Air Travel FAQ

Which airline offer restricted versus unrestricted fares?

DES manages the contracts for state air travel, which offers airfares typically less than half of comparable unrestricted fares. All routes with Alaska Airlines are for unrestricted fares, while Southwest Airlines offers restricted as well as unrestricted fares.

I found a cheaper airfare online at a travel website. Can I buy it?

No. Please reference SAAM 10.50.45 which directs agencies to utilize Enterprise Services master contracts for travel providers.

What are city pairs?

City pairs are contracted airfares between two cities. They are discounted, unrestricted, coach seating, and one-way airfares.

What does 'unrestricted airfare' mean?

It means there is no advance ticketing necessary, it is fully refundable, there are no penalties for changes and any open seat is guaranteed.

Can I use another airline for a city pair?

State travelers must use the contracted airlines for a particular city-pair with two exceptions: 1) a flight does not leave or arrive to meet the agency’s time requirements; and 2) there is a lower published fare to the destination.

The need to purchase a fully refundable fare shall be at the discretion of the purchaser on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon the purchaser’s budget, scheduling and other specific travel needs. Specific reason(s) when not to use the contract would be when the city pair flights do not meet the mission of the contract user’s state agency or when a less expensive ticket, that is also available to the general public, is available.

What if a flight is full?

If there is an open seat available on the desired flight, contracted airlines must make it available. If a flight is full, the airline must book the traveler on the next available flight with no additional charges.


The only acceptable payment for airfare is the state issued credit card.