41 CFR § 301-10.123 - When may I use other than coach-class airline accommodations?

§ 301-10.123 When may I use other than coach-class airline accommodations?

Government travelers are required to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business when making official travel arrangements, and therefore, should consider the least expensive class of travel that meets their needs. You may use the lowest other than coach-class airline accommodations only when your agency specifically authorizes/approves such use as specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

(a) Your agency may authorize/approve first class accommodations if any of the following apply:

(1) No coach-class accommodations are reasonably available. “Reasonably available” means available on an airline that is scheduled to leave within 24 hours of your proposed departure time, or scheduled to arrive within 24 hours of your proposed arrival time;

(2) When use of other than coach-class is necessary to accommodate a medical disability or other special need.

(i) A disability must be certified annually in a written statement by a competent medical authority. However, if the disability is a lifelong condition, then a one-time certification statement is required. Certification statements must include at a minimum:

(A) A written statement by a competent medical authority stating that special accommodation is necessary;

(B) An approximate duration of the special accommodation; and

(C) A recommendation as to the suitable class of transportation accommodations based on the disability.

(ii) A special need must be certified annually in writing according to your agency's procedures. However, if the special need is a lifelong condition, then a one-time certification statement is required;

(iii) If you are authorized under § 301-13.3(a) of this Subchapter to have an attendant accompany you, your agency may also authorize the attendant to use other than coach-class accommodations if you require the attendant's services en route;

(3) When exceptional security circumstances require other than coach-class airline accommodations. Exceptional security circumstances are determined by your agency and should only be authorized up to the minimum other than coach-class accommodation necessary. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:

(i) Use of coach-class accommodations would endanger your life or Government property;

(ii) You are an agent on protective detail and you are accompanying an individual authorized to use other than coach-class accommodations; or

(iii) You are a courier or control officer accompanying controlled pouches or packages;

(4) When required because of agency mission, consistent with your agency's internal procedures pursuant to § 301-70.102(i).

(b) Your agency may authorize/approve business-class accommodations if any of the following apply:

(1) When use of other than coach-class is necessary to accommodate a medical disability or other special need.

(i) A disability must be certified annually in a written statement by a competent medical authority. However, if the disability is a lifelong condition, then a one-time certification statement is required. Certification statements must include at a minimum:

(A) A written statement by a competent medical authority stating that special accommodation is necessary;

(B) An approximate duration of the special accommodation; and

(C) A recommendation as to the suitable class of transportation accommodations based on the disability.

(ii) A special need must be certified annually in writing according to your agency's procedures. However, if the special need is a lifelong condition, then a one-time certification statement is required;

(iii) If you are authorized under § 301-13.3(a) of this Subchapter to have an attendant accompany you, your agency may also authorize the attendant to use other than coach-class accommodations if you require the attendant's services en route;

(2) When exceptional security circumstances require other than coach-class airline accommodations. Exceptional security circumstances are determined by your agency and should only be authorized to the minimum other than coach-class accommodation necessary to meet the agency's mission. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:

(i) Use of coach-class accommodations would endanger your life or Government property;

(ii) You are an agent on protective detail and you are accompanying an individual authorized to use other than coach-class accommodations; or

(iii) You are a courier or control officer accompanying controlled pouches or packages;

(3) Coach-class accommodations on an authorized/approved foreign air carrier do not provide adequate sanitation or health standards;

(4) Regularly scheduled flights between origin/destination points (including connecting points) provide only other than coach-class accommodations and you certify such on your voucher;

(5) Your transportation costs are paid in full through agency acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source in accordance with Chapter 304 of this Title;

(6) Where the origin and/or destination are OCONUS, and the scheduled flight time, including stopovers and change of planes, is in excess of 14 hours, in accordance with § 301-10.125;

(7) The use results in an overall cost savings to the Government by avoiding additional subsistence costs, overtime, or lost productive time while awaiting coach-class accommodations;

(8) No space is available in coach-class accommodations in time to accomplish the mission, which is urgent and cannot be postponed; or

(9) When required because of agency mission, consistent with your agency's internal procedures pursuant to § 301-70.102(i).

Note 1 to § 301-10.123:

You may upgrade to other than coach-class accommodations at your personal expense, including through redemption of frequent flyer benefits.

Note 2 to § 301-10.123:

Blanket authorization of other than coach-class transportation accommodations is prohibited and shall be authorized on an individual trip-by-trip basis, unless the traveler has an up-to-date documented disability or special need.

[FTR Amdt. 2009-06, 74 FR 55147, Oct. 27, 2009]