In simple and plain English, Travel Leaders Corporate will explain the Fly America Act.
The Fly America Act is a government mandate that requires that all travelers funded by the United States Government must be on American flag carrier(s).
Examples of the travelers included are: government employees, U.S. Government contractors, U.S. Government sub-contractors, recipients of grants, recipient of subsidies, etc…
As common with any such provisions, there are many exceptions as several amendments have been introduced over the years, which clarified the rules addressing gray area issues such as service by U.S. flag carriers or lack thereof to certain destinations, the extent of the use of the carriers, code share, joint venture and marketed flights. Basically, a U.S. flag carrier code share flight operated by a foreign carrier is permissible under most conditions. It is a requirement to inform the passenger who the actual operating carrier is.
There are many considerations involved in determining the requirements, qualifications and exceptions to the Fly America Act. Bilateral agreements between governments, flight duration, determination of the gateway cities are some of the factors considered.
Bottom Line: If the U.S. Government is paying for all or portion of the air travel, directly or indirectly, the traveler must comply with the Fly America Act.
Travel Leaders Corporate and the Fly America Act:
The Fly America Act has many gray areas and exceptions. Not all travel companies are familiar with the complex nuances of the rules. If your travel requires adherence to the “Fly America Act”, Travel Leaders Corporate will insure your organization’s compliance through a process that will retain snapshots of available options at the time of bookings and will provide your organization documented support of compliance in the event such information may be required.
Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s), Colleges, Universities:
If you are an NGO, college or University on a government grant, you must adhere to the Fly America Act in accordance with GSA requirements. Travel Leaders Corporate can do all the work for you by providing you with compliant ticketing and itineraries.
The fly America Act allows travel on flights operated by foreign carriers provided the ticket shows the U.S. flag carrier’s designated code and code share flight number.
For purposes of the use of United States flag air carriers, “United States” means the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories and possessions of the United States(49 U.S.C. 40102).
Anyone whose air travel is financed by U.S. Government funds, except as provided in §§301-10.135, 301-10.136, and 301-10.137.
An air carrier which holds a certificate under 49 U.S.C. 41102 but does not include a foreign air carrier operating under a permit.
U.S. flag air carrier service is service provided on an air carrier which holds a certificate under 49 U.S.C. 41102 and which service is authorized either by the carrier’s certificate or by exemption or regulation. U.S. flag air carrier service also includes service provided under a code share agreement with a foreign air carrier in accordance with Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations when the ticket, or documentation for an electronic ticket, identifies the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number.
You are required by 49 U.S.C. 40118, commonly referred to as the “Fly America Act,” to use U.S. flag air carrier service for all air travel funded by the U.S. Government, except as provided in §§301-10.136 and 301-10.137 or when one of the following exceptions applies:
(a) Use of a foreign air carrier is determined to be a matter of necessity in accordance with §301-10.138; or
(b) The transportation is provided under a bilateral or multilateral air transportation agreement to which the United States Government and the government of a foreign country are parties, and which the Department of Transportation has determined meets the requirements of the Fly America Act; or
(c) You are an officer or employee of the Department of State, United States Information Agency, United States International Development Cooperation Agency, or the Arms Control Disarmament Agency, and your travel is paid with funds appropriated to one of these agencies, and your travel is between two places outside the United States; or
(d) No U.S. flag air carrier provides service on a particular leg of the route, in which case foreign air carrier service may be used, but only to or from the nearest interchange point on a usually traveled route to connect with U.S. flag air carrier service; or
(e) A U.S. flag air carrier involuntarily reroutes your travel on a foreign air carrier; or
(f) Service on a foreign air carrier would be three hours or less, and use of the U.S. flag air carrier would at least double your en route travel time; or
(g) When the costs of transportation are reimbursed in full by a third party, such as a foreign government, international agency, or other organization.
The exceptions are:
(a) If a U.S. flag air carrier offers nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) from your origin to your destination, you must use the U.S. flag air carrier service unless such use would extend your travel time, including delay at origin, by 24 hours or more.
