For Period of July 1 - September 30, 2011 (Quarter 1, Fiscal Year 2012)
Note: Comments are unedited with the exception of the removal of names.
Make ticket pricing equal to available tickets from other sources. US Travel tickets usually cost more.
Report the cost difference to the Help Desk immediately so they can determine the cause. Sometimes the profile preference settings are set to search for the higher cost non-penalty fares and need to be changed to search for lower fares. Most tickets should be equal to or less than other web sources when you are comparing identical itineraries at the same time.
I would like to see a way to book travel with an overnight layover. There are times where we have out of state travel that requires an overnight layover in Seattle to catch a morning leg, but the only way I see to do this is search with multiple legs. I feel this can increase the cost of flights.
Is there a way to book a travel with more than 4 destinations on ResX?
It would be very helpful if we could book travel that had more than four legs. Maybe no limitations on the number of legs?
multiple city imputs should be 4 before having to click add destination.
Please add more legs, it would be nice to have at least 6 for the complex travel.
I had a time trying to do a multi city travel. The traveler spent time on Alaska Airlines website & found many good deals yet on the E Travel, those options & route combos were not there. It was extremely time consuming & I ended up using an agent to do the leg work for me.
This will be submitted as an enhancement request. Thank you for your feedback. (Note: Too many destinations can complicate pricing. It is better for an agent to assist to assure the lowest applicable fare is applied, especially with multiple carriers and contracts which have to be issued on separate tickets.)
When the search option is not showing all the options that you found elsewhere, check the search preference time settings in the profile and change to a greater search window to allow for more options to display, or select "Anytime" in the search TIME box to expand the search time.
Also, it would be nice if the reason codes for not choosing Alaska Airlines corresponded with the contract reasons.
The options for not picking Alaska Airlines exclusively don't work for my travelers. There are times that I need to get them back at different times than the Alaska Air routes.
The Alaska Airlines Fare Agreement [PDF] reason codes are the same as shown in E-Travel Online, but the text box in the booking tool is limited by the number of characters allowed. It is shown as close as possible to the Alaska Airlines Fare Agreement. We will place the reason codes that display in E-Travel Online in the same order as the Alaska Airlines Fare Agreement document.
The Alaska Airlines Fare Agreement has several exception codes that allow you to choose another carrier. Schedule is not one of them, but if you have some extenuating circumstances, contact the ETMT to discuss.
A small thing but it would be nice to hav the ability to book multliple vehicles for flight segments to multiple cities. In coosing a second vehicle in a different city, the tool will not allow me to change the city and select the state employee rate. After selecting a different city, selecting the employee rate causes the city selection to default to the previous selection. Another small glitch in the add a car selection is that although my pick up location defaults to Anchorage, the drop off location defaults to Juneau. This has only recently started to happen. It just makes for an extra step in the process.
Access to selecting a car through Budget has too many steps. If the state has a preference for Budget due to the contract, then this option should be the easiest one to access and should be clearly marked. The series of links to get to the option (off site rental link) is too confusing.
any car rental bookings in ANC/FAI/JNU should have default Budget Rent a Car (State Employee) already coming up.
Booking Budget Rental cars never works, It always gives me an error message, therefore I have to call an agent and then I get charged a fee for something I could do myself, if the website would allow it. Very frustrating.
Booking Car Rentals for State Employees on line is a bit cumbersom. It seem like it would be easier if it would go right to the state employee fare first and opt out of it, if it is not necessary.
Change the car rental within the State to automatically be set so you don't have to choose "Off site"
Fix the Budget Car Rental and make it less complicated
fix the car rental option. It rarely works as advertised.
I have a specific traveler that travels ANC-FAI at 6am. I book air, hotel and car with Budget on the off airport location on cushman State Employee. It always comes back stating there is nothing at that location for a car, I am pretty sure it has something to do with the time, I think it says its not open. I have called them letting them know what time he arrives and there is no problem getting him a rental.
