FAS Traveler Compliance

If you are an FAS employee, regulatory compliance will be reviewed by the International Travel Section (ITS) prior to releasing your passport.


Airfare Regulations and Restrictions

Contract Carriers

Federal employees must use U.S. certified air carriers which are under contract with the Government to furnish Federal employees and other persons authorized to travel at Government expense with passenger transportation services.  It also includes reviewing compliance related to non-contract and non-American (Foreign Flag) carriers. ITS may ask you or your Travel Arranger for more information regarding your travel plans if they find your justifications to be insufficient.

Please follow the instructions in the PDF iconHow to Guide for Complying with International Travel Regulations to comply with FAS regulatory compliance review for your international travel.

Other than Economy-/Coach-Class Transportation

FAS directive, PDF iconPREMIUM CLASS TRAVEL: Policy and Procedures for FAS and FAS Sponsored Travel, requires economy-/coach-class travel accommodations be used when performing official government travel. Other Than Economy-/Coach-Class Transportation (any travel other than economy-/coach-class) at government expense is permitted on an exception basis only.

The use of the PDF iconOther Than Economy-/Coach-Class Transportation Approval Checklist is required when making a determination on authorization/approval for the use of Other Than Economy-/Coach-Class Transportation. The checklist must be used and submitted as part of the approval documentation and serves as a record of accountability in which the Approving Official must certify that all decision factors and other alternatives were considered prior to recommending approval. Important items to note

  • Authorization must be obtained on a case-by-case basis.
  • Blanket authorization and justification for Other Than Economy-/Coach-Class Travel is prohibited.
  • Other Than Economy-/Coach-Class Transportation must be authorized in advance of the travel. If extenuating circumstances or emergency situations prevent advanced authorization, a traveler has 7 days within the completion of travel to obtain approval.
  • Other Than Economy-/Coach-Class Transportation, due to a medical disability/special need, may only be used when there is no other means to accommodate a traveler’s condition, such as bulkhead/aisle seating or use of two adjoining seats. A traveler’s condition must be certified by a competent medical authority and authorized by an authorizing official.
  • Failure to receive approval for Other Than Economy-/Coach-Class Transportation may result in a traveler being financially responsible for costs over the economy/coach airfare.

In addition, the traveler is required to fill-out a PDF iconPremium Class Approval form and a PDF iconPremium Class Cost Comparison form.

Restricted Airfares

The Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) requires that employees who are traveling on official business use Government contract airfare unless an exemption applies. One exemption is when a lower cost airfare is available. Because of the need for flexibility for last minute cancellations and changes, the FTR allows the use of non-refundable/restricted airfares (non-government contracted airfares) in limited situations.

Non-refundable/restricted fares require immediate ticketing. When an authorizing official approves the use of non-refundable/restricted fares, the agency is committed to paying for the cost of the ticket immediately, even if the travel is subsequently canceled. As a result, upon ticketing, the cost of the non-refundable/restricted fare results in a non-cancelable obligation on the part of the Government.

GSA Controlled City Pair Fares  – You can also significantly reduce airfare costs by either choosing GSA Contract City Pair Fares or GSA City Pair Fares w/Capacity Limits.

Ask your Agency Travel Coordinator for guidance on using restricted fares, or visit the Federal Travel Regulations for a list of exceptions to the use of a contract city-pair fare.

ITS has provided the following resource to conduct training. This resource will be continually reviewed, evaluated and updated. 


Actual Subsistence

Actual subsistence is the actual costs of lodging and/or meals that exceed the GSA established per diem rate. Actual subsistence must be authorized in advance of travel on a trip-by-trip authorization. Employees should make every effort to obtain lodging at the established rate. For a complete list of domestic per diem rates by location go to the U.S. General Services Administration and for international per diem rates go to the U.S. Department of State. The steps needed to complete this request in GovTrip and how to edit the per diem amounts to the actual cost incurred are explained in the PDF iconActual Subsistence attachment.