Entitlement to Air Transportation Expense

B-192548: Apr 18, 1979

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Incident to home leave travel from Paris to San Francisco, an employee and his wife in 1976 traveled from Paris to London by foreign air carrier, took a rest stop in London, and traveled on to San Francisco by U.S. air carrier. A GAO decision in 1977 held that the requirement to use available U.S. air carrier service imposed by the Fly America Act necessarily limits the selection of rest stop locations. In this case the rest stop in London was improper under the rest stop selection principles, but the employee may be reimbursed air fare for travel to San Francisco since the travel predated the issuance of the GAO decision on November 14, 1977. It was noted that the employee's decision to take a rest stop in London so near the point of origin of the trip appeared to contravene the purpose of such a stop, since a rest stop should more appropriately be scheduled at a point midway in the journey. Incident to return travel to Paris following home leave in San Francisco, the couple took a rest stop in Boston. From Boston they traveled to London, where the employee performed temporary duty and took leave before traveling the remaining distance from London to Paris by foreign air carrier. The employee's stopover in London was for the purpose of performing temporary duty, but the employee's wife could have traveled directly from Boston to Paris by U.S. air carrier. The amount reimbursable for her travel, therefore, was required to be reduced by proration formula, since her stopover in London cannnot be viewed as a rest stop.