I personally find it easier to book my own travel/hotel/car directly with the vender. Booking a car shouldn't be as difficult as it is through the E-travel system. Why do we have to choose an off aipport site? We pick up the car at the airport we should be able to book it there.
Improve booking cars with Budget. It kept giving me an error message, but not a reason why. I called the help desk and they said log out and start again. very inefficient. It took 3 or 4 trys before it would let me book the card. The help desk said "maybe its because Budget doesnt have cars for that day" I called Budget and they did, but about that time, it let me book. Very frustrating!!
It is required that we use Budget Rental Car yet it does not just "pop" up as an option. We have to go to the side of the screen to search for the State of AK area. Usually it works out but I have had times where it didn't work. I called US Travel and was not offered any explantion or assistance. I eneded up calling Budget to reserve a call. This is very time consuming for some of us that already work in a very fast paced office. I and my boss travel very frequently. I am not new to travel. I have had quite a few negative experiences but this is just one that stands out right now and all that I really have the time to explain my frustration about. Thanks.
My coworkers and I have continual problems getting Budget rental car to come up in the system. Many times it won't come up as an option even after selecting the offsite location and choosing the state employee option, but when I call the STO it turns out cars are available. This has happend repeatedly. Not sure what the interface problem is, but I sure wish it could get fixed.
The ability to adjust car reservations without having to restart the entire reservation would be nice.
The car rental booking has some issues. I've looked and Budget is not available, then had to call, then log in and out and it is available....not very efficient for car rental, maybe cars should be removed all together.
There is a real problem with the car rental process. if Budget is the preferred car retal why is it not on the list along with Hertz and what ever that green one was? instead I had to click on about 4 different buttons on to find out i had to cancell the whole trip and reserve the car at the end while checking out. I only found that out after about 15-20 minutes and i called another secretary because I did not want to be charged another fee. The budget car rental needs to place on the list with the other choices. I wasted too much time on such a simple little thing, I could have called budget and have been done in 3 minutes.
When booking a car rental it is much more difficult and I had to figure this out on my own as the person I called from e-travel was not aware of the changes. I think it should go back to the previous setting where you did not need to go through a rabbit trail to select the pick up and drop off location seperatly. That was very irritating and I had to pay the fee for the agency assist because the system was not working correctly at that time either.
If "Different Location" is checked, you will be requested to select a different drop-off city. The best suggestion is to search by multi-city and then include a car in each destination as needed, making sure that the "Same Location" is selected. The system will base the search on your air search for each destination.
Please contact the Help Desk when experiencing problems with booking Budget so they can investigate to determine the cause. It is best to call immediately, before moving forward in the booking tool, so they can debug if necessary. When you call the Help Desk, the procedure is for USTravel to walk you through the booking process, but if you have them complete the booking for you, the agent assist fee is charged. If you believe you have been incorrectly charged a fee for services provided by USTravel, please report it to email@example.com. There is no fee to contact the Help Desk to report problems, ask questions, or for them to guide you through the booking process. If you feel that the Help Desk did not provide satisfactory service, report it to the ETMT.
The Budget off-site location must be used to obtain the Budget contract rate because Budget does not provide a way for the contract rates to display except in this manner. The process to book Budget is discussed in training and the booking steps are listed in E-Travel Online.
We are looking into ways to improve the process.
The system of booking a car has not worked well for us. We have to call Budget with the credit card # and most of the time when the traveler arrives Budget doesn't have it in the record. Our employees then have to put the car on their credit card. Would be great if it could be done online.
Car Rental and Hotel credit card confirmation - please keep repeating the travel planner responsibilty to provide the CTS account info to the vendor!
The only real issue I have had has been with providing a CTS number for the rental car. When I have requested for US Travel to provide it, it hasn't been done and we've been charged the $4 fee. It has left travelers stranded and we still ended up providing it ourself after much confusion. Now, I just provide it myself because it happened more than once. It's not worth it and the state should not be charged for a service that doesn't happen.
