I know the DTS Fan Club can be counted on one hand, but as with most things in the military, we aren’t given a choice and must use it. However, I have just discovered a very useful tool that they now have in Beta test called the Travel Explorer. They are trying to market it with the cute name of TraX. This program is mobile-friendly, but not an actual app. The good news of course is that it is then compatible with almost every platform (Android users rejoice!). You will need to sign up for a DTMO Passport Account which you can access with your CAC or regular e-mail and password. You can see a video of how this works here.
Here is a screenshot of the website version:
The key functions are shown on the left:
– Trip Calculator opens a separate window that will add up all your trip costs. Not sure how often I need this.
– Per Diem for all CONUS locations
– City Pair, this is pretty nifty and I’ll show you below.
– Mileage which you can use to figure the official mileage between any two points.
There are also some great links to various useful reference sites.
Here is the City Pair function screenshot. You can input a starting point and destination and it will show you all the GSA city pairs at nearby airports, the airline with the current contract, and the GSA fare for that city pair. I am going from D.C. to the Bay Area on Friday. Plugging in those two, I get the following results:
Really handy if you are going to an area with multiple airports to choose from. While you still must go with the lowest fare, I find that different airports will suit my operational needs better than just picking whichever is closest. In this case, even though DTS would normally select SJC as the closest airport, SFO offers me a non-stop from DCA (it is also cheaper). That will save me a lot of time.
The phone-based version (what I call a semi-app) has even more functionality. Here is the list of things that will appear on the menu for you to use:
Announcements – So you know when DTS is down!
Knowledge Center – Search Function
Per Diem – As above
City Pair – As above
Flight Status – Track your flight
FAA Delays/ Alerts – Weather and other delays. Good to know when it is a real weather delay and when it is really the fault of the airline.
DTOD Mileage – As above
Hotel – Another neat function that will show you all the hotels near your destination. This is much easier to view than the way DTS displays them ten at a time when you are trying to book your trip.
Training – Not necessary for an expert like you!
Currency Converter – Cool!
Location Report – Will give you any travel warnings, visa requirements, immunizations, etc. This is actually very cool and saves you a lot of time from looking up individual requirements.
To access all of this, open your phone’s internet browser and go to www.defensetravel.dod.mil/mobile Try it out and let us know what you think!