When Penn Staters get ready to pack their bags, a new agency will help them get where they are going.
On Thursday, Penn State announced a new multiyear agreement with Anthony Travel as the “university-wide travel provider.”
According to Penn State, the company will be serving both intercollegiate athletics and the university’s normal business travel, starting Monday. However, athletics spokesman Jeff Nelson said the agreement does not cover football, which uses a different provider.
“We are thrilled to be adding the services of Anthony Travel to our portfolio and anticipate a seamless transition for faculty and staff, since travel can still be booked through the Travel OnLion system,” said Duane Elmore, director of Penn State Procurement Services, in a release. “They will bring some exciting new benefits to our travelers, including full-service booking with an Anthony Travel representative, 24/7 after-hours support by experienced travel agents, and access to deeper discounts through their vast international network of travel-industry partners.”
No number of what the agreement will cost has been released. Penn State budget numbers show a total of more than $62 million spent on travel in the 2015-16 school year, but most of that is not the kind of travel that requires an agent. Instead, a large percentage of the university’s travel is more mundane, involving mileage for travel between locations and facilities in a 46,000-square mile state that includes 22,000 acres of holdings on 24 campuses.
Anthony Travel addresses the more complicated, long-distance trips, booking things like airplane tickets, arranging ground transportation and setting up hotel accommodations. Penn State says there will be no booking fees for uses of the service, and users will have access to dedicated account managers and round-the-clock assistance.
The first partnership between the Nittany Lion travelers and Anthony Travel came with the Penn State Alumni Association’s arrangement for travel to the 2014 Croke Park Classic in Dublin, Ireland.
“We got to know the Penn State people and their commitment to success through our work with them for their 2014 football game in Ireland. Ever since, we have looked forward to broadening our relationship to manage all of their travel needs,” said John Anthony, president and CEO of Anthony Travel, in a release. “We are thrilled to undertake this responsibility and will proudly serve all Nittany Lions.”
Penn State is the ninth member of the Big Ten to utilize Anthony Travel.