Rental car agencies do not require a charge card when the reservation is made, and they do not have programming that would pull the card information in advance. Travelers with a One Card need to show their card at check-in, but a CTS form of payment needs to be provided to Budget either by calling Budget or by requesting USTravel to provide the CTS number to Budget. It is the travel planner's responsibly to provide the CTS number to vendors when the reservation is booked in E-Travel Online, or a request can be made to USTravel for a $4 surcharge. If the service was not provided as requested, it should be reported to ETMT or USTravel.
I am a traveler and I try to use the online tool to create an itinerary for my travel desk person to book. It's terribly cumbersome and does not provide all the options that are available, especially for hotels. I have learned it is a waste of time for me to do that, so I just get the flight numbers from Alaskaair.com and the hotel info from the hotel website and provide them to my travel desk person.
I am extremely frustrated with this system. If I was not required to use it I would never use it.
It is WAY too complicated to book an airline ticket, a hotel and a rental car for a couple days of training. Inevitably the hotel desk clerk and/or the rental car agency have no information on the traveler. This happens to my boss everytime she travels, about once or twice a year. Thankfully, we do not travel much from our office.
The interface is convoluted & makes it difficult to tell when a trip has been successfully booked.
the system is so clunky - need a better interface for the whole travel process. It's EXTREMELY inefficient looking for flights. Worst website i've ever used, in my opinion.
There are several resources for those who have difficulty using E-Travel Online:
When you have a situation where a traveler does not have a reservation upon arrival and you received a confirmation on the final itinerary, you should immediately contact USTravel and they will help resolve the issue with the vendor.
Once a reservation is confirmed, a final itinerary is sent and the "view trip" page in E-Travel Online will update to show "ticketed" once the page is refreshed.
I feel it is a good system-
No changes necessary, very satisfied!
No improvements necessary. Thank you.
No suggestions. I think the RES-X system are doing a wonderful job.
No, I think the system is easy and fast to use.
No, it is a very efficient system.
Thank you for your positive feedback.
2. abouty 1/2 the tickets I processed this week came back with an error message telling me to call in and verify if the ticket was processed. Although the agents are friendly and helpful, this takes extra time that I would rather not spend verifying that the automated system worked.
being able to know why you can't book a flight and not just getting a error message.
This was a temporary issue and should be resolved. If you continue to experience this problem, call the Help Desk and ask for the supervisor.
Some of the error responses must be in a generic format as they have be used in different locations in the tool. Call the Help Desk when you are unable to determine the meaning and we will try to customize the text when we can.
One of our staff has to log out after EVERY ticket she books or the system remembers the previous traveler.
Suggestions I have made are not considered or have not been used. I would like to see the ability to book more than one travel at a time with out logging out then back in for generic profiles.
For those of us that book travel for more than ourselves, it would be helpful if the drop-down box (with names) was prompted or if the traveler's name was more apparent. At least for myself, I find that I sometimes miss or forget to select the correct traveler.
It is not necessary to log out and then relog in to book the next trip in a generic profile. It is necessary to wait until the system has completely processed the ticket prior to starting to book the next trip. You will know the system has completed the process when the name has changed back to the generic profile name when you select "Start a New Trip." Your comments will be taken under consideration as we re-evaluate this process.
Allow booking outside of the tool and contractor formula. Recently I found a government rate directly on the hotel website and could not book it through the tool or contractor. How much simpler it would be to just book on the hotel website.
Another issue I would like to see addressed is the hotels. I use hotels that are not on the list to choose from and it would be nice to see that updated. I have to call the hotel and do my own CC Authorization form.
It is frustrating to have to click on a hotel only to find out the cost is over $300 or sold out. I wish that sold out hotels would not appear in the search results and that the hotels that are available for the requested dates could be sorted by price.
