B-163638, MAR. 26, 1968

B-163638: Mar 26, 1968

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WAS DISALLOWED. YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE BASIS OF TRAVEL NONSTOP FROM SEATTLE TO WASHINGTON ON UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT NO. 42 WHICH WAS SCHEDULED TO DEPART SEATTLE AT 9:15 A.M. YOU WERE PAID ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE BASIS OF TRAVEL FROM SEATTLE TO WASHINGTON ON NORTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT NO. 70 SCHEDULED TO LEAVE SEATTLE ON JUNE 11 AT 12:25 P.M. YOUR RECLAIM FOR THAT AMOUNT IS BASED ON THE CONTENTION THAT THE USUAL METHOD OF TRAVEL BETWEEN SEATTLE AND WASHINGTON IS VIA THE NONSTOP UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT AND NOT VIA THE ONE-STOP NORTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT. YOUR AGENCY APPEARS TO HAVE USED THE NORTHWEST FLIGHT OF JUNE 11. FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE ENTITLEMENT BECAUSE THAT WAS THE AIRLINE AND THE SAME SCHEDULE YOU ACTUALLY USED THE DAY BEFORE.

B-163638, MAR. 26, 1968

TO MR. EDWARD F. LAPIC:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 13, 1968, BY WHICH YOU REQUEST THAT WE REVIEW THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE, DATED FEBRUARY 6, 1968, BY WHICH YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM, INCIDENT TO YOUR TRAVLE ON TEMPORARY DUTY FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, TO WASHINGTON, D. C., IN JUNE 1967, WAS DISALLOWED.

INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY IN WASHINGTON, D. C., DURING THE WEEK OF JUNE 12-16, 1967, YOU DEPARTED SEATTLE ON SATURDAY, JUNE 10 SO THAT YOU COULD STOP OVER IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA FOR PERSONAL REASONS. YOUR TRAVEL VOUCHER SHOWS THAT YOU DEPARTED SEATTLE AT 12:25 M., JUNE 10 ON NORTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT NO. 70 ARRIVING IN MINNEAPOLIS AT 5:11 P.M., AND THAT YOU DEPARTED MINNEAPOLIS AT 6 P.M., THE NEXT DAY, JUNE 11 ON NORTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT NO. 70 WHICH ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON AT 9:05 P.M. YOU CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE BASIS OF TRAVEL NONSTOP FROM SEATTLE TO WASHINGTON ON UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT NO. 42 WHICH WAS SCHEDULED TO DEPART SEATTLE AT 9:15 A.M., JUNE 11 AND ARRIVE IN WASHINGTON AT :50 P.M. ON THAT DAY. YOU WERE PAID ON THE CONSTRUCTIVE BASIS OF TRAVEL FROM SEATTLE TO WASHINGTON ON NORTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT NO. 70 SCHEDULED TO LEAVE SEATTLE ON JUNE 11 AT 12:25 P.M.

THE CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL SCHEDULE USED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO COMPUTE YOUR ALLOWABLE PER DIEM RESULTED IN A REDUCTION OF YOUR CLAIM BY 1/4 DAY'S PER DIEM AT THE $16 RATE OF $4. YOUR RECLAIM FOR THAT AMOUNT IS BASED ON THE CONTENTION THAT THE USUAL METHOD OF TRAVEL BETWEEN SEATTLE AND WASHINGTON IS VIA THE NONSTOP UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT AND NOT VIA THE ONE-STOP NORTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT. YOUR AGENCY APPEARS TO HAVE USED THE NORTHWEST FLIGHT OF JUNE 11, 1967, FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE ENTITLEMENT BECAUSE THAT WAS THE AIRLINE AND THE SAME SCHEDULE YOU ACTUALLY USED THE DAY BEFORE.

PARAGRAPH 3.3 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"IN CASE A PERSON FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE * * * INTERRUPTS TRAVEL BY DIRECT ROUTE, THE EXTRA EXPENSE WILL BE BORNE BY HIM. * * *"

UNDER THAT PROVISION AS WELL AS UNDER SECTION 3.5 OF THOSE REGULATIONS WHICH RELATES TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE AN EMPLOYEE WHO INTERRUPTS HIS TRAVEL MUST BE REIMBURSED ON A CONSTRUCTIVE BASIS USING THE COSTS -- INCLUDING PER DIEM -- WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED IN DIRECT TRAVEL.

WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DETERMINATION OF YOUR AGENCY TO USE THE NORTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT DEPARTING SEATTLE AT 12:25 P.M., RATHER THAN THE UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT DEPARTING AT 9:15 A.M., AS THE CONSTRUCTIVE BASIS FOR YOUR TRAVEL WAS SO UNREASONABLE AS TO WARRANT ACTION BY OUR OFFICE WHICH WOULD IN EFFECT SUPERSEDE THAT DETERMINATION. IN THAT CONNECTION, ALTHOUGH THE NONSTOP FLIGHT MAY OFTEN BE USED FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE PLACES INVOLVED, WE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT TRAVEL BY THAT FLIGHT IS THE EXCLUSIVE "USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE" FOR PERFORMANCE OF SUCH TRAVEL.

THEREFORE, THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE, DATED FEBRUARY 6, 1968, IS SUSTAINED.