Do I have to have a separate authorization for each trip?
No. depending on your position, the frequency of your travel, and the type of trip, authorization may cover (1) all travel for the entire fiscal year, (2) all travel within a geographic area or for travel during a set period of time, e.g. 90 days, or (3) a specific trip. Certain kinds of travel have to be authorized trip-by-trip, such as travel to training, conferences, foreign countries, and when paid for by others.
May I use frequent flyer benefits accrued from official travel for personal travel?
Yes. You may use the frequent flyer benefits you earn from official travel for personal travel or for upgrades on future air travel for the Government.
May I voluntarily give up my seat on an oversold flight?
Yes, as long as it does not interfere with your official duties and there is no increase in costs to the Government. If this applies, you may keep any gift or compensation under the following conditions:
(1) You may not claim additional travel expenses including per diem, as a result of giving up your seat.
(2). You must take annual leave if your travel is delayed during duty hours, and any expenses you accrue while on leave must be paid by you.
May I take annual leave while on official travel?
Yes, but it must be authorized in advance, either in your travel authorization or separately. The authorizing official must ensure that the travel is essential and the leave is only incidental to the travel. You may not claim per diem for any day that you take more than four hours of leave. Nor can you claim per diem for non-duty days (e.g. weekends) that precede or follow official business when the stay is for the convenience of the traveler. Care must be taken to avoid the appearance of using Federal funds for personal benefit.
May I piggyback personal travel onto an official trip?
Yes, with four caveats. They are:
(1). The above guidance on annual leave applies if you are subject to leave limitations.
How do I prepare my travel voucher in this case?
You present two separate calculations on your voucher; one that accurately reports every segment of your actual travel; another that reconstructs the travel based only on your official itinerary. Your reimbursement will be based on the latter.
The standards of conduct prohibit misuse of Government property such as Government owned cars. What constitues misuse? And does it also apply to rental cars leased by the Government?
Yes. The rules on the misuse of Government owned vehicles also apply to vehicles leased by the Government. You are misusing a Government vehicle when you use it for personal benefit as opposed to using it for the benefit of the Government. The rule of reason allows you to use a rental car as we probably all do when on official travel: you may travel to a restaurant near your hotel for meals, as opposed to having to eat all your meals in the hotel restaurant. The main difference between rental cars used for official travel and motorpool cars is that with a rental car, you are not required to keep a trip-by-trip travel log as is the case with a motorpool car.