It may not have anything to do w/ USTravel, but sometimes the State rate does not show for hotel options when I know that it should.
There have been an incident where I've booked hotel reservations for two people at once. Both received confirmation numbers from US Travel. When they arrived in Juneau, one had reservations at the hotel and the other's reservations made through US Travel never went through. If they both got confirmation numbers from US Travel, why did one of those reservations not go through?
Would like to see more hotels become available on E-Travel in the more rural areas of the state.
There are provisions in the Service Information and Standards that allow hotel bookings to be made outside of E-Travel:
The Hotel CC Authorization form only allows 50 properties to be listed in the drop-down menu. There is an option on the form to select "other" and to enter the hotel fax number for those not listed. Properties on the Preferred Hotel List should always accept the form, but other properties may not.
Only hotels that subscribe to the Global Distribution System (GDS) can be directly booked in booking tools. Many rural properties do not subscribe to the GDS so they must be manually booked. The only rates that show in the booking tool are the rates that the hotel vendor provides through the GDS. If a rate is not showing correctly for a "Preferred" property, contact USTravel so they can contact the property to remedy the situation.
Anytime a final is received with a hotel confirmation number, the reservation went through and USTravel should be notified immediately if a hotel says they do not hold a reservation. To research after the fact, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, as long as the reservation is not over 90 days old.
Employee booked reservation that included air, hotel, & car on Sept 27. Emp changed reservation and cancelled car, but hotel was also cancelled. Ensure the proper portion of the reservations are cancelled correctly.
This reservation was booked on September 27 with no agent assistance. The car was cancelled on October 7, and a final was sent showing the hotel was still booked. There are no records of a cancellation by USTravel in Apollo. Therefore I called the hotel to see if they could provide a name of who cancelled the reservation. I was informed that the reservation was cancelled in error by the hotel and they expressed their sincere apology for the error.
We try to purchase a ticket immediately after doing research and the price is double of the research.
realize that the research process was an issue, but I do miss that capability.
1. When you take a travel from Reasurch to ticketing you have to manualy go back and delete the reasurch. It would be nice if you had the option to delete it when you purchase the ticket.
having an option to book an entire trip and change things like return rental car at a specific date instead of the end date of the trip. I have found this to be pain as I have several staff that take personal deviations and would like accurate quotes that reflect their actual trip.
Fares are subject to change without notice, but if price differences occur frequently, call the Help Desk immediately to report the issue so they can determine the cause.
The ability to delete research when you purchase is a good suggestion and will be submitted as an enhancement request.
The ability to adjust car rental dates has been submitted as an enhancement request.
It is far too slow in rural areas so I dread using it...
Its very very very slow. Especially if it doesn't bring up the correct fare and you have to start over two or three times.
The only issue that I can think of is how long it takes for the pages to refresh or while it is searching. Not sure if its E-Travel or my system.
when you need to view a trip in your research, it sometimes take 4 or 5 times before it will pull up.
We are aware of the lengthy response time in E-Travel Online and are looking at ways to improve it. This is partly due to:
The routing options offered on E-travel is not complete. I am aware of the schedules in Arctic Alaska and what you list as my options makes me go to multiple city reservations which can add to my total cost.
when pen air changes schedules it is not automatically updated in your system. After a call to USTravel it is then updated untill next time. I'm told it's pen air not giving accurate info each time.
I would like to be able to book rural travel like a normal travel request.
Also, it woudl be preferable for us to book hotels and rural travel and then enter it into ResX, just so that we know the booking has been made correctly.
I believe that the rural air fare form is flawed because it lacks my ability to see pricing information and I have to rely on the agent to make sure that the price is reasonable. This has unfortunately not happened. I have started to keep track of these instances and can provide them if necessary.
