B-128408, AUG. 27, 1956

B-128408: Aug 27, 1956

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YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT CARLISLE BARRACKS. THE FIRST AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION FROM ISTANBUL TO ANKARA WAS BY RAILROAD ON AUGUST 9. YOU SAY IT WAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING THAT PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS WOULD PAY FOR THE HOTEL EXPENSES. WHEN YOU CHECKED OUT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO PAY THE HOTEL $166. PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS DISCLAIMED ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE HOTEL BILL AND STATED THAT THE AIR TERMINAL CENTER AT FRANKFURT SHOULD NOT HAVE INITIATED YOUR TRAVEL UNTIL A CLEARANCE FOR TRAVEL ON TO ANKARA HAD BEEN OBTAINED FROM THAT COMPANY. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM THERE HAS BEEN FURNISHED A COPY OF A PAPER ENTITLED "DEPARTURE INFORMATION FOR COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL" WHICH YOU SAY WAS ISSUED BY THE AIR TRAFFIC CENTER.

B-128408, AUG. 27, 1956

TO COLONEL ROBERT E. MCMAHON, USA:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11, 1956, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 11, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY, INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED MAY 18, 1955.

BY ORDERS DATED MAY 18, 1955, YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT CARLISLE BARRACKS, PENNSYLVANIA, AND ORDERED TO REPORT TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY GROUP, JOINT MILITARY MISSION FOR AID TO TURKEY, ANKARA, TURKEY. IT APPEARS THAT ON AUGUST 3, 1955, YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARRIVED AT FRANKFURT, GERMANY, EN ROUTE TO YOUR NEW STATION. ON AUGUST 6, 1955, YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS LEFT FRANKFURT FOR ISTANBUL, TURKEY, VIA PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS. YOU ARRIVED AT ISTANBUL ON THE SAME DAY. THE FIRST AVAILABLE TRANSPORTATION FROM ISTANBUL TO ANKARA WAS BY RAILROAD ON AUGUST 9, 1955. PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS HAD MADE RESERVATIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AT THE PARK HOTEL IN ISTANBUL. YOU SAY IT WAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING THAT PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS WOULD PAY FOR THE HOTEL EXPENSES, AND THEREFORE YOU ACCEPTED THE RESERVATION AND STAYED THERE UNTIL AUGUST 9, 1955. WHEN YOU CHECKED OUT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO PAY THE HOTEL $166. PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS DISCLAIMED ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE HOTEL BILL AND STATED THAT THE AIR TERMINAL CENTER AT FRANKFURT SHOULD NOT HAVE INITIATED YOUR TRAVEL UNTIL A CLEARANCE FOR TRAVEL ON TO ANKARA HAD BEEN OBTAINED FROM THAT COMPANY. YOU NOW CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT IN THE SUM OF $166, LESS THE AMOUNT OF PER DIEM AND QUARTERS ALLOWANCES PAID FOR SUCH PERIOD.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM THERE HAS BEEN FURNISHED A COPY OF A PAPER ENTITLED "DEPARTURE INFORMATION FOR COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL" WHICH YOU SAY WAS ISSUED BY THE AIR TRAFFIC CENTER, FRANKFURT, GERMANY. IN ADDITION TO HOURS OF DEPARTURE AND SIMILAR INFORMATION THE FOLLOWING REMARKS WERE INCLUDED:

"REMARKS: WILL DEPART ISTANBUL FOR ANKARA ON FIRST AVAILABLE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. ALL ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE BY PAA. HAS HOTEL RESERVATIONS AT THE HILTON IN ISTANBUL AT THE EXPENSE OF PAA.'

THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 11, 1956, FOR THE REASON THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 OR IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO A MEMBER FOR HOTEL EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO A DELAY IN TRAVEL. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT IRRESPECTIVE OF THE LACK OF AUTHORITY IN THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE REASON THAT YOU WERE RELEASED BY THE AIR TERMINAL CENTER AT FRANKFURT WITH WRITTEN DIRECTIONS TO PROCEED TO ISTANBUL WHICH STATED THAT IN THE EVENT OF A DELAY IN TRANSIT YOU WOULD BE FURNISHED HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE EXPENSE OF PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS.

AS WE STATED IN OUR SETTLEMENT, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 802, CONTEMPLATES THAT THE PER DIEM AND QUARTERS ALLOWANCES FOR DEPENDENTS WHICH YOU RECEIVED ARE INTENDED TO COVER EXPENSES IN ADDITION TO, OR IN LIEU OF, REGULAR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT LEGALLY LIABLE FOR YOUR HOTEL EXPENSES BECAUSE OF ANY ERRONEOUS INFORMATION WHICH YOU MIGHT HAVE RECEIVED TO THE EFFECT THAT SUCH EXPENSES WOULD BE BORNE BY PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS. WHILE THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AND PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS AS TO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS, THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT BE BOUND BY THE NEGLIGENT OR ERRONEOUS ACTS OF ITS OFFICERS OR AGENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTE SO PROVIDING. SEE ROBERTSON V. SICHEL, 127 U.S. 507, 515.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 11, 1956, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.