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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 your 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:
(i) Use of coach-class accommodations would endanger life or government property;
(ii) An agent on protective detail accompanying an individual authorized to use first-class accommodations; or
(iii)  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:
(i) Use of coach-class would accommodations would endanger life or government property;
(ii) An agent on protective detail accompanying an individual authorized to use other that coach-class accommodations; or
(iii) 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 subsistent costs, overtime, or lost productivity 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 available and 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) The use of coach-class accommodations would endanger life or government property;
(2) An agent on protective detail and accompanying an individual authorized to use other than coach-class accommodations; or
(3) A courier or control officer accompanying controlled pouches or packages.

(T4)  Coach-class accommodations 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 accommodations: [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, the Business Class is deemed to be classified as coach for purposes of official accommodations since it is the lowest class offered.  Extra-fare train service should only be reported as PCT 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. How is the predominant destination airport determined?

The predominant destination airport may be readily available from your travel management company (TMC).  For an individual ticket, the predominant destination is defined as the furthest non-connection leg on a trip.  For example, if a trip went from IAD (Dulles) to JFK (New York) to LHR (London-Heathrow) to CDG (Paris), the trip origin is Dulles and assuming none of these were connections, Paris is the furthest spot from Dulles so the predominant destination airport is Paris.  Therefore the trip would be reported as IAD-CDG.

2. How is the trip origination airport determined?

The trip origination airport is defined as the airport where the first leg of the trip originated from.

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

“Coach Fare” can be generated automatically in most travel agency systems and passed through on reports. The coach fare can also be generated manually. See related questions below for instructions on both approaches.

4. How can the coach fare value be auto-generated?

The configuration of the comparison fare (Compare Fare) by the TMC may allow for auto-generation of most of the coach comparison fares.  It depends on the setup and configuration rules that are in place. 

Compare Fare:  To match the coach comparison fare required in this report, the compare fare would need to be set to the lowest YCA fare available or if YCA isn’t present, the booking tool should capture the lowest fare within a 2 hour window of the departure time. 

5. If generated manually, where do I go to find the average coach fare for a routing?

Many high travel markets have an awarded YCA fare. Fare awards are announced annually and posted, along with all historical award tables, to the GSA City Pair Program website at: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/27075

If there is not an awarded YCA fare:

  • GSA’s Travel Management Information Service (Travel MIS) consolidates government-wide fare averages for all markets in which the government travels. Contact travelmis@gsa.gov for details on accessing average historical airfare data.

In the absence of City Pair YCA fares and Travel MIS fares:

  • Use the least expensive coach class fare
  • Do not use non-FTR-compliant foreign flag fares
  • As a reminder: if it is determined that coach class would have been more expensive than premium class, you do not need to report that ticket.

6. If there are multiple segments underneath one ticket, how should I report the premium class fare?

Each segment that has a premium class fare should be reported individually.  If a segment doesn’t have a premium class fare then that segment should not be reported.

 

Questions

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


Travel Exception Codes