Retirement Security:

[Comments on Proposed Exchange of Frequent Flier Miles Between Railroad Retirement Board and RRB Employee]

B-276403: Published: May 19, 1997. Publicly Released: May 19, 1997.

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The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) requested advice on whether frequent flyer miles earned through an employee's personal travel on one airline may be exchanged for frequent flyer miles earned through official travel on a different airline where the exchange would allow RRB and the employee to each obtain a usable ticket at the time of the exchange. GAO noted that: (1) such a trade of mileage credits appears to fall within the spirit and intent of General Services Administration (GSA) guidance and appears consistent with the purposes of Public Law 103-355 regarding employee participation in frequent traveler programs; (2) the fact that some of the government mileage would be traded to the employee would not violate the requirement that such mileage be used only for official business travel, since ultimately its use in this manner would result in the government obtaining a free ticket on another airline for use on official business; and (3) the matter should also be brought to GSA's attention, since the disposition of mileage credits accrued on official travel is within GSA's purview.

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