The last time I traveled it was from Maryland to Nevada. Because DTS is difficult to use, I initially started finding flights through commercial airline websites. When I found a few flights that would work, I located them in DTS. A roundabout way, sure, but much easier and quicker in the long run than dealing with the ever-crashing DTS system, inconsistent information, confusing layout design, etc.
When I found my flight onlined I noticed the price jumped from $190 as offered by the commericial airline's website to $950 on DTS.
SAME exact flight number, date, time, airline, seat, everything...but almost $800 more. Why? I'm not getting special treatment, just a normal trip.
(And this wasn't the first time I noticed the drastic difference in price.)
Yes, I understand that these government airline tickets can be changed at a moment's notice without incurring addition fees, but is that benefit really work $800?
But then again, as a normal passenger I could notify the airline (not the DTS travel agent) and also change my flight at a moment's notice..only the fee would be about a $150 or $200. So, even with that, my $190 ticket would go up to $390. It's still far less money than the $900 ticket I was forced to purchase through DTS.
Furthermore, once I add trip information in DTS it is sent to another travel agent that must then do the purchasing for me. I can only imagine it must cost the government millions of dollars to pay these contractor travel agents to click "buy ticket" online.
Perhaps this was a great system ten years ago, but with today's easy access to airline and trip planning websites, we no longer need travel agents to do the work for us.
DTS is great for keeping track of government travel, finding per diem rates, and logging receipts for reimbursement, but it is absolutely ridiculous to pay more than double the commercial rate for flights. It is furthermore a waste of time and money to hire travel agent.
If you want to save the government millions of dollars, or more, each year, then take a serious look at the DTS contracts, budget, ticket prices, and travel agent middle men.