B-150779, MAR. 14, 1963

B-150779: Mar 14, 1963

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JONES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12. YOUR LETTER WILL ALSO BE CONSIDERED AS REQUESTING A REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 24. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE IN THE COST OF THE TWO TYPES OF ACCOMMODATIONS BECAUSE FIRST-CLASS AIR TRANSPORTATION WAS AUTHORIZED WHEREAS TICKETS FOR THE LOWER PRICED TOURIST -CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS WERE ACTUALLY FURNISHED. THE ADDITIONAL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR BAGGAGE CARRIED FREE ON SUCH TICKETS WOULD HAVE PRECLUDED ANY CHARGES FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE. COPIES OF THE MESSAGE AND THE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE MATERIAL FORWARDED WITH YOUR CLAIMS. IT WILL BE ASSUMED THAT THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS DIRECTED TO BE PERFORMED AT AMMAN.

B-150779, MAR. 14, 1963

TO MR. JERRY C. JONES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12, 1963, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF SETTLEMENT DATED JANUARY 9, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE IN THE COST OF FIRST-CLASS TICKETS AND THE TOURIST-CLASS TICKETS FURNISHED FOR THE ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL PLANE OF YOURSELF AND THREE ENLISTED MEN UNDER YOUR COMMAND BETWEEN PARIS, FRANCE, AND AMMAN, JORDAN, DURING THE SPRING OF 1958, WHILE PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY AS A FIRST LIEUTENANT IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY. YOUR LETTER WILL ALSO BE CONSIDERED AS REQUESTING A REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 24, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES INCURRED DURING THE FIRST PORTION OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED TRIP.

IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THE DIFFERENCE IN THE COST OF THE TWO TYPES OF ACCOMMODATIONS BECAUSE FIRST-CLASS AIR TRANSPORTATION WAS AUTHORIZED WHEREAS TICKETS FOR THE LOWER PRICED TOURIST -CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS WERE ACTUALLY FURNISHED, AND FURTHER, HAD FIRST- CLASS TICKETS BEEN SUPPLIED, THE ADDITIONAL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR BAGGAGE CARRIED FREE ON SUCH TICKETS WOULD HAVE PRECLUDED ANY CHARGES FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE. WHILE YOU CLAIM THE COST DIFFERENTIAL FOR THE ENLISTED MEMBERS' TRAVEL AS WELL AS YOUR OWN, ANY ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED INCIDENT TO THEIR TRAVEL, WOULD NOT BE PAYABLE TO YOU BY REASON OF YOUR SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT BUT WOULD ACCRUE PERSONALLY TO THE MEMBERS INVOLVED. HENCE, IN THE ABSENCE OF CLAIMS FROM SUCH MEMBERS AND A PROPER POWER OF ATTORNEY AUTHORIZING YOU TO REPRESENT THEM IN THIS MATTER, CONSIDERATION MAY BE GIVEN ONLY TO THE PAYMENT OF SUCH DIFFERENTIAL AS RELATES TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIMS, YOU ATTACHED COPIES OF LETTER ORDERS NO. 3-82, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY ORDNANCE DEPOT, BRACONNE, FRANCE, DATED MARCH 26, 1958, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN MESSAGE NO. 8-182. THE ORDERS ASSIGNED YOU AND THREE ENLISTED MEN TO APPROXIMATELY 30 DAYS' TEMPORARY DUTY BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT APRIL 1, 1958, AND DESIGNATED TRAVEL BY RAIL, PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE, MILITARY AIRCRAFT AND GOVERNMENT VEHICLE UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. ALTHOUGH THE ORDERS REFERRED TO MESSAGE 8-182 FOR THE ITINERARY OF THE TRAVEL AND PROVIDED THAT SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS WOULD BE COMPLIED WITH BY THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED AND WOULD GOVERN THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL VOUCHERS TO THE TRAVELERS, COPIES OF THE MESSAGE AND THE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE MATERIAL FORWARDED WITH YOUR CLAIMS. FOR THE PURPOSES HERE CONCERNED, HOWEVER, IT WILL BE ASSUMED THAT THE TEMPORARY DUTY WAS DIRECTED TO BE PERFORMED AT AMMAN, JORDAN, AND PROVISION WAS OTHERWISE MADE AUTHORIZING TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES GENERALLY, IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 404 OF TITLE 37, UNITED STATES CODE, WHICH PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS WHEN AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. WHILE THE SECRETARIES ARE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE ALLOWANCES FOR THE VARIOUS KINDS OF TRAVEL, THE ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED FOR EACH KIND OF TRAVEL ARE RESTRICTED BY SPECIFIC TERMS OF THAT SECTION TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR A MONETARY OR MILEAGE ALLOWANCE IN LIEU THEREOF, AND NOT MORE THAN ONE OF SUCH ALLOWANCES MAY BE PAID FOR EACH KIND OF TRAVEL.

