B-114102, JUNE 8, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 542

B-114102: Jun 8, 1953

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EVEN THOUGH THE TRAVEL PERFORMED WAS INCIDENT TO OVERSEAS TRAVEL. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26. WAS FROM BANGKOK. SAID TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIR. SECURED THEREON SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS (UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE BEEN OPTIONAL) TO MINNEAPOLIS. THE DETAILS OF THE FLIGHT FROM TOKYO AND THE TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES ARE SET FORTH ON THE RECLAIM VOUCHERS AS FOLLOWS: RESERVATIONS MADE PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THIS TRIP TO THE ORIENT CALLED FOR TRAVEL ON NWA. WHEN WE WERE OVER SEATTLE. LANDING THEREAT WAS IMPOSSIBLE BECAUSE OF LOW CEILINGS. SINCE WE WERE IN PORTLAND RATHER THAN SEATTLE DUE TO FACTORS BEYOND OUR CONTROL. NWA ROUTED US PORTLAND-SPOKANE WHERE FLIGHT 10 WAS PICKED UP AT 12:05 A.M.

B-114102, JUNE 8, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 542

TRAVELING EXPENSES - AIR TRAVEL - SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS UNDER PARAGRAPH 13 (C) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH AUTHORIZES SLEEPER PLANE ACCOMMODATIONS WHEN OVERSEAS NIGHT TRAVEL BEGINS OR TERMINATES IN THE UNITED STATES, AN EMPLOYEE RETURNING TO OFFICIAL STATION BY AIR FROM OVERSEAS WHO, SUBSEQUENT TO LANDING IN THE UNITED STATES, BOARDED ANOTHER PLANE IN ORDER TO COMPLETE JOURNEY AND SECURED SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION ON SUCH PLANE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS, EVEN THOUGH THE TRAVEL PERFORMED WAS INCIDENT TO OVERSEAS TRAVEL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO I. BUNNELL, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, JUNE 8, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 26, 1953, FORWARDING FOR CONSIDERATION TWO VOUCHERS WHEREON MR. K. P. MACDOWELL AND MR. ALFRED S. KOCH, EMPLOYEES OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION, INDIVIDUALLY RECLAIM $28.75, THE COST OF SLEEPER PLANE ACCOMMODATIONS FROM SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, TO MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, ADMINISTRATIVELY WITHHELD FROM CREDIT UPON THEIR ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHERS. YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE RECLAIM VOUCHERS FOR PAYMENT.

THE TRAVEL INVOLVED, PERFORMED DURING OCTOBER 1952, WAS FROM BANGKOK, THAILAND, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., THE EMPLOYEES' OFFICIAL STATION, VIA TOKYO, JAPAN. SAID TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL AIR. SUBSEQUENT TO LANDING IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, FROM TOKYO, AND AFTER A STOPOVER DELAY, THE EMPLOYEES BOARDED AN EASTBOUND PLANE AT SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, AND SECURED THEREON SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS (UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE BEEN OPTIONAL) TO MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA. THE DETAILS OF THE FLIGHT FROM TOKYO AND THE TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES ARE SET FORTH ON THE RECLAIM VOUCHERS AS FOLLOWS:

RESERVATIONS MADE PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THIS TRIP TO THE ORIENT CALLED FOR TRAVEL ON NWA, TOKYO-1SEATTLE FLIGHT 800, SCHEDULED TO REACH SEATTLE AT 9:45 A.M. PST; HOWEVER, WHEN WE WERE OVER SEATTLE, LANDING THEREAT WAS IMPOSSIBLE BECAUSE OF LOW CEILINGS. THE FLIGHT PROCEEDED TO ITS ALTERNATE, PORTLAND, OREGON, ARRIVING AT 1:45 P.M. AS STATED IN THE TRAVEL VOUCHER. OUR SCHEDULE HAD CALLED FOR CONTINUATION OF THE TOKYO- WASHINGTON FLIGHT AFTER WAITING IN SEATTLE FOR FLIGHT 10 SCHEDULED FOR DEPARTURE AT 10:30 P.M. SINCE WE WERE IN PORTLAND RATHER THAN SEATTLE DUE TO FACTORS BEYOND OUR CONTROL, NWA ROUTED US PORTLAND-SPOKANE WHERE FLIGHT 10 WAS PICKED UP AT 12:05 A.M. AND THE BALANCE OF THE JOURNEY TO WASHINGTON WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ORIGINAL PLANS. * * *

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION HEREIN SUBSECTION 13C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDING AS FOLLOWS:

SLEEPER PLANE ACCOMMODATIONS--- ONE STANDARD BERTH ON AIRPLANES HAVING SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS WHEN OVERSEAS NIGHT TRAVEL, BEGINNING OR TERMINATING IN THE UNITED STATES, IS INVOLVED.

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE SUBSECTION, AUTHORIZING SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS FOR AIR TRAVEL, IS RESTRICTED IN APPLICATION TO TRAVEL INVOLVING "OVERSEAS NIGHT TRAVEL," AND TO SUCH TRAVEL ,BEGINNING OR TERMINATING IN THE UNITED STATES.' SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS FOR AIR TRAVEL WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IS NOT AUTHORIZED. IN VIEW OF THE GENERAL RESTRICTIVE NATURE OF THE SECTION AND AS THE PHRASE "BEGINNING OR TERMINATING IN THE UNITED STATES" APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN INCORPORATED TO FURTHER RESTRICT THE APPLICABILITY OF THE SECTION, IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT AN INTERPRETATION OF THE LATTER PART OF THE PHRASE,"TERMINATING IN THE UNITED STATES," TO EXTEND THE SCOPE OF THE SUBSECTION TO INCLUDE TRAVEL SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED IS NOT WARRANTED, EVEN THOUGH SUCH TRAVEL MAY BE INCIDENT TO OVERSEAS TRAVEL.

ACCORDINGLY, UNDER THE FACTS HERE INVOLVED, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE VOUCHERS, WHICH ARE RETURNED HEREWITH, ARE NOT PROPER FOR CERTIFICATION.