[Decision Concerning Air Force Member's Appeal of Claims Group's Denial of Claim for Reimbursement of Transportation Expenses]

B-235536: Aug 29, 1989

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An Air Force member claimed reimbursement for air travel expenses he incurred to return to the United States for a relative's funeral. The Air Force advised that: (1) it initially denied the claimant's emergency leave request, but amended his orders after determining that a parental relationship had existed between the claimant and the decedent; and (2) the claimant secured transport through a foreign air carrier after cancellation of two military flights. GAO held that the claimant was entitled to reimbursement for the air travel expenses, since: (1) the amended orders put him in an emergency leave status; and (2) a U.S. carrier was not available to timely transport the claimant to the funeral. Accordingly, the claim was allowed.