B-199066.OM, NOV 28, 1980

B-199066.OM: Nov 28, 1980

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YOU AND ID BELIEVE THAT BUSINESS CLASS IS "LESS THAN FIRST CLASS" AND THEREFORE THE PURCHASE OF THIS CLASS OF TICKET IS NOT PROHIBITED BY THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FTR). YOU FURTHER STATE THAT THE USE OF CLIPPER OR BUSINESS CLASS WILL GREATLY ENHANCE THE TRAVELERS' ABILITY TO PERFORM WORK AT THE OVERSEAS LOCATION. IN OUR OFFICE MEMORANDUM TO THE CHIEF OF ADMINISTRATIVE FINANCE SECTION (COPY ATTACHED) WE STATED OUR BELIEF THAT THE TRAVEL UNIT POLICY OF BOOKING LOWEST COST FARES AT ALL TIMES INCLUDING USE OF CLIPPER CLASS FARE WHEN IT IS THE LOWEST FARE AVAILABLE WAS REASONABLE. BELIEVE THAT SUCH A CHANGE IS A QUESTION OF POLICY.

B-199066.OM, NOV 28, 1980

SUBJECT: B-199066-O.M. "CLIPPER CLASS" AIR SERVICE

ACTING DIRECTOR, OAS - MALLORY S. ANDREWS:

YOU ASK US TO CONSIDER A PROPOSAL PRESENTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL DIVISION (ID) WHICH WOULD PERMIT ID PERSONNEL TO TRAVEL CLIPPER OR BUSINESS CLASS ON ALL FLIGHTS OF OVER SIX HOURS. YOU AND ID BELIEVE THAT BUSINESS CLASS IS "LESS THAN FIRST CLASS" AND THEREFORE THE PURCHASE OF THIS CLASS OF TICKET IS NOT PROHIBITED BY THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FTR). YOU FURTHER STATE THAT THE USE OF CLIPPER OR BUSINESS CLASS WILL GREATLY ENHANCE THE TRAVELERS' ABILITY TO PERFORM WORK AT THE OVERSEAS LOCATION. YOU ASK OUR ADVICE ON WHETHER OUR TRAVEL SERVICE UNIT CAN ISSUE CLIPPER OR BUSINESS CLASS TICKETS UNDER THE PROPOSAL AND STILL MEET THE FTR POLICY OF USING "LESS THAN FIRST CLASS" TRAVEL.

IN OUR OFFICE MEMORANDUM TO THE CHIEF OF ADMINISTRATIVE FINANCE SECTION (COPY ATTACHED) WE STATED OUR BELIEF THAT THE TRAVEL UNIT POLICY OF BOOKING LOWEST COST FARES AT ALL TIMES INCLUDING USE OF CLIPPER CLASS FARE WHEN IT IS THE LOWEST FARE AVAILABLE WAS REASONABLE. FTR PARA. 1-3.3D STATES THE GENERAL REQUIREMENT THAT FEDERAL EMPLOYEES FLY LESS THAN FIRST CLASS. HENRY G. HASTINGS - FIRST CLASS AIR TRAVEL, B-192347, MAY 29, 1979. IN THIS REGARD, WE STATED IN THAT OFFICE MEMORANDUM THAT CLIPPER CLASS SERVICE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED LESS THAN FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS UNDER FTR PARAGRAPH 1-3.3D. THUS, WE BELIEVE THAT USE OF CLIPPER CLASS FARES GENERALLY WOULD NOT VIOLATE THE FTR PARAGRAPH.

HOWEVER, WE DO NOTE THAT YOUR PROPOSAL CONTEMPLATES ALTERING THE CURRENT TRAVEL SERVICE UNIT POLICY OF BOOKING THE LEAST EXPENSIVE FARES. BELIEVE THAT SUCH A CHANGE IS A QUESTION OF POLICY, NOT LAW, AND THEREFORE LIMIT OURSELVES TO THE LEGAL QUESTION RAISED.

DIGEST

CLIPPER CLASS AIRLINE SERVICE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED LESS THAN FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS. THUS, USE OF CLIPPER CLASS SERVICE DOES NOT VIOLATE FTR POLICY THAT FEDERAL EMPLOYEES GENERALLY SHOULD USE LESS THAN FIRST CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS.