Distribution Management Office Travel Policy
DMOs are directed by the Defense Traffic Management Regulation DTR to comply with and enforce the policies, procedures and regulations pertaining to defense sponsored travel and transportation. This includes determining the availability or non-availability of government air transportation in connection with arranging international or transoceanic travel. Transportation is an entitlement for travel of civilians, military personnel and/or dependents. The nature (accompanied/unaccompanied) and duration of the individual's assignment to a particular station determine the legal right to one or more of the allowances. Travel and transportation allowances authorized at government expense for military and civilian personnel are prescribed by the JFTR. However Pets are NOT an entitlement. The JFTR and JTR are implemented by the Secretaries of the Armed Services in accordance with authority contained in public law. They are regarded as statutory regulations having the force and effect of law. The JFTR/JTR must be used in determining entitlement of military and civilian personnel of the Marine Corps to travel and transportation allowances at government expense.
ARRANGING COMMERCIAL TRAVEL UNDER (TAD) Temporary Additional Duty
Make arrangements for commercial, air travel, car rental, and hotel accommodations under Temporary Additional Duty (TAD). Members should make all requests through the Defensive Travel System (DTS).
Travel orders establish the authorization for official travel and transportation at government expense and provide the basis for the traveler's reimbursement. Orders must be endorsed to describe transportation furnished. Personnel traveling on official business are expected to exercise prudence in incurring travel expenses. Authorization for the performance of local travel by verbal, letter or message or by travel order is deemed appropriate for funding approval purposes.
TIMELY NOTIFICATION OF TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
Order writing activities/administrative officers and individuals shall identify travel requirements to the transportation office as soon as specific travel dates are established. Reservations need not be delayed until orders have been received. Timely identification of travel requirements will enhance the opportunity to use reduced fares and prevent un-warranted delays.
Commercial transportation shall be employed for the travel of persons between points within CONUS when such transportation is readily available and capable of meeting mission requirements. Travel by other modes, such as passenger vehicle, may be authorized as advantageous only when the use of common carrier transportation would seriously interfere with the performance of official business, impose an undue hardship on the traveler, or when the total cost by common carrier would exceed the cost by some other method of transportation. Travel beyond the Continental United States Government transportation (AMC) shall be employed for the travel of persons beyond the mainland boundaries of the United States when such transportation is available and meets the requirements of the Marine Corps.
SEPARATE SEAT REQUIREMENTS
All Marine Corps sponsored travelers, to include infants, are entitled to a separate seat when traveling on government and government-procured transportation. Infants shall be transported in appropriate infant seats for safety purposes.
USE OF CONTRACT FARES
When traveling between city/airport-pairs, contract air or rail service is the primary fare for official government travel. While fares equal to or lower than contract fares subsequently may be offered by competing, non-contract carriers on some routes, the government remains obligated to use contract carriers unless they fail to meet mission needs or qualify under one of the exceptions listed below.
Space or scheduled flights were not available in time to accomplish the purpose of travel; or
Use of contract service would require the traveler to incur unnecessary overnight lodging costs which would increase the total cost of the trip; or
The contractor's flight schedule is inconsistent with/will not meet mission requirements or where applicable, does not allow travel during normal working hours; or
A non-contract carrier offers a lower fare available to the general public, the use of which will result in a lower total trip cost to the Government, to include the combined costs of transportation, lodging, meals and related expenses, provided the unit is prepared to accept the penalties when this travel is selected and subsequently cancelled for any reason.
CONTRACT FARES FOR CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL AND PERSONAL USE
Carrier tariffs prohibit use of contract fares for circuitous travel and personal use. Transportation costs in excess of transportation from origin to destination via the most direct route cannot be charged to the GTR.
USE OF RESTRICTED FARES
Airlines offer restricted fares at a far lower price than unrestricted fares. These fares are often cheaper than government contract fares; however, the restrictions make them an undesirable option. The restrictions may include various travel requirements such as round trip and minimum stay, as well as penalties for change and/or cancellation. These fares have penalties that apply when a ticket/itinerary is changed or canceled. Penalties normally range from 25 to 100 percent of the value of the ticket. Restricted airfares lower than contract airfares may be authorized by the DMO when they meet mission requirements, the restrictions are acceptable to the command, and they do not place an unavoidable burden on the travelers. The lower fare(s) may be used based on an application of exception number 3 above. DMO will not select a non-contract fare with restrictions when a government contract fare exists unless requested by the command for TAD travel.
When a restricted fare is requested by the unit, this information will be requested in the travel orders using the statement "Restricted fare requested and, if levied, cancellation/penalty fee authorized by (activity name)." This statement acknowledges the fact that the order-issuing authority understands the risks involved and accepts the fact that if the orders are canceled or modified after issuance of tickets, the penalty fee will be charged against their travel funds whether or not travel is performed.
(Application of the Administrative Service Fee) Administrative service fees levied by airlines on restricted fares are not payable by the government unless the change was the result of an official action. The traveler will require written justification (orders modification, etc.) to substantiate the change. Changes for personal convenience are paid by the traveler.
