B-148879, JUL. 20, 1970

B-148879: Jul 20, 1970

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Shirley Jones
(202) 512-8156
jonessa@gao.gov

 

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

BY AN AIRLINE WHEN EMPLOYEE'S RESERVATION WAS OVERSOLD RESULTING IN A DELAY OF DEPARTURE ON OFFICIAL GOVT. WHEN A CONFIRMED FLIGHT RESERVATION WAS OVERSOLD CAUSING A DELAY WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL GOVT. BUSINESS IS NOT ENTITLED TO SUCH REFUND SINCE AIRLINE CORRECTLY MADE CHECK FOR DENIED BOARDING COMPENSATION TO GOVT. UNDER RULE THAT IT IS GOVT. WHICH IS DAMAGED WHEN THERE IS FAILURE TO PROVIDE AIR TRANSPORTATION AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE COMPENSATED. CHESTER SIPKIN: THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTERS OF MAY 22 AND JUNE 24. SINCE THE FLIGHT ON WHICH YOU HAD A CONFIRMED RESERVATION HAD BEEN OVERSOLD AND YOU WERE FORCED TO DELAY YOUR DEPARTURE. IT IS YOUR VIEW THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE PAYEE OF THE CHECK.

B-148879, JUL. 20, 1970

CIVIL PAY -- AIR TRAVEL -- RESERVATION -- LIQUIDATION BY AIRLINE DECISION TO EMPLOYEE OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, DEPT. OF JUSTICE DENYING REQUEST FOR REFUND OF BOARDING COMPENSATION PAID TO THE GOVT. BY AN AIRLINE WHEN EMPLOYEE'S RESERVATION WAS OVERSOLD RESULTING IN A DELAY OF DEPARTURE ON OFFICIAL GOVT. BUSINESS. AN EMPLOYEE WHO CLAIMS REFUND OF DAMAGES PAID BY AIRLINE TO GOVT. WHEN A CONFIRMED FLIGHT RESERVATION WAS OVERSOLD CAUSING A DELAY WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL GOVT. BUSINESS IS NOT ENTITLED TO SUCH REFUND SINCE AIRLINE CORRECTLY MADE CHECK FOR DENIED BOARDING COMPENSATION TO GOVT. UNDER RULE THAT IT IS GOVT. WHICH IS DAMAGED WHEN THERE IS FAILURE TO PROVIDE AIR TRANSPORTATION AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE COMPENSATED.

TO MR. CHESTER SIPKIN:

THIS WILL REFER TO YOUR LETTERS OF MAY 22 AND JUNE 24, 1970, CONCERNING DENIED BOARDING COMPENSATION PAID BY AN AIRLINE ON WHICH YOU TRAVELED FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE ON APRIL 19, 1970.

SINCE THE FLIGHT ON WHICH YOU HAD A CONFIRMED RESERVATION HAD BEEN OVERSOLD AND YOU WERE FORCED TO DELAY YOUR DEPARTURE, THE AIRLINE, AS REQUIRED BY ITS TARIFFS, PAID LIQUIDATED DAMAGES BY A CHECK FOR $135 MADE PAYABLE TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES. IT IS YOUR VIEW THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE PAYEE OF THE CHECK, RATHER THAN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE, YOU REQUEST THAT THIS OFFICE INSTRUCT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE CHECK OR ADVISE YOU OF THE LEGAL BASIS OF OUR LETTER, B-148879, DATED MAY 26, 1969, WHICH SPECIFIES THAT LIQUIDATED DAMAGE PAYMENTS BY AIRLINES FOR FAILURE TO PROVIDE CONFIRMED RESERVED SPACE ARE TO BE BY CHECK MADE PAYABLE TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES.

THE QUESTION YOU RAISE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE IN OTHER CASES. IN DECISION DATED JUNE 15, 1962, REPORTED AT 41 COMP. GEN. 806, WE POINTED OUT THAT AN INDIVIDUAL TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS MAY BE REIMBURSED UNDER APPLICABLE STATUTES FOR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES CAUSED BY UNAVOIDABLE DELAYS. WE, THEREFORE, STATED THE RULE THAT WHEN A CARRIER IS LIABLE FOR LIQUIDATED DAMAGES FOR FAILURE TO PROVIDE A TRAVELER ON GOVERNMENT BUSINESS WITH CONFIRMED SPACE ON ITS FLIGHT IT IS THE GOVERNMENT WHICH IS DAMAGED AND WHICH SHOULD BE COMPENSATED. SEE ALSO B- 151525, DATED JUNE 18, 1963, COPY ENCLOSED.

IN ADDITION DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD, IN THESE AND OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES, THAT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT BE DIRECTLY REIMBURSED FROM PRIVATE SOURCES FOR EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES. ANY SUCH PAYMENTS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATUTORY AUTHORITY MUST BE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND IF TENDERED TO AN INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE SHALL BE VIEWED AS HAVING BEEN RECEIVED ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT. 36 COMP. GEN. 268, 41 ID. 806, 46 ID. 689, B-166850, DATED JUNE 13, 1969.

ACCORDINGLY, THE AIRLINE ON WHICH YOU TRAVELED CORRECTLY MADE ITS CHECK FOR DENIED BOARDING COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES AND WE FIND NO BASIS UPON WHICH YOU MAY PROPERLY BE REIMBURSED THE AMOUNT INVOLVED.

Jan 19, 2021

Jan 14, 2021

Looking for more? Browse all our products here