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Travel Exception Codes and Frequently Asked Questions

The following list contains the revised travel exception codes that became effective on November 27, 2009 [Federal Travel Regulation amendment #2009-06 (74 FR 55145)]. The format listed below separates the travel exception codes by mode of transportation, such as air, ship, and train. This is the format that GSA will ask agencies to incorporate when reporting their first-class, and other than coach-class reports.

Please note:

  • Transportation modes (air, train, ship) are incorporated into these exception codes, eliminating the need to report modes separately.
  • Sub-level codes may be created for individual agency tracking. GSA expects that all sub-level codes will be aggregated and reported at the highest level code shown below.

Air Travel, First Class Exception Codes
Air Travel, Business-Class Exception Codes
Train Travel Other than Coach-Class Exception Codes
Ship Travel, Other than lowest First-Class Exception Codes
Frequently Asked Questions
 

Air Travel, First Class Exception Codes

Use the following codes when tracking and reporting use of first-class air travel.

(F1)  No coach-class accommodations are reasonably available.  “Reasonably available” means available on an airline that is scheduled to leave within 24 hours of the traveler’s proposed departure time, or scheduled to arrive within 24 hours of the traveler’s proposed arrival time.

(F2)  Use of first-class is necessary to accommodate a medical disability or other special need. See FTR 301—10.123 (a) (2) for additional criteria when using this exception.

(F3)  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:

  1. Use of coach-class accommodations would endanger life or government property;
  2. An agent on protective detail accompanying an individual authorized to use first-class accommodations; or
  3. A courier or control officer accompanying controlled pouches or packages.

(F4)  Use of first-class is required because of agency mission, consistent with your agency's internal procedures pursuant to FTR § 301—70.102(i).

Air Travel, Business-Class Exception Codes

(B1)  Use of business-class is necessary to accommodate a medical disability or other special need. See FTR §301—10.123 (b) (1) for additional criteria when using this exception.

(B2)  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 to meet the agency's mission.  These circumstances include but are not limited to:

  1. Use of coach-class would accommodations would endanger life or government property;
  2. An agent on protective detail accompanying an individual authorized to use other than coach-class accommodations; or
  3. A courier or control officer accompanying controlled pouches or packages.

(B3)  Coach-class accommodations on an authorized/approved foreign air carrier do not provide adequate sanitation or health standards.

(B4)  Regularly scheduled flights between origin/destination points (including connecting points) provide only other than coach-class accommodations and you certify on your voucher.

(B5)  Transportation costs are paid in full through agency acceptance of payment from a non-federal source in accordance with FTR Chapter 304.

(B6)  Origin and/or destination is OCONUS, and the scheduled flight time, including stopovers and change of planes, is in excess of 14 hours in accordance with FTR § 301—10.125.

(B7)  The use of business-class results in an overall cost saving to the government by avoiding additional subsistence costs, overtime, or lost productive time while awaiting coach-class accommodations.

(B8)  No space is available in coach-class accommodations in time to accomplish the mission, which is urgent and cannot be postponed.

(B9)  Business-class accommodations required because of agency mission, consistent with your agency's internal procedures pursuant to FTR § 301—70.102(i).

Train Travel Other than Coach-Class Exception Codes.

(T1)  No coach-class accommodations are reasonably available on a train that is scheduled to leave within 24 hours of the traveler’s proposed departure time, or no coach-class accommodations are scheduled to arrive within 24 hours of the traveler’s proposed arrival time.

(T2) Use of other than coach-class accommodations is necessary to accommodate a medical disability or other special need.  See FTR §301--10.162(b) (1) for additional criteria when using this exception.

(T3) Exceptional security circumstances require other than coach-class rail accommodations.  Exceptional security circumstances are determined by your agency and should only be authorized to the minimum other than coach-class accommodations necessary to meet the agency's mission.  These circumstances include but are not limited to:

  1. If use of coach-class travel would endanger life or government property;
  2. An agent on protective detail and accompanying an individual authorized to use other than coach-class travel; or
  3. A courier or control officer accompanying controlled pouches or packages.

(T4)  Coach-class travel on an authorized/approved foreign rail carrier do not provide adequate sanitation or health standards

(T5)  When required because of agency mission, consistent with your agency's internal procedures pursuant to FTR § 301-70.102(i).

Exceptions for “extra fare” train travel: [Note: extra-fare train service is considered to be a class above the lowest class offered on any particular train and must be authorized/approved as provided in FTR § 301—10.162.

HOWEVER for reporting - If a train only has 2 classes of accommodations available, i.e., First and Business Class, then the Business Class is deemed to be classified as coach for purposes of official travel as it is the lowest class offered.  Extra-fare train service should only be reported as premium class travel when the employee is not traveling in lowest level of accommodations offered, Note To § 301—10.160.]

(T6) Your agency has determined that extra-fare travel is advantageous to the government.

(T7) Your agency has determined that extra-fare travel is required for security reasons.

Ship Travel, Other than lowest First-Class Exception Codes

(S1) Lowest first class travel accommodations not available on the ship.

(S2) Use of other than lowest first-class accommodations is necessary to accommodate a medical disability or other special need.  See FTR §301--10.183(b) (1) for additional criteria when using this exception.

(S3) Exceptional security circumstances require other than lowest first-class travel.  Exceptional security circumstances are determined by your agency and should only be authorized to the minimum other than lowest first-class travel accommodation necessary to meet the agency's mission.  These circumstances include but are not limited to:

  1. The use of lowest first-class accommodations would endanger life or government property; or
  2. An agent on protective detail is accompanying an individual authorized to use other than lowest first-class accommodations; or
  3. A courier or control officer is accompanying controlled pouches or packages.

(S4) Required because of agency mission, consistent with your agency's internal procedures pursuant to FTR § 301—70.102 (i).

  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why did GSA change Premium Class travel reporting from segment to full trip cost?

Reporting premium class travel data by segment presented many challenges for agencies. First, agencies found it difficult to compare YCA fares to just the premium class segment of the trip cost when city pair fares are from origination to destination. Also, reporting premium class segments could not be audited, which lead to questions of reliability of the data.

2. Where can I get the “coach fare” data?

Agencies must determine the “Comparable Coach Class Cost”. This should be the YCA between the origin and destination of the reported segment/leg. If there is no YCA, then the lowest available coach class fare of that segment/leg (or a similar itinerary) must be reported. Do not report $0 or $1 just to fill the field. This indicates that the government would be paying nothing or only $1 if premium class was not used.

Agencies are encouraged to utilize their TMC and ETS vendors to assist with collecting the required data to be reported.

3. What do I use for Origin and Destination?

Tickets are purchased by either one-way or round-trip. The beginning point is the Origin and the TDY location is the Destination. If multiple TDY locations are included in the ticket, use the location that is farthest from the Origin for the Destination.

4. Should I report data if the Premium Class cost is less than the comparable coach class ticket cost?

No. The Premium Class cost must be greater than $0 for the Premium Class Ticket to be reported.

 

Questions

For all travel policy questions, email travelpolicy@gsa.gov.


Travel Exception Codes