SUBJECT: Frequent Traveler Benefits and Relinquishing Promotional Items
a. Effective 31 December 2001, the Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) and the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) have been changed to permit DoD personnel to retain frequent flier miles obtained from official business travel for their personal use. The new rule reads, “Travelers on official business traveling at Government expense on the funds of an agency may keep promotional material (including frequent traveler benefits such as points or miles, upgrades, or access to carrier clubs or facilities) for personal use.” b. This new rule is retroactive, which means that it applies to promotional items received before, on, or after 31 December 2001.
c. The promotional material given to the traveler must be obtained under the same terms as those offered to the general public and must be at no additional Government cost. For example, the promotional material could not be accepted by the traveler if it was given solely because of the traveler’s status as an officer in the United States Army.
2. Seat Relinquishing
a. Voluntary. A traveler may keep payments from a carrier for voluntarily vacating a transportation seat. However, no additional expenses (per diem or miscellaneous reimbursable) may be paid as a result of the traveler’s delay. Additional travel expenses incurred as a result of voluntarily giving up a seat are the traveler’s financial responsibility. [Note: A Government traveler may not voluntarily vacate a seat if doing so would adversely affect the mission or the performance of his or her duties. For example, a government traveler cannot be voluntarily bumped if it will prevent him or her from reporting for duty on time.]
b. Involuntarily. If a traveler is involuntarily denied a seat on a transportation mode, the traveler enters an ‘Awaiting Transportation’ travel status (see par. U2200-B3) for per diem and miscellaneous expense reimbursement.
3. Lost or Delayed Accompanied Baggage. A traveler may keep payments from a commercial carrier for accompanied baggage that has been lost or delayed by the carrier. If the traveler intends to make a claim against the Government, the traveler should see the Claims Office prior to accepting a carrier’s compensation. By accepting the carrier’s compensation, the traveler may be accepting that amount as payment in full.
4. POC is the Administrative Law Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at 4-4926.