The government could save millions of dollars annually when government employees travel by making non refundable airline tickets easier to purchase. For most travel, purchased airline tickets associated with travel are extremely unlikely to be canceled (the "advantage of the refundable ticket"). For example the USGS-CRU recently held a meeting in New Orleans, attended by ~200 people. The non refundable ticket cost was $450, the refundable ticket was $1500. I went through the trouble (and it is trouble) going through the mandatory travel agent and being approved to purchase the ticket at a $1000 savings. I was in the minority - if others had don the same, the biggest cost to the government, airline tickets, would have been cut by ~$150-200,000- and this is was one event! Across the Department of interior- and across the federal government - this could be a huge savings.
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