USCG), and Public Health Service (USPHS) may use the CPP program. Government contractors are not eligible for City Pair fares.

Can military personnel use the City Pair Program?

Yes, military personnel can use the CPP fares. See eligibility requirements for more info.

What are the different kinds of fares? YCA, XCA, _CA?

There are three possible different fare types (YCA, XCA, and business class). Each of these fares have different rules regarding their use. Click here to read more about different City Pair Program fare types.

What fees do I pay when using the City Pairs Program?

Most fees are already included in the price of the City Pair fares listed on this site. In some cases addition fees may apply.

Baggage fees apply on top of the City Pair fares. Seat preference fees apply (although this fee may not be reimbursed by your agency). Also, in some cases, the airlines may charge an additional fuel surcharge fee — this is designed to help the airlines protect against the volatility of fuel prices. Click here to read more about contract airline fees.

Are baggage costs included in CPP fares?

Baggage fees are not included in the City Pair fares. Visit the airline page for more information about the airline's fees.

Who can use business class fares?

Business class fares may only be used if they are the most economical way to travel. This is rarely the case. In order to take a business class fare, you must meet the requirements of the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) § 301-10.123 .

Reasons for first-class airfare include accommodating medical disabilities, exceptional security circumstances, or if your international travel time is over 14 hours. There are several other circumstances where first-class airfare is authorized.

I cannot find the city pair I need — what do I do?

City Pair fares exist for most major city and for cities with a large number of government employees. If you are unable to find City Pair airfare for your desired city pair, you may need to drive to a near by city or travel to a city near your destination and then drive from there. In some cases you may chain together multiple city pair flights in order to reach your destination. General you should book your travel and accommodations such that overall cost to the government is reduced and you are accordance with all Federal Travel Regulations (FTR).

What is Last Seat Availability (LSA)?

Last Seat Availability (LSA) applies to YCA fares and not _CA fares. Last Seat Availability means that if any coach-class seat is available on the flight then the seat is available to government travelers using the CPP program. This means that even the last seat is guaranteed at the YCA price. _CA fares have additional capacity limitations and are not LSA.

Last Seat Availability does not apply to seating preference. Government travelers using the City Pair Program have the same seating preference as full-price tickets.

To look up City Pair fares you can use our CPP Program Search Tool or click on "Domestic Flights" or "International Flights" in the top navigation bar to browse prices. You can also type a city name in the top search bar to view flight prices to/from that city.

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