(b) If a U.S. flag air carrier does not offer nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) between your origin and your destination, you must use a U.S. flag air carrier on every portion of the route where it provides service unless, when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
(1) Increase the number of aircraft changes you must make outside of the U.S. by 2 or more; or
(2) Extend your travel time by at least 6 hours or more; or
(3) Require a connecting time of 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
Chapter 301—Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Allowances
Part 301-10—Transportation Expenses §301-10.143
You must always use a U.S. flag carrier for such travel, unless, when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
(a) Increase the number of aircraft changes you must make en route by 2 or more; or
(b) Extend your travel time by 6 hours or more; or
(c) Require a connecting time of 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
(a) Foreign air carrier service is deemed a necessity when service by a U.S. flag air carrier is available, but
(1) Cannot provide the air transportation needed; or
(2) Will not accomplish the agency’s mission.
(b) Necessity includes, but is not limited to, the following circumstances:
(1) When the agency determines that use of a foreign air carrier is necessary for medical reasons, including use of foreign air carrier service to reduce the number of connections and possible delays in the transportation of persons in need of medical treatment; or
(2) When use of a foreign air carrier is required to avoid an unreasonable risk to your safety and is approved by your agency (e.g., terrorist threats). Written approval of the use of foreign air carrier service based on an unreasonable risk to your safety must be approved by your agency on a case by case basis. An agency determination and approval of use of a foreign air carrier based on a threat against a U.S. flag air carrier must be supported by a travel advisory notice issued by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of State. An agency determination and approval of use of a foreign air carrier based on a threat against Government employees or other travelers must be supported by evidence of the threat(s) that form the basis of the determination and approval; or
(3) When you cannot purchase a ticket in your authorized class of service on a U.S. flag air carrier, and a seat is available in your authorized class of service on a foreign air carrier.
No. Foreign air carrier service may not be used solely based on the cost of your ticket.
No. You must use U.S. flag air carrier service, unless you meet one of the exceptions in 301-10.135, 301-10.136, or 301-10.137 or unless foreign air carrier service is deemed a matter of necessity under 301-10.138.
Yes, you must provide a certification, as required in §301-10.142 and any other documents required by your agency. Your agency cannot pay your foreign air carrier fare if you do not provide the required certification.
The certification must include:
(a) Your name;
(b) The dates that you traveled;
(c) The origin and the destination of your travel;
(d) A detailed itinerary of your travel, name of the air carrier and flight number for each leg of the trip; and
(e) A statement explaining why you met one of the exceptions in §301-10.135, 301-10.136, or 301-10.137 or a copy of your agency’s written approval that foreign air carrier service was deemed a matter of necessity in accordance with §301-10.138.
You will not be reimbursed for any transportation cost for which you improperly use foreign air carrier service. If you are authorized by your agency to use U.S. flag air carrier service for your entire trip, and you improperly use a foreign air carrier for any part of or the entire trip (i.e., when not permitted under this regulation), your transportation cost on the foreign air carrier will not be payable by your agency. If your agency authorizes you to use U.S. flag air carrier service for part of your trip and foreign air carrier service for another part of your trip, and you improperly use a foreign air carrier (i.e., when neither authorized to do so nor otherwise permitted under this regulation), your agency will pay the transportation cost on the foreign air carrier for only the portion(s) of the trip for which you were authorized to use foreign air carrier service. The agency must establish internal procedures for denying reimbursement to travelers when use of a foreign air carrier was neither authorized nor otherwise permitted under this regulation.
Firms owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and eligible to receive federal contracts under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program. Known also as 8a companies, such firms must comply with federal regulations and procedures to receive full reimbursement for travel and travel related services. Travel Leaders Corporate will help 8(a) firms navigate the complexities of federally funded travel grants and travel expenditures by strict adherence to Fly America Act and other requirements.
For organizations, companies, government contractors who are under contract to deploy human assets worldwide, particularly in conflict zones, high threat environments, and disaster areas as well as The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP). Travel Leaders Corporate has the knowledge, expertise and capabilities to provide the logistical assistance to get the personnel where they need to be and back. Travel Leaders Corporate will provide the necessary resources to plan travel for Critical Incident Response teams.
Travel for or on behalf certain government agencies, requiring immediate action and is extremely time sensitive. Travel Leaders Corporate assigns confidential and personalized assistance around the clock for travelers who are on such qualified status.
U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America’s interests while improving lives in the developing world. The Agency carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad. Since the funding of USAID travel comes from the United States Government, all USAID contractors, sub-contractors and grantees must comply to travel mandates rules and regulations. Even foreign nationals traveling on behalf an project funded by USAID should comply with the “Fly America Act” requirements among other criteria set by USAID.
