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When to contact a commercial travel office

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Commercial Travel Offices, or CTOs, are contracted to support travel arrangements made both in conjunction with the Defense Travel System, or DTS, and outside that system. The questions and answers below will assist travelers in determining when it may be necessary to call a CTO directly and when support is readily available via DTS. Using DTS affords cost reductions to the DOD by eliminating CTO transaction fees and voucher processing costs. When a CTO intervenes to complete a reservation for a traveler, a transaction fee may be incurred.

The "request assistance" button in DTS offers a traveler the ability to request assistance with booking flights, hotels and rental cars by entering travel information in the DTS record that is sent directly to the CTO. The CTO should then respond to the traveler's request within 24 hours.

When Should You Call the CTO?

Emergency travel plans - When travel plans need to be finalized immediately, call the CTO to make reservations. Provide the CTO with two copies of your travel authorization for ticket issuance.

En Route assistance - Travelers who have begun their travel and need to make a change should contact their CTO as soon as possible. 

Unused Tickets - The traveler must notify the CTO of any unused or partially unused tickets as soon as possible. Unused tickets must be returned in the manner they were received. If you received a paper ticket from the CTO, the ticket must be returned to the CTO to process a refund.

Leisure in conjunction with official travel - When leisure travel is planned in conjunction with official travel, the travel can be initiated by requesting CTO assistance in the reservation module of DTS or by contacting the CTO directly. General Services Administration city pair fares are not authorized for the leisure portion of travel. The CTO makes official and leisure travel arrangements and performs a cost comparison between the combined trip and what the Government would have paid for official travel only. Any additional unofficial expenses are the traveler's responsibility and may not be entered into DTS as reimbursable.

Complex multiple stop itineraries and/or remote overseas travel - DTS supports most multiple stop, stateside and overseas travel. However, there may be times when special arrangements to remote locations are required or travel is very complex in nature. In those instances, you may contact a CTO directly or request CTO assistance through DTS.

When Should You NOT Call a CTO?

Do not call a CTO to make reservations after you already made a reservation in DTS.
DTS has processed the original booking based on your reservation. Calling a CTO to make reservations after you have made a reservation in DTS may result in duplicate reservations and possible duplicate charges on your government travel charge card. Any time you call a CTO directly, let them know if you have already made reservations in DTS.

Do not call a CTO to ask questions about how DTS works.
While CTOs receive and return your travel requests through DTS, they do not have access to DTS. For assistance with questions about DTS, call your local help desk or the Travel Assistance Center at 1-888-Help-1-Go. The TAC is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including federal holidays. Staffed by a team of trained analysts, the TAC offers assistance on a range of travel-related topics.

Do not call a CTO to cancel or make changes to travel plans before departure.
DTS can accommodate your initial travel request, as well as process cancellations and changes to existing reservations made prior to travel. When travel has not yet been initiated, follow the procedures for creating a DTS amendment to your authorization and then change or cancel your flight, hotel, rental car arrangements and any other expenses not incurred.