Rural carriers must subscribe to the GDS in order to have accurate rates and schedules in any booking tool. Most rural carriers do not subscribe to the GDS. Some rural schedules and rates have been manually entered in the booking tool for user convenience by request. USTravel must contact the carriers directly for current rates based on itinerary requests. When there are cost differences using the multi-city options, call the Help Desk. PenAir does subscribe to the GDS and they must update their schedule and rates through the GDS to remain current in all booking tools. Discrepancies should be reported to email@example.com. If you feel that it takes too much time to book a rural reservation and to fill out the rural form, an alternative is to call USTravel and they will do all the work for you for the same cost.
For rural air I would like to see an option for the agent to pick the rural carrier because sometimes I have no idea of the names of the carriers.
Get rid of the Rural Air/Ferry Form. It's confusing, most costly, and not efficient. Why can't these carriers be listed in E-Travel like other cariers???
It would be helpful if the Rural Air/Ferry tool were in-sync/combined with the E-Travel booking tool, instead of a separate entity.
The booking requets form is in-efficient. It takes longer to fill out than booking the travel directly with the vendor. You can not book mulitple people for the same trip. The process is extremely time consuming and not effective.
The rural air form is not helpful as the times should be able to be entered manually not from a selection drop down menu.
The rural/ferry needs check boxes to indicate if vehicle to be included, and if lodging will be needed at final destination.
When booking an itinerary for multiple people that are traveling together, going to the same places, and having to fill out a booking request form for each traveler. It would be nice if we could put all travelers together when booking the travel and not having to do 3-different booking forms.
Your forms are more cumbersome than booking the travel myself directly with the vendor. I then have to call the hotel with credit card info and the car rental agency with that info. I may as well do the whole thing myself. E-travel is one of the most in-efficient systems in the State.
The rural form is not intended to be used as a booking request form for carrier / hotel / car, or for multiple travelers. It was placed in the booking tool for the convenience of those who want to book as much as possible on their own. USTravel is available to assist or to make the entire reservation(s) for you and they will also provide the CTS number to the vendors. The dropdown menu on the form is necessary because the form goes into a database that requires all fields to be in the same format. The rural request form is for rural carriers who do not participate in the GDS, which means they do make their current schedule or rates available for automation in booking tools.
Your comments will be taken under consideration as we re-evaluate the rural process.
it would be nice to input a specific flight number to make the search faster - most of our travelers know what flight they want
Making reservations would be much easier if we were able to search by flight number.
Search by flight number.
We need a troubleshooting section. If I want to do something differently than what US Travel offers in routing that will accommodate my schedule, I may be able to save money.
We're required to enter departure and return times when searching for itineraries and this seems to limit the search results - the Alaska Air website doesn't require a time to be entered and it seems to return more options.
The suggestion of searching by a specific flight number has already been submitted as an enhancement request. You may need to change the search preferences or call the Help Desk if you cannot find the desired routing. "Time" search options can be changed to minimize or maximize the number of flight options by changing the "time" preferences in the profile, or selecting "Anytime" in the search TIME box.
Alaska Airlines is removing seats from SEA to Alaska. Travelers need to be checking to see if their return seats are still there and be aware if they don't have seats they will be placed on stand-by without their knowledge.
Do not seem to be looking at seat assignment preferences when making seat arrangements for people I seem to always be in the back when there is plenty of seats up front of the plane.
Employees/non-employees escorting clients don't get seated together. Then the employee has to make changes at the airport. After we had already put in the request for the escort and client to be seated together.
Preferences need to allow us to add a traveler with medical reasons to sit in certain seats, like bulkhead, or exit row seats with additional room.
Seats assigned are always in the back of the plane so I have changed seats on every flight taken.
Sometimes when making seat selections online, they don't come through on the itinerary. Making sure the requested seat assignment is on the itinerary is very helpful. Especially when I'm booking travel for children and their escort.
