A lot of times, people get confused about the right things that are required when booking official flights. Especially people who may be booking an official flight for the first time. These people may have been told what is not true about booking official flights. It is essential to educate yourself and get the correct information when it comes to booking official flights, which is one of the purposes that this article is meant to serve.
Specific travel policies have been made to guide people who are trying to book official flights. The department charged with this assignment is known as the Department of Defence (DoD) for short. This department makes policies, rules and regulations that guide people taking official flights.
However, sometimes people mix some of these things up and quickly look at what is not true about booking official flights.
What is not True about Booking Official Flights
1. The DoD does not necessitate that you use a particular travel agency
It is not in the policy of the DoD that travelers are required to book their flights on their website using a particular travel agency. Travelers have the liberty to book their flights on the website of the DoD using any travel agency of their choice. However, you have to be cautious and ensure that whichever travel agency you choose to use is an authorized travel agency to avoid being scammed.
2. The DoD does not make it a compulsion for you to follow any airline carrier.
Another thing that is not part of the DoD policy is that the policy does not require you to travel using any specific airline. You have the right to choose any airline that you desire, as long as the standard for safety and security is met by the airline. What is not true about booking official flights is that there is a particular airline that is mandatory for you as a traveler to use. This is false information that is not in the policy of the DoD.
3. It is not in the DoD policy that you must use a particular provider when purchasing travel insurance.
The misconception that people have about the DoD policy when booking official flights is that they must purchase their travel insurance using certain providers. This is not true, and it is part of what is not true about booking official flights. The DoD allows travelers to purchase travel insurance using any preferred service provider.
General Things to Note when Booking official Flights
- When booking your flight, make sure that it is booked on the official airline website that you have chosen. This is because many scam zone websites are unofficial, so you need to be careful not to lose your money.
- Before booking your flight, ensure to go through all the instructions, guidelines, and policies. Make sure that you do this before you proceed to book the flight.
- Do your research on the trip’s destination.
- Get your travel insurance and fill the prescriptions.
What is TDY?
TDY, known as temporary duty, is a situation when a member of the military is assigned on an official assignment to another country outside their place of residence, which may be for a few hours or some months, depending on the demands of the assigned duty. There are different types of TDY orders, which include:
Types of TDY Orders
Invitational TDY orders
Invitational TDY is an order given to non-government officials considered professional or subject matter experts in their chosen field whose knowledge is required during a mission. For instance, educators might be invited on a special mission to facilitate a conference or a seminar.
Directed TDY orders
Directed temporary duty orders are issued when a person is instructed to travel as part of their duties by the Department of Defense (DoD). In this kind of TDY, all the expenses are financed by the government, which is why it is the most prevalent type of TDY.
Permissive TDY orders:
Permissive temporary duty (TDY) orders are given when the government does not finance the travel. Still, an individual can travel for purposes such as job or house hunting for retirement or change of station.
Reasons for TDY
- Special assignment or official assignment: there might be a special task that needs to be carried out in another country and a person might be charged with the duty to carry out a special assignment in another country for a while
- Special training: one of the reasons that may necessitate a TDY is that a person has to embark on special training in another country, which may be in the form of seminars or conferences.
- Interim duty: Another reason that can necessitate a TDY is when a person is assigned to temporarily fill a vacant role or position or stand in for someone in the office.
- Defense: Military members may have to embark on TDY to defend an operation in another country or to aid in the defense of another country during an attack or opposition.
TDY Travel Procedures
Certain steps need to be taken before embarking on a TDY trip.
The first thing that needs to be done is for you to generate an authorization in the Defense Travel System (DTS). This is important because this document states all the specifics of the intended trip. Aside from this, it also serves as the formal order for your trip. After this, the authorization is sent for review to an approving official.
Once it has been reviewed and approval granted, you can book your travel and lodging reservations through DTS in compliance with the approved authorization and TDY travel guidelines.
Travel and Transportation Policies
1. When choosing a mode of transportation, it’s necessary that you choose the most suitable one. Other factors, such as distance, urgency and transportation options, should be considered.
2. The distance of your journey determines if you are to choose between government air travel and commercial air travel. Choosing commercial air travel is the standard for a long-distance trip. However, when government air travel is available and aligns with the demands of the mission, the traveler is obliged to use government air travel in this situation.
3. For cars and alternative means of road transportation, the traveler is meant to consider the cost of rental vehicles compared to other alternatives. If it is more economical to use alternative means, then these alternatives should be used.
4. Finally, all travel plans must strictly adhere to the JTR, which provides directives for allowances and other travel policies.
When choosing a place to lodge during a TDY, it is required that travelers opt for a government lodge if it is available and accessible. Still, in cases where government lodging is unavailable, you can use commercial lodging.
The selected commercial lodge must be budget-friendly and open to the general public.
The Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) sets directions on lodging allowances and the expenses that can be repaid.
How Per Diem Rates and other Rates are Calculated
The Department of Defense (DoD) sets the per diem rates. This rate includes the lodging fee, meals and incidental expenses—these are minor expenditures associated with official travel that are not repaid individually.
The per diem rate usually varies based on the location where the traveler is traveling.
An advance payment can be made for approved expenses eligible for reimbursement. In contrast, partial payment can be given to people who want to embark on a TDY for a