Travel Leaders Corporate has the experience and knowledge with the requirements of government travel requirements.
For further information on the “Fly America Act” Click the link here.
The quality assurance surveillance plan (QASP) is pursuant to the requirements listed in the performance work statement (PWS) entitled travel services. This plan sets forth the procedures and guidelines that a government entity will use in ensuring the required performance standards or services levels are achieved by the travel company.
The purpose of the QASP is to describe the systematic methods used to monitor performance and to identify the required documentation and the resources to be employed. The QASP provides a means for evaluating whether the travel agency is meeting the performance standards/quality levels identified in the PWS and the contractor’s quality control plan (QCP), and to ensure that the government pays only for the level of services received.
This QASP defines the roles and responsibilities of all members of the integrated project team (IPT), identifies the performance objectives, defines the methodologies used to monitor and evaluate the contractor’s performance, describes quality assurance documentation requirements, and describes the analysis of quality assurance monitoring results.
<strong>Federal Acquisition Regulation</strong>
A set of regulations by government agencies to manage the purchase of goods and services. This process regulates government personnel and is distinct of the acquisition of services of government contractors (private sector). In purchasing travel services, The private sector does not need to comply with these regulations, but decisions of how the government’s solicitation of such services may impact the government contractor. Contract pricing and how services are acquired are the most critical component of these rules.
If a contract contains limits on allowable travel costs, allowable cost rules for contractor’s travel and transportation allowances are usually IAW Part 31 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (which relies in large part on each contractor’s own travel rules). Sometimes a contract includes a special clause that addresses travel costs. The contractor needs to speak with the Contracting Officer or Contracting Officer Representative if it isn’t known what rules apply to the individual contract.
The Joint Travel Regulations (JTR, for Department of Defense civilian employees) are written for and apply to civilian employees of the Defense Department. The contractors’ employees traveling under their contracts CANNOT use the JTR as the JTR contains provisions that cannot be applied to contractor’s personnel.
It can easily cause the contractor to misunderstand for what the contractor’s employees can/can’t do/be paid under the Government contract. The contracting officer should be consulted and perhaps the contract made to reflect what specific travel and transportation rules are to be followed – recognizing that the use of the JTR is NOT appropriate.
Contractors are NOT Government employees. Therefore, any travel rates offered by transportation carriers, negotiated by the Government for “employees or uniformed personnel” (such as the city-pair air fare contracts negotiated by GSA and the rental car rate agreements negotiated by the (Military) Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC)) for official government business) do NOT apply to contractors or contractors’ employees. Commercial car or hotel vendors may voluntarily offer discounted rates for contractors’ employees at their discretion or contractors can even negotiate rates for their employees with the carrier, hotel, or rental car vendor.
The DD Form 1610 is reserved for DoD civilian employees performing official travel in accordance with the JTR. Some Services, at their option, use the DD Form 1610 for their uniformed personnel as well. The DD Form 1610 is NOT available for contractors traveling in the execution of their contracts as its use would tend to disguise’ contractor personnel as DoD employees and mislead those who base decisions on the presumption that only DoD employees and/or uniformed members are issued DD Form 1610. Contractors often sit next to federal employees, work on the same projects as federal employees, and travel with federal employees. However, contractors are not federal employees. All of the major airlines have made it clear that because the contract rates city-pair fares are so low and the terms so favorable, the airlines would not extend the contract rates to contractors.
The U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement was signed on April 30, 2007, providing EU airlines (airlines of the European Union and its Member States) the right to transport passengers and cargo on scheduled and charter flights for which payment is made by a U.S. Government civilian department, agency, or instrumentality subject to certain restrictions. On June 24, 2010, the United States Government and the European Union amended this agreement and extended additional rights to EU airlines.
Under the amended agreement, government contractors, under certain conditions can fly EU carriers for which a U.S. Government civilian department or agency provides full or partial reimbursement for passengers and cargo. Notwithstanding the above, and based on origin/destination, government employees, and contractors must comply with the requirements of the “Fly America Act”.
If you are a college, university or research center recipient of USAID award in compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and internal Agency regulations, policies, and procedures (USAID Automated Directives System (ADS)), Travel Leaders Corporate can assist you in Fly America Act compliance.