To clarify the "standby" status: The only time that a ticketed traveler without seat assignments would potentially be placed on "standby" status is when the flight is full or oversold. Carriers usually hold extra seats just for airport check-in and they release held seats from no-show passengers prior to departure. Sometimes, it may be necessary to wait for a "released" seat on full flights. If the flight is oversold, there are no volunteers, and they are the last person to check in, it is even possible to be bumped. This is standard practice in the airline industry. In this reservation, seats (8D and 9D) were originally selected in the preferred section of the plane reserved for MVP members. When a traveler is eligible to pre-reserve seats in this section, the ticket is purchased without seats. There is a remark in E-Travel Online located below the seat map advising of this rule. The reservation system automatically placed this reservation record (PNR) in a "seat checker" mode after it was purchased without seats. If a "preferred" seat becomes available it would automatically be assigned. In this case the system was able to assign one seat (19C). There was nothing available for the other seat, which was assigned outside of the USTravel system on November 28 (18F). (Both seats are outside of the "preferred" zone on the seat map.)
It is not the case here, but it is good to be aware that upgrades and reservation changes may also bump seats. It is always a good idea, as stated in this issue, to check the seat assignment status and to check in and print a boarding pass within 24 hours of departure to avoid possible disruption at the airport.
Tickets purchased in the booking tool are auto-ticketed and untouched by an agent. It is the travel planner's responsibility to pre-select seat assignments in the booking tool. If the reservation is made by USTravel, the agent should attempt to get seats. When seats are not pre-selected, the itinerary will move into an automated seat checker that will assign seats based on the traveler profile preferences and when available. When a pre-selected seat does not show up on the final itinerary, it could be because the carrier has rejected the seat for some reason and then the reservation will be moved into the auto-seat checker. This happens most often when a traveler is assigned a seat in the MVP section and they do not have MVP status. Call USTravel to verify. Airlines randomly assign seats from the back to the front. The front section is often held for MVP seating and aircraft weight and balance. Travel planners can go back in the tool to change seats or call the airline directly.
I would like the option to go back to the previous screen, if I'd like to change the flight or review what I'd just entered, instead of having to restart my search each time. The fact that we have to do that is time consuming and unnecessary.
2 of us can look up the same travel requests and get different results. This is not right. Also, I can look up a trip, try to purchase 3 minutes later and the prices is drastically different. This is not right
repair the glitch from the "Access Trips" screen. When I click on view trip it just refreshed the page instead of opening the researched trip...grrrrr... Had to restart the process on several trips.
The system downtime is way to often. Even if it is a short disruption of an hour to a few hours, it causes problems with scheduling work as well as losing travel options.
The updates to US Travel should be done and fixed after business hours. This whole month I has been difficult to make arrangements. I've had to restart a trip several times because website errors occur.
The option to be able to go back to the previous screen is a good suggestion and will be submitted as an enhancement request. If different people do not get the same results when searching for identical travel requests, it could be that the profile preference settings are different during your search, or the flight is low on inventory. Call the Help Desk for assistance when this happens to help determine why. Fares can also change any time without notice.
We have not been able to duplicate the "glitch" where the ACCESS TRIPS page prevented the selected trip from opening. If this occurs again, please call the Help Desk immediately, prior to moving forward in the tool, so that a "debug" can be run.
Known downtimes are reported by the ETMT. Updates to the booking tool are scheduled after business hours, except in emergency situations. The conversion from Apollo to Sabre did require a few unexpected downtimes during business hours in November, but there should not be many going forward.
the unused ticket information needs to be kept up to date. There are tickets listed that have been reused weeks ago
there are MANY glitches in the system. It shows that we have unused tickets available for weeks if not months after we have re-used them.
The unused ticket display in E-Travel Online is for "potentially" unused tickets. The tool is updated on a weekly basis, but because of the timing and processes involved, there may be situations where a ticket may not appear or may not be removed for up to 3 weeks. This information has been placed in the tool for your awareness and convenience. You may contact USTravel prior to purchasing to verify the status and eligibility of a specific ticket. The department Travel Coordinators are another resource and they are sent a report monthly of unused tickets.