Requests for 'other than economy/coach' accommodations (business class) and requests for special economy seating (i.e., economy class ticket requiring the payment of a premium above the economy class rate, for example, for extra leg room, or for more than one contiguous economy class seat) should be submitted to the DoDEA HR as soon as the traveler determines that he/she is going to travel on Return from Overseas for Separation, RAT, PCS or TDY orders. Keep in mind that medical certification must be current and dated within 6 months of the anticipated travel end date. A copy of completed travel orders is required to be part of the package that is forwarded to the appropriate approving official (AO). In case of emergency, requests for 'other than economy/coach' accommodations or special economy seating will be processed without completed travel orders up to the DoDEA Director's level.
The entire process may take over 16 weeks. The 16-week estimate is contingent on all required documentation being submitted from the outset. Inadequate planning does not constitute extenuating/emergency circumstances and will not be recommended for an exception.
The JTR at par. 020202 states:
"An en route rest stop may not be authorized if the traveler is authorized first or business class travel."
Request medical documentation from your doctor and contact your supervisor chain and/or DoDEA HR immediately. Only if extenuating circumstances prevent advance authorization, the traveler must obtain written approval from the 'other than economy/coach' accommodations AO (or the DoDEA Director for special economy seating) within 7 days of travel completion. Failure to do so may result in the traveler being personally financially responsible for costs over the standard economy/coach class airfare.
It is extremely difficult to obtain approval after-the-fact and it should only occur in dire, extreme circumstances or emergency situations prevent advanced authorization, the traveler must obtain written approval from the appropriate 'other than economy/coach' AO or for special economy seating the DoDEA Director within 7 days of travel completion. Failure to receive the appropriate authorization/approval for 'other than economy/coach' accommodations or special economy seating either before or after travel may result in the traveler being personally financially responsible for costs over the standard economy/coach class airfare.
The JTR at par. 020206-K states: "Authority to use upgraded accommodations is limited to the disabled or special needs traveler and their attendant, and does not permit the rest of the family to travel on a class of service other than economy/coach."
U.S. Department of Transportation 14 C.F.R. Part 382, "Nondiscrimination On The Basis Of Disability In Air Travel," to assist any passenger requiring special needs. Federal regulation requires the carrier (US and foreign carriers who use US airports) to assist persons with disabilities and facilitate access to every area that passengers without disabilities frequent such as moving around the terminal, to and from the gate, boarding and disembarking the aircraft, transporting them to the baggage claim area, to include rest room stops, etc. Assistance is also provided while on the carrier to include wheelchair access to handicap accessible lavatories. The airlines only request 24 hour advance notice that a person with special needs is traveling. It is the traveler's responsibility to contact the carrier.
Travelers can provide DoDEA HR additional medical documentation using Licensed Medical Practitioner's Statement and Traveler's Request for Premium Class Travel form, dated within 6 months of the anticipate travel end date, and request that DoDEA HR conduct a re-review.
Travelers, who disagree with a decision of denial and are covered by a negotiated grievance procedure, must use the grievance procedure to appeal decisions regarding a denial of accommodations.
Travelers not covered by a negotiated grievance procedure, may file an appeal to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals at the address listed below.
The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals
1800 F Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20405