USE OF FIRST CLASS
Consistent with DoD policy, Marine Corps sponsored travelers who are authorized to use commercial air carriers within or outside the United States for official business will use less than first-class accommodations.
Approving Authority for the Use of First-Class Air Accommodations. Regardless of rank when circumstances require first-class air travel, authorization must be obtained from the Secretary of the Navy via the Commandant of the Marine Corps (Code MMOS).
Procedures/Circumstances Required for First-Class Air Travel. First-class air travel can only be used when exceptional circumstances dictate use of this class accommodation. Such circumstances primarily involve considerations of security and when travel must be performed at a specific time and no other accommodations are available. Authorization for the use of first-class air accommodations shall be made in advance of the actual travel unless extenuating circumstances or emergency situations make advance authorization impossible. If advance authorization cannot be obtained, written approval from the CMC, Code MMOS shall be obtained at the earliest possible time.
Prior authorization or subsequent approval not required when:
First-class is the only service offered between origin and destination, including connecting points. The traveler must certify the single class of service on the travel voucher.
A traveler wishes to fly first-class, paying the additional charge to the carrier or CTO from personal funds.
Blanket approval (prior authorization or subsequent approval not required) when:
The Chief of Mortuary Affairs determines that coach class accommodations for person escorting remains will not allow arrival in time to meet funeral home and burial commitments.
Marine Corps escort officers are required to accompany foreign military officers, provided all costs are paid from foreign military sales funds.
BLANKET AUTHORITY GRANTED TO INDIVIDUALS
The Secretary of the Navy may grant blanket authority to an individual for use of first-class travel on a continuing basis. This is done only in exceptional cases of unquestionable justification, such as a physically handicapped person incapable of traveling in less than first-class accommodations. When travel occurs under such authority, it is required that the date of the blanket authority, date of travel and the route traveled be reported to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (Code MMOS).
DOCUMENTATION AND REPORTING FIRST CLASS TRAVEL
In all cases, proper documentation must be maintained to support first-class travel. The transportation endorsement to the original orders shall contain the reason for use of first-class accommodations and the approving agency. In the absence of authorization or approval, the traveler is responsible for all additional costs resulting from the use of first-class travel.
BUSINESS CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS
Business class travel will only be arranged for the following circumstances.
If coach class is not available and the only other alternative that would meet the mission is the use of foreign flag air transportation, the local transportation officer or appropriate authority may approve business class travel on U.S. flag air carriers. This policy applies to all personnel traveling on official business. Refer to JFTR paragraph U3125-B2 JFTR . The T/O will endorse the original orders accordingly.
Business class travel is required to support mission requirements. The order writer must place a statement in the original orders indicating “mission requirement requires business class accommodations”. Flights in excess of 14 hours alone do not support the use of business class unless the orders contain a statement indicating business class required to support mission requirements.
Coach or economy class is the only level of service authorized for domestic flights. This policy applies to Foreign Military Sales (FMS).
E- Tickets are available if required.
Unless otherwise stated in travel orders as a mission requirement, a subcompact rental car will be selected.
GIFTS, GRATUITIES, AND FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAMS
Reference: The provisions of U2000 of the JFTR and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 5 CFR Part 2635, contain applicable instructions regarding these subjects.
DENIED BOARDING COMPENSATION
If a traveler is denied boarding on commercial flights, the airline will provide the traveler with a letter stating the flight was overbooked. Any monetary compensation provided to the traveler as a result of the airline’s failure to provide confirmed reserved space is the property of the U.S Government and is to be turned over to the local disbursing office. If the airline provides a free airline ticket, this will be turned over to the local DMO for use by the traveler on a subsequent trip.
VOLUNTARILY RELINQUISHING AN AIRLINE SEAT
These payments, made because of airline over bookings, are distinguishable from penalty payments and can be retained by the traveler if he or she voluntarily relinquishes a seat on the condition that:
The surrendering of the seat does not interfere with the performance of the traveler's official duties or mission accomplishment.
Any additional travel expense incurred must be offset against such compensation by the traveler.
If giving up the seat delays the traveler, the traveler is responsible for any lost time which may occur.
FREQUENT FLIER PROGRAMS
Participation in frequent flier programs is voluntary. A single account for government generated miles is required. Programs containing both official and unofficial miles are the property of the government per the JFTR.
Obtaining transportation on other than the least cost carrier, based upon the uncertain potential that such a decision would ultimately result in a cost savings, is not authorized. Official transportation will not be arranged on a carrier solely to obtain frequent flier points, free tickets, and any other amenities or gifts.
To the maximum extent practical, overall travel costs should be reduced by using benefits earned through frequent traveler programs to obtain free airline tickets, rooms, and rental vehicles. However, the member may elect to use earned mileage credits for accommodation upgrades while on official government travel. Official travelers may accept free upgrading of service to first-class, membership in clubs and check-cashing privileges.
DTS “Passenger Travel" Account
GSA City Pairs Rates