SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- --
Due to a recent Air Force Accounting and Finance Office directive, Airmen will now use their Government Travel Charge Card for MilAir travel related expenses.
The program, named “Pay at the Port”, is intended to simplify the electric billing process and eliminate the backroom accounting associated with military travel. It provides an upfront, streamlined process where funds are collected at the time of travel in the passenger terminal, as opposed to months or years later.
“In the past, finance individuals would run the funds and some people would be unaware of any charges,” said Master Sgt. Kathy Blake, 50th Comptroller Squadron superintendent. “The process was more systematic. Now it relies more on the individual.”
This change makes it important for Schriever Airmen to ensure their GTCC is in due order. This includes making sure GTCC’s are activated, cardholders know their personal identification number and have their credit limit costs increased if necessary to accommodate the changes in travel costs.
While official orders are accepted for payment at passenger terminals, problems with GTCC’s can cause significant delays to travel.
“If someone has a really low GTCC amount, it can be costly,” Blake said. “The traveler can be charged lodging as well as airfare and other charges; it’s important that their GTCC is increased and kept track of.”
Airmen are advised to consult their unit Agency Program Coordinator for any GTCC concerns and to ensure travel will go smoothly. Each GTCC card has a number included on it which will direct individuals to a help line which will try to alleviate any problems encountered.
Wing APC’s such as Senior Airman William Nash, 50th Comptroller Squadron, are also available to provide help and advice to Airmen at a broader level.
“Depending on the issue, such as need of a credit increase, need of activation or a new card, APC’s can send a request and assist you,” Nash said. “Airmen need to coordinate with unit APC’s, who in turn coordinate with us.”
Seeking assistance can prevent negative impacts for service members and for Schriever.
“Being delinquent on your GTCC it can affect your personal credit score,” Nash said. “We also have a GTCC metric, which shows a number of members delinquent over 60 days. If we don’t make that metric, it can affect the 50th Space Wing’s quality of life reimbursement.”
At its core, the “Pay at the Port” system is intended to help eliminate any surprising or forgotten about charges brought about through the prolonged accounting processes. It is expected to provide clarity to military travel, adding to the importance of making sure travel plans are good to go well before scheduled departure.
“The process before just wasn’t efficient,” Blake said. “While this program adds more responsibility for the member, it is intended to help make you aware.”
To find out more about the program, contact Blake at 567-5666.