B-172201, MAY 18, 1971

B-172201: May 18, 1971

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BECAUSE CLAIMANT'S INDIRECT ROUTE THROUGH EUROPE WAS FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. THE PROVISIONS OF 6 FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL 134.2 ARE FOR APPLICATION. THEREFORE CLAIMANT MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE PUBLISHED AIRLINE FARE APPLYING TO THE ROUTE SEGMENT ON WHICH HE TOOK FOREIGN FLAG AIRLINES BECAUSE THE INDIRECT TRAVEL RESULTED IN GREATER USE OF FOREIGN FLAG SERVICE THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY ON THE DIRECT ROUTE. EDGELL: THIS IS IN REGARD TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12. WAS DISALLOWED. WE HAVE RECONSIDERED YOUR CLAIM IN LIGHT OF YOUR LETTER. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM LUBUMBASHI. TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE INDICATES THAT YOUR REASON FOR NOT TAKING A FLIGHT DIRECTLY TO NEW YORK WAS BECAUSE ON NOVEMBER 27.

B-172201, MAY 18, 1971

INDIRECT TRAVEL - FOREIGN FLAG AIRLINES SUSTAINING PRIOR DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR $282.62 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF FLIGHTS ABOARD AIRCRAFT OF FOREIGN REGISTRY INCIDENT TO TRAVEL FROM LUBUMBASHI, CONGO TO WASHINGTON, D.C. BECAUSE CLAIMANT'S INDIRECT ROUTE THROUGH EUROPE WAS FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, TO OBTAIN AN IMMIGRATION VISA FOR HIS NEW WIFE, THE PROVISIONS OF 6 FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL 134.2 ARE FOR APPLICATION. THEREFORE CLAIMANT MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE PUBLISHED AIRLINE FARE APPLYING TO THE ROUTE SEGMENT ON WHICH HE TOOK FOREIGN FLAG AIRLINES BECAUSE THE INDIRECT TRAVEL RESULTED IN GREATER USE OF FOREIGN FLAG SERVICE THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY ON THE DIRECT ROUTE.

TO MR. DONALD G. EDGELL:

THIS IS IN REGARD TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12, 1971, EXPRESSING DISSATISFACTION WITH SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED JANUARY 7, 1971, BY WHICH YOUR CLAIM FOR $282.62 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF FLIGHTS ABOARD AIRCRAFT OF FOREIGN REGISTRY BETWEEN KINSHASA, CONGO, AND PARIS, FRANCE, WAS DISALLOWED. WE HAVE RECONSIDERED YOUR CLAIM IN LIGHT OF YOUR LETTER.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM LUBUMBASHI, CONGO, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., VIA HOLLOWAY, OHIO. YOU AND YOUR WIFE DID NOT TAKE ONE OF THE FLIGHTS ON AN AMERICAN-FLAG AIRLINE LEAVING KINSHASA, CONGO, TWICE WEEKLY FOR NEW YORK. INSTEAD YOU FLEW FROM KINSHASA ABOARD AN AIRLINE OF FOREIGN REGISTRY TO ROME, ITALY, FROM WHICH YOU TRAVELED TO NICE, FRANCE, ABOARD PAN AMERICAN AIRLINES, THENCE ON TO PARIS, FRANCE, ABOARD A FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINE, COMPLETING THE TRIP TO THE UNITED STATES ABOARD AMERICAN-FLAG AIRLINES. YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 3, 1970, TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE INDICATES THAT YOUR REASON FOR NOT TAKING A FLIGHT DIRECTLY TO NEW YORK WAS BECAUSE ON NOVEMBER 27, 1969, YOUR WIFE, WHOM YOU HAD MARRIED 5 DAYS PREVIOUSLY, DID NOT HAVE AN IMMIGRATION VISA NECESSARY FOR HER ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES, AND THAT ON THAT DAY YOUR VISA PERMITTING YOU TO REMAIN IN THE CONGO EXPIRED, REQUIRING THAT YOU LEAVE THAT COUNTRY.

APPARENTLY YOU WERE ADVISED THAT A VISA FOR YOUR WIFE COULD BE OBTAINED IN ROME, ITALY. THAT INFORMATION PROVED INCORRECT AND YOU FINALLY DID OBTAIN A VISA IN PARIS. YOU STATE THAT YOU WERE TOLD YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS WOULD BE AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE TRAVEL TO ROME, ITALY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING A VISA, AND TO NICE, FRANCE, TO PACK HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. THE RECORD DOES NOT INDICATE THAT YOUR ORDERS WERE AMENDED OTHER THAN TO AUTHORIZE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR YOUR WIFE.

THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR TRAVEL PROVIDED THAT ALL OFFICIAL TRAVEL MUST BE BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE AND THAT A TRAVELER MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE OF ANY PORTION OF HIS JOURNEY WHEN HE DEVIATES FROM THE USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE INDIRECT ROUTE WHICH YOU TOOK THROUGH EUROPE WAS NOT A MATTER OF OFFICIAL NECESSITY BUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF ARRANGING PERSONAL AFFAIRS RELATING TO YOUR MARRIAGE AND BRINGING YOUR NEW WIFE TO THE UNITED STATES.

THE PROVISIONS OF 6 FAM 134.2 WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL ABOARD FOREIGN REGISTRY AIRCRAFT VIA AN INDIRECT ROUTE IN EFFECT DURING THE TIME HERE INVOLVED WERE AS FOLLOWS:

"134.2-2 INDIRECT TRAVEL

"WHEN AIR TRAVEL IS PERFORMED VIA AN INDIRECT ROUTE FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER, A FOREIGN AIR-LINE CAN BE USED ONLY WHEN:

"A. AN AMERICAN-FLAG AIRLINE DOES NOT PROVIDE SERVICE; AND

"B. TRAVEL BY THE INDIRECT ROUTE DOES NOT RESULT IN GREATER TOTAL USE OF FOREIGN-FLAG SERVICE THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY ON THE DIRECT ROUTE

*** ." PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES HAVING DICTATED YOUR ROUTE THROUGH EUROPE, THE ABOVE SECTION IS CONTROLLING WITH REGARD TO YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THAT TRAVEL. AS DIRECT TRAVEL WOULD HAVE INVOLVED ONLY THE USE OF A FOREIGN FLAG AIRLINE FROM LUBUMBASHI, CONGO, TO KINSHASA, CONGO, IT IS CLEAR THAT THIS TRAVEL RESULTED IN A GREATER TOTAL USE OF FOREIGN-FLAG SERVICE THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY ON THE DIRECT ROUTE. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND PURSUANT TO 6 FAM 134.6, A TRAVELER WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE PUBLISHED AIRLINE FARE APPLYING TO THE ROUTE SEGMENT ON WHICH HE TOOK FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINES.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.