Current airfare costs for Government employees is overly expensive. Part of that is due to the flexibility in being able to cancel or change flights at a moments notice without paying any additional cost. However, we're paying hundreds of dollars more per ticket just to have that flexibility when a majority of travelers don't change flights. Meanwhile, if Government had the flexibility to choose regular airfare prices, we could be potentially saving millions each year on lower airfare costs.
First, there should be a review of the total number of flights taken each FY and how many of those were "changed" flights where additional charges would normally apply. Then determine which segment of the Government (GS, SES, etc) are making the changes. I would venture that the majority of changes which would normally incur high costs are done by higher grade levels (GS 12, 13, 14, and SES). If that were to ring true, then a contract system could be established where certain grade levels are able to pay for airfare at regular consumer rates and those grade levels with the most changes to their airfare, regularly, would have to go through a contract airfare system like we currently have in place for all Government.
If this kind of change is possible, we could potenatially save the American taxpayers millions in overly expensive airfare.