B-196547.OM, JAN 23, 1980

B-196547.OM: Jan 23, 1980

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

CLAIMS DIVISION: RETURNED IS CLAIM FILE Z-2811135 PERTAINING TO THE CLAIM OF LIEUTENANT BENJAMIN G. FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COST OF BREAKFAST OBTAINED BEFORE DEPARTURE ON AIR FLIGHT WHERE BREAKFAST WAS SERVED AND INCLUDED IN TICKET PRICE. WAS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA. BREAKFAST ON THE AIRLINE WAS NOT SERVED UNTIL AFTER DEPARTING LOS ANGELES AND AT APPROXIMATELY 10 A.M. THE CLAIM OF $4 FOR THE BREAKFAST PURCHASED BEFORE BOARDING THE AIRLINE WAS DENIED BASED UPON B-185826. LIEUTENANT BELROSE CONTENDS THAT BECAUSE THE FIRST MEAL ON THE AIRLINE WAS NOT SERVED UNTIL 10 A.M. IS A JUSTIFIABLE REASON WHY THE EXTRA MEAL WAS REQUIRED AND SHOULD THEREFORE BE AN EXCEPTION TO OUR RULING IN B-185826.

B-196547.OM, JAN 23, 1980

SUBJECT: LIEUTENANT BENJAMIN G. BELROSE, USN - CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COST OF BREAKFAST - B-196547-O.M.

DIRECTOR, CLAIMS DIVISION:

RETURNED IS CLAIM FILE Z-2811135 PERTAINING TO THE CLAIM OF LIEUTENANT BENJAMIN G. BELROSE, USN, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF COST OF BREAKFAST OBTAINED BEFORE DEPARTURE ON AIR FLIGHT WHERE BREAKFAST WAS SERVED AND INCLUDED IN TICKET PRICE.

LIEUTENANT BENJAMIN G. BELROSE, USN, WAS ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY AT SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA, IN OCTOBER 1978, A HIGH COST GEOGRAPHICAL AREA.

THE DAY OF HIS RETURN FROM TEMPORARY DUTY ON NOVEMBER 1, 1978, STARTED AT 5 A.M. BEFORE BOARDING THE AIRLINE AT 7:15 A.M. HE CHECKED OUT OF HIS MOTEL, RETURNED THE RENTAL AUTOMOBILE AND RODE TO THE AIRPORT WHERE HE HAD BREAKFAST. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED SAN DIEGO AT 7:30 A.M. WITH A STOP IN LOS ANGELES. BREAKFAST ON THE AIRLINE WAS NOT SERVED UNTIL AFTER DEPARTING LOS ANGELES AND AT APPROXIMATELY 10 A.M. THE FLIGHT ARRIVED AT DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AT 4:30 P.M. FOR A TOTAL FLIGHT TIME OF 6 HOURS. ADDITION TO THE MEAL AT 10 A.M., THE FLIGHT ALSO SERVED A LIGHT SNACK IN LATE AFTERNOON BEFORE ARRIVING AT DULLES.

THE CLAIM OF $4 FOR THE BREAKFAST PURCHASED BEFORE BOARDING THE AIRLINE WAS DENIED BASED UPON B-185826, MAY 28, 1976. LIEUTENANT BELROSE CONTENDS THAT BECAUSE THE FIRST MEAL ON THE AIRLINE WAS NOT SERVED UNTIL 10 A.M., HIS PURCHASE OF BREAKFAST AT 6:45 A.M. IS A JUSTIFIABLE REASON WHY THE EXTRA MEAL WAS REQUIRED AND SHOULD THEREFORE BE AN EXCEPTION TO OUR RULING IN B-185826.

IN B-185826 AND B-186820, FEBRUARY 23, 1978, CLAIMS INVOLVING CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, WE HELD THAT:

"WHEN MEALS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF AN AIRLINE TICKET AND IN FACT ARE PROVIDED DURING THE COURSE OF A FLIGHT, IT IS NOT PROPER TO ALLOW REIMBURSEMENT FOR DUPLICATE MEALS PURCHASED AFTER THE TRAVELER LEAVES THE PLANE, IN THE ABSENCE OF JUSTIFIABLE REASONS WHY THE TRAVELER DID NOT PARTAKE OF THE MEALS SERVED ON THE FLIGHT OR, IF HE DID SO, WHY EXTRA MEALS ARE REQUIRED."

THE QUESTION PRESENTED INVOLVES A MATTER OF JUDGMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE PARTICULAR FACTS OF THE GIVEN CASE. WHEN A TRAVELER PURCHASES A MEAL IN ADDITION TO THAT FURNISHED BY THE AIRLINE, HE MUST HAVE "JUSTIFIABLE REASONS" FOR SUCH ACTIONS. THE FACTS OF THIS CASE PROVIDE MORE THAN ONE BASIS UPON WHICH A DETERMINATION OF JUSTIFIABLE REASON COULD HAVE BEEN PREDICATED. FROM THE TIME THAT LIEUTENANT BELROSE AWOKE UNTIL HE WAS SERVED HIS FIRST MEAL ON THE AIRLINE WAS 5 HOURS. THAT MEAL AT 10 A.M. WAS LATE ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED A SNACK RATHER THAN BREAKFAST. THE FLIGHT WAS 6 HOURS LONG, ARRIVING 8-1/2 HOURS AFTER HE HAD STARTED HIS DAY IN SAN DIEGO. CONSIDERING THE LENGTH OF THE FLIGHT IT WAS NOT UNUSUAL TO HAVE TWO MEALS ABOARD THE AIRLINE AND A THIRD MEAL EITHER BEFORE BOARDING OR AFTER DEPARTING THE FLIGHT. THUS, THERE APPEARS TO BE SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR THE ACTION TAKEN BY LIEUTENANT BELROSE IN THIS CASE. B-192246, JANUARY 8, 1979. ACCORDINGLY, THE CLAIM MAY BE PAID IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.