B-129954, DEC. 21, 1956

B-129954: Dec 21, 1956

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER. PAYMENT WAS MADE ACCORDINGLY BY AN ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER. IN OUR AUDIT OF THE PAYMENT VOUCHER IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE ALLOWABLE CHARGES WERE $449.18 BASED ON A FARE COMPUTED VIA AMARILLO AND DALLAS. THE INDICATED OVERPAYMENT OF $223 ($672.18 LESS $449.18) WAS DEDUCTED IN THE PAYMENT OF ANOTHER BILL. YOUR RECLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT SO DEDUCTED WAS DISALLOWED IN OUR SETTLEMENT. THAT ONE OF THE TRAVELERS REPORTED THAT THE REASON FOR THE TRAVEL VIA THE INDIRECT ROUTE IS THAT "EVIDENTLY" THE COMMERCIAL AIRLINE SCHEDULE AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME OFFERED THE MOST EXPEDITIOUS RETURN OF THE TRAVELERS ALONG THAT ROUTE. OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION REPORTS THAT ONLY ONE HOUR AND FOURTEEN MINUTES MORE TIME WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED VIA THE SETTLEMENT ROUTE THAN VIA THE ROUTE OF TRAVEL WITH A DEPARTURE ONLY TWO HOURS AND FIVE MINUTES LATER AND AN ARRIVAL TIME AT DESTINATION THREE HOURS AND NINETEEN MINUTES LATER THAN THE SCHEDULED ARRIVAL TIME VIA THE ROUTE OF TRAVEL.

B-129954, DEC. 21, 1956

TO TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER, FILE G5-1593A/45), REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 8, 1955, IN CLAIM NO. TK 151216, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $223 ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF SEVEN MEMBERS OF THE ARMY AND 19 POUNDS OF EXCESS BAGGAGE FROM ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, TO BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, UNDER TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. WQ 22,042,915 IN MAY 1945.

THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST CALLED UPON THE CARRIER TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED AT THE "LOWEST RATE," NO ROUTING, JUNCTION POINTS, OR CONNECTING AIR CARRIERS BEING SHOWN ON THE REQUEST. FOR THIS SERVICE YOU CLAIMED PER BILL G-5-1593, $672.18, BASED ON A FARE COMPUTED VIA CINCINNATI, OHIO, AND ATLANTA, GEORGIA, AND PAYMENT WAS MADE ACCORDINGLY BY AN ARMY DISBURSING OFFICER. IN OUR AUDIT OF THE PAYMENT VOUCHER IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE ALLOWABLE CHARGES WERE $449.18 BASED ON A FARE COMPUTED VIA AMARILLO AND DALLAS, TEXAS. THE INDICATED OVERPAYMENT OF $223 ($672.18 LESS $449.18) WAS DEDUCTED IN THE PAYMENT OF ANOTHER BILL, AND YOUR RECLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT SO DEDUCTED WAS DISALLOWED IN OUR SETTLEMENT.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU SUBMIT A REPORT FROM THE SECOND TRANSPORTATION ZONE OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE TRAVEL ORDERS GRANTED AUTHORITY TO MAKE VARIATIONS PERMITTING THE TRAVELERS TO PROCEED TO SUCH OTHER PLACES AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE MISSION; AND THAT ONE OF THE TRAVELERS REPORTED THAT THE REASON FOR THE TRAVEL VIA THE INDIRECT ROUTE IS THAT "EVIDENTLY" THE COMMERCIAL AIRLINE SCHEDULE AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME OFFERED THE MOST EXPEDITIOUS RETURN OF THE TRAVELERS ALONG THAT ROUTE. HOWEVER, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE PASSENGERS DEPARTED FROM ALBUQUERQUE ON FLIGHT 38, MAY 28, 1945, AND OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION REPORTS THAT ONLY ONE HOUR AND FOURTEEN MINUTES MORE TIME WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED VIA THE SETTLEMENT ROUTE THAN VIA THE ROUTE OF TRAVEL WITH A DEPARTURE ONLY TWO HOURS AND FIVE MINUTES LATER AND AN ARRIVAL TIME AT DESTINATION THREE HOURS AND NINETEEN MINUTES LATER THAN THE SCHEDULED ARRIVAL TIME VIA THE ROUTE OF TRAVEL. IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS TO BE OBSERVED THAT ON THE FACE OF THE REQUEST, BELOW THE SPACE RESERVED FOR THE TITLE OF THE TRAVELER, THERE APPEARS THE STATEMENT: "NOTE--- FOLLOW STRICTLY INSTRUCTIONS ON REVERSE HEREOF.' THE "GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS TO CARRIERS" ON THE BACK OF THE REQUEST PROVIDE---

"1. CARRIERS MUST FURNISH TRANSPORTATION OF THE CLASS OR CHARACTER AND BETWEEN THE POINTS SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST. THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR EXCESS COSTS OCCASIONED BY VIOLATION OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS. TRANSPORTATION EXCEEDING THAT CALLED FOR ON THE FACE OF THE REQUEST MUST BE PAID FOR BY THE TRAVELER WHEN OBTAINED AND NOT BILLED AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.'

INSTRUCTION 2 DIRECTS THAT EXCEPTIONAL CONDITIONS REQUIRING TRANSPORTATION DIFFERING FROM THAT SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST BE NOTED WITH THE REASON FOR THE DIFFERENCE, AND INSTRUCTION 3 EMPHASIZES THE NECESSITY FOR FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION AT THE LOWEST RATE.

THE RECORD IN THIS MATTER DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE AUTHORIZED MISSION THAT THE TRAVELERS RETURN TO BIRMINGHAM VIA THE HIGHER RATED ROUTE THROUGH CINCINNATI AND ATLANTA, AND THE ABSENCE OF AN APPROPRIATE EXPLANATION IN THE REQUEST AS TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES THEN PRESENT, REQUIRING A DEVIATION FROM ITS TERMS, JUSTIFIES THE DISALLOWANCE OF ANY AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE "LOWEST RATE.' ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE ERRONEOUS AND IT IS SUSTAINED.