Department of Defense Education Activity

Frequently asked questions for 'Other Than Economy/Coach' Accommodations

As of 12:01 AM ET on June 12, 2022, CDC will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight. For more information, see Rescission: Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 for all Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving into the United States from Any Foreign Country.

As a result of a court order, effective immediately and as of April 18, 2022, CDC’s January 29, 2021 Order requiring masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs is no longer in effect. Therefore, CDC will not enforce the Order. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time.

Please review the below link carefully to ensure you are up-to-date on the latest pre-flight test requirements and entry/ROM requirements before your return.

U.S. Forces Japan Airport Guides

IF YOU TEST POSITIVE UPON ARRIVAL INTO NARITA/HANEDA: Contact the Pacific East DSO and call the Yokota COVID Response Team duty number at: 090-6957-3728. Notify your chain of command.

Travelers entering Japan may download the MySOS app to pre-register for airport quarantine procedures if not doing so would prevent onward movement. For details, visit: https://www.hco.mhlw.go.jp/fasttrack/en/. All apps should be downloaded on personal devices (not government provided devices), and should be removed as soon as you arrive to a US installation or domicile.

Covid-19 Information for arrival to Korea:

Effective 25 July, all international arrivals, regardless of vaccination status, shall be subject to a COVID-19 PCR test taken no later than Day 1 after entry into the ROK and must restrict their movement until they receive the results of their Day 1 test. Individuals are authorized to perform life, health, and safety activities on USFK-controlled installations only. Movement off-installation is prohibited unless traveling between domicile and duty or in the event of a medical emergency or threat to safety.

IF YOU TEST POSITIVE AT YOUR DAY 1 PCR TEST: Follow the guidance of the Medical Treatment Facility and notify your chain of command.

Please review the below link carefully to ensure you are up-to-date on the latest pre-flight test requirements and entry/ROM requirements before your return.

U.S. Forces Japan Airport Guides

IF YOU TEST POSITIVE UPON ARRIVAL INTO NARITA/HANEDA: You will quarantine at Yokota Air Base if you are not near your home to isolate there. Contact Jen Post at the Pacific East DSO at 042-552-2510 ext. 53940 or 080-8958-9523 and call the Yokota COVID Response Team duty number at: 090-6957-3728. Notify your chain of command.

Travelers entering Japan may download the MySOS app to pre-register for airport quarantine procedures if not doing so would prevent onward movement. For details, visit: https://www.hco.mhlw.go.jp/fasttrack/en/. All apps should be downloaded on personal devices (not government provided devices), and should be removed as soon as you arrive to a US installation or domicile.

Pre-Travel Testing

If you are already registered at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, pre-travel testing no longer needs to be scheduled ahead of time. Simply go to the U.S. Naval Hospital drive thru on the appropriate date and, when you arrive, notify the personnel there that your testing is needed for pre-travel. See "Entry Requirements - U.S." section above for details on timelines for required testing. 

If you are not already registered through USNHO, go to the hospital prior to testing date to sign up.

Helpful Links

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