Worldwide Systems Outages Causing Disruptions

Worldwide Systems Outages Causing Disruptions Due to a worldwide software issue affecting travel and other systems, travelers may experience travel disruptions. Travel Management Companies, airlines and other travel providers may also be experiencing systems outages. Please see the traveler disruption page for guidance..

Commercial Air

Commercial air is the preferred mode of transportation for official travel more than 250 miles one way. With few exceptions, all federal government travelers flying commercial air must utilize flights contracted through the General Services Administration’s (GSA) City Pair Program (CPP).

The Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) oversees DoD use of the City Pair Program, premium class transportation, restricted fares, and unused commercial airline tickets.

Policy

Airline reservations must be arranged as early as possible and in a manner that results in the lowest cost to the Government. DoD booking tools display recommended flight options available to the traveler and suggest the lowest airfare considering multiple parameters (i.e. the mission, whether the trip is likely to be changed or canceled, the availability of City Pair fares, whether or not the airline is a U.S. flag carrier, and if the airline is on the DoD-approved airline list [see JTR, par. 020206]).

Use of commercial air service contracted through the GSA City Pair Program is mandatory unless one of the approved exceptions applies. Refer to JTR, par. 020206 M.2 [PDF], for personal limitations and restrictions when using Restricted Airfares for official travel.

Use of a DoD contracted Travel Management Company (TMC) or DoD Online Booking Tool(s) for making reservations and issuing tickets on commercial modes of transportation is mandatory.

See Airfare Types for more information on coach/City Pair, restricted, and premium fares.

Flight Confirmation & Auto-Cancellation

Before heading to the airport, ensure your electronic tickets have been issued. When a ticket is issued, the traveler is emailed an itinerary and invoice from the TMC, containing ticket numbers, costs, and TMC contact information. The presence of the ticket number signifies the e-ticket has been issued. TMCs do not ticket a reservation until it has been approved by an Authorizing Official. If your booking was done in a DoD Booking Tool, the TMC is notified of approval automatically. If you called your TMC to create the initial reservation, you must call again to notify the TMC of approval.

If a travel authorization is not approved at least 72 hours in advance of your flight departure, or the TMC is not notified of the approval, the carrier will automatically cancel the reservation 48 hours prior to the flight departure.

If your flight departs within 48 hours of the time it is booked, ensure your travel authorization is approved and ticket(s) are issued at least 6 hours prior to flight departure to avoid auto-cancellation by the carrier.

TSA PreCheck®

Free to DoD civilians and Service members, TSA PreCheck is a voluntary, expedited security screening process offered at select domestic airports. With TSA PreCheck, there is no need to remove shoes, belt, or a light jacket, and travelers may leave laptops and 3-1-1 compliant liquids in carry-on bags.

To participate, travelers must add the DOD ID Number or Known Traveler Number to their DTS profile [PDF, 2 pages]. Civilian employees must complete a one-time opt-in process, while Service Members are automatically enrolled. Learn more about TSA PreCheck.

Frequent Flyer Programs

Add your personal frequent flyer numbers and other loyalty program information to your DTS profile to earn rewards while on official travel.

In DTS: From the DTS Dashboard select your name in the upper right corner of the page, then select My Profile from the drop-down.

Accompanied baggage is the Government property and personal property of the traveler that is necessary for official travel. Accompanied baggage is not part of the traveler’s household goods weight allowance. If the accompanied baggage is excessive in weight, size, or number of pieces, the authorizing official may authorize or approve the expense for excess baggage fees.

A traveler may be reimbursed for excessive baggage fees as a result of excessive weight, size, or number of pieces, if the cost of these fees is authorized or approved on an official travel order. For excess accompanied baggage, the authorizing or approving official must decide if the contents of the baggage is required for official duty and unavailable at the official duty location. See the JTR, par. 020207-C1 and C2.

Some airlines grant exceptions for official travelers or certain types of baggage. Consult with your TMC or airline for specific baggage requirements and exceptions. For more information, visit GSA.gov

Unused airline tickets are tickets that have been issued, but not used due to trip cancellation or other circumstance. All unused tickets, (portion of a ticket or credit, coupons, exchange orders, refund slips, airfare adjustment notices, etc.) and all information relating to unused transportation must be reported to the traveler’s Travel Management Company (TMC). It is essential that every traveler, who cancels a trip after an airline ticket has been issued, notifies their TMC to start the refund process. Failure to notify the TMC will delay the refund process to the government.

In the case of a restricted non-refundable airfare the reservation must be cancelled prior to the airline’s scheduled departure time to avoid forfeiting any funds for use on future travel. Travelers should advise their TMC of any available residual credits that may be applied to a future trip.

The Fly America Act requires that U.S. flag carriers be used for all commercial transportation when the Government funds the travel (49 U.S.C. §40118(d)). The Travel Management Company (TMC) and Authorizing Official (AO), therefore, require that travel by air and ship be on a U.S. flag carrier for every leg of a trip, unless the TMC and AO provide supporting documentation that a U.S. flag carrier is not available (see JTR par. 020206-I).

The Fly America Act does not mandate travel across the continental United States (CONUS) when traveling between two locations OCONUS (JTR par. 020206-I1).

There is no reimbursement (for any leg of the journey) for transportation cost when unauthorized or unapproved non-U.S. flag carrier service is used.

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) effective 5 April 2000, prohibits discrimination against a passenger who is disabled or who has special needs in air travel and requires air carriers to accommodate the needs of these passengers. The ACAA responsible agencies are DOT for air travel compliance/information and DOJ for ACAA violations.

Complaints related to special needs accommodation involving commercial airlines can be submitted via a complaint form to the DOT Aviation Consumer Protection Division, the organization responsible for air travel compliance involving air carriers.

Visit the Federal Aviation Administration online for more information on Civil Rights Air Accessibility and compliance.

Medical Exceptions

A civilian employee is not required to travel by air, if using air transportation is medically inadvisable. This exemption to using air travel is not limited to physical disability/special need; however, an advance written medical determination is necessary to support use of an alternate transportation mode. See JTR, par. 3500-D.

Service Animals

Service animals are authorized to accompany an eligible traveler IAW 14 CFR §382.117 [PDF, 2 pages], IAW the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). Service animal means a dog, regardless of breed or type, that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Animal species other than dogs, emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals, and service animals in training are not service animals.

Travel Escorts

If your disability/special need condition requires an attendant/escort during official travel, a competent medical authority may appoint the attendant. An escort may also be appointed by the traveler’s AO or the member's Commanding Officer.

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