Request for Reimbursement of Transportation Expenses

B-197475: Oct 17, 1980

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An Air Force member appealed a Claims Division settlement which denied him reimbursement for air fare for an attendant who accompanied the member's dependent mother on a flight. The member, while assigned in the Canal Zone, performed temporary duty to accompany his dependent mother to the United States for medical treatment. After the treatment, the Air Force refused to issue the member new orders to accompany his mother back to the Canal Zone. The member said that, based on his mother's deteriorating health, he purchased air fare for her and an attendant to travel to Colombia, where appropriate civilian care could be obtained. The member then claimed reimbursement for the transportation expenses for his mother and the attendant. Joint Travel Regulations, in effect at the time, authorized the payment of transportation expenses of attendants for dependents other than military or civilian employees of the United States when invitational travel orders for the attendant are issued. In this case, since no invitational travel orders were issued to the attendant, no authority existed to reimburse the member for the attendant's air fare. Therefore, the Claims Division's denial of reimbursement for the attendant's air fare was sustained. With regard to the allowance for the return air fare of the dependent mother by commercial air carrier, there was sufficient evidence concerning her condition to sustain a determination that commercial rather than military air transportation was required for her return trip. There was also sufficient authority in the original travel orders issued to authorize reimbursement to the member for the dependent mother's commercial air fare to the Canal Zone, and as a result settlement would be based on that cost rather than the cost to Colombia. Accordingly, a settlement was authorized for the equivalent commercial air fare from the United States to the Canal Zone for the member's mother.

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