CONCERNING THE FURNISHING BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER OF TOURIST CLASS RATHER THAN FIRST-CLASS COMMERCIAL AIR ACCOMMODATIONS, PARAGRAPH 5B (1) OF ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 55-31, DATED JUNE 6, 1956, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRAVEL, PROVIDED THAT MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL TRAVELING IN GROUPS OF 14 OR LESS BY SCHEDULED AIR CARRIERS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WOULD NORMALLY BE PROVIDED FIRST-CLASS AIR TRANSPORTATION. HOWEVER, THE REGULATIONS FURTHER PROVIDED (PARAGRAPH 4C) THAT NOTHING THEREIN WILL BE CONSTRUED AS PREVENTING PASSENGERS FROM ACCEPTING ACCOMMODATIONS WITH LESS THAN STATED MINIMUM STANDARDS WHEN IT MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SERVICE AND/OR THE TRAVELER. ALSO, THAT NOTHING THEREIN WILL BE CONSTRUED AS PREVENTING THE GOVERNMENT FROM FURNISHING ACCOMMODATIONS WITH LESS THAN STATED MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL WHEN IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY THE SERVICE CONCERNED THAT EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE USE OF SUCH ACCOMMODATIONS. GENERAL TRAVEL PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL OF MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL ARE CONTAINED IN CHAPTER 304 OF THE MILITARY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT REGULATION, AR 55-355. PARAGRAPH 304006A IN THAT CHAPTER SETS FORTH THE CLASSES OF CARRIERS' TICKETS AVAILABLE TO PERSONNEL PERFORMING SUCH TRAVEL BY AIR. THE CLASSES SHOWN ARE REGULAR FIRST, COACH, TOURIST AND MIXED. SUCH REGULATIONS DO NOT REQUIRE OR APPEAR TO CONTEMPLATE ISSUANCE OF FIRST-CLASS TICKETS BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICERS IN EVERY INSTANCE WHERE A MEMBER IS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL AIR OR WHEN THE OFFICIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SERVICE AND/OR TRAVELER CAN BE ADEQUATELY MET BY THE USE OF MORE ECONOMICAL ACCOMMODATIONS. THE PRESENT RECORD CONTAINS NOTHING WHICH TENDS TO SHOW THAT THE OFFICIAL REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR TRIP WERE NOT ADEQUATELY SERVED BY THE ACCOMMODATIONS FURNISHED AND NEITHER IS THERE ANYTHING TO INDICATE THAT THE ISSUANCE OF TOURIST- CLASS TICKETS FOR THE TRAVEL CONSTITUTED AN UNREASONABLE EXERCISE OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER'S TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE GOVERNMENT FURNISHED YOU TRANSPORTATION BY COMMERCIAL AIR WITH TOURIST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS AND YOU PERFORMED TRAVEL UNDER THOSE ACCOMMODATIONS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO NOW ALLOW YOU THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF TOURIST-CLASS AND FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL AT THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS AIRLINE RATE. EXCEPT FOR THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGE OF $41.25, DISCUSSED BELOW, NO ADDITIONAL COSTS WERE INCURRED BY YOU BY REASON OF TRAVELING BY TOURIST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS. THE GOVERNMENT PERFORMED ITS OBLIGATION BY PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION TO YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND THE MERE FACT THAT THE ACCOMMODATIONS UTILIZED MIGHT HAVE CAUSED YOU SOME INCONVENIENCE, AS YOU ALLEGE, DOES NOT AFFORD A BASIS FOR ALLOWING YOUR CLAIM. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 9, 1963, IS SUSTAINED.

CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR $41.25 REPRESENTING THE COST OF EXCESS BAGGAGE IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION, SECTION 406, TITLE 37, U.S.C. CONTAINS THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND PROVIDES THAT, WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR UPON A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. PARAGRAPH 4404 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO AND IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRAVEL PROVIDED FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF EXCESS BAGGAGE WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE ORDER-ISSUING AUTHORITY (OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE), OR THE MEMBER'S COMMANDING OFFICER. IT IS NOTED THAT THE ARMY FINANCE CENTER FORWARDED YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM DATED JULY 29, 1958, TO THE FINANCE OFFICER, U.S. GENERAL DEPOT BRACONNE, APO 211, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, FOR ACTION BY THAT OFFICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 1-24 OF ARMY REGULATIONS NO. 37-106, AFTER WHICH THE FILE IN CONNECTION THEREWITH APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN LOST. WHILE THE PRESENT RECORD, AS INDICATED ABOVE, IS INCOMPLETE AND DOES NOT SHOW WHETHER YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM RECEIVED THE APPROVAL OF THE PROPER AUTHORITIES AT BRACONNE, IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT IT IS THE CUSTOMARY PRACTICE OF THE ARMY ORDER- ISSUING AUTHORITIES TO NOTE ON THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST THE ADDITIONAL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE FOR BAGGAGE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN CARRIED FREE ON FIRST- CLASS TICKETS AS BEING AUTHORIZED AS AN EXCESS WEIGHT ALLOWANCE ON TOURIST -CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS, SUCH AS IN YOUR CASE.

IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT ALL OF THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGE WAS ATTRIBUTABLE TO YOUR PERSONAL BAGGAGE. SINCE, HOWEVER, YOU PAID THE FULL CHARGE IT WILL BE CONSIDERED THAT YOU WERE OFFICIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES.

ACCORDINGLY, ALTHOUGH THE MATTER IS NOT ENTIRELY FREE OF DOUBT, IT WILL BE CONSIDERED IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED THAT THE MEMBERS OF YOUR PARTY WERE AUTHORIZED TO CARRY THE AMOUNT OF BAGGAGE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN CARRIED FREE ON FIRST-CLASS TICKETS BY THE COMMERCIAL CARRIERS USED AND THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU ($41.25) FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE CHARGES ON THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY TOURIST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS TO THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION WILL BE ALLOWED AND THE AMOUNT APPLIED AGAINST YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES.

YOUR PAYMENT RECORD CARD, SHOWING A CREDIT OF $41.25 IN ADDITION TO THE MONTHLY PAYMENTS LISTED THEREON, WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU SHORTLY AND IT IS REQUESTED THAT UPON RECEIPT THEREOF YOU RESUME YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENTS IN ORDER TO LIQUIDATE THE REMAINING BALANCE ($83.75) DUE ON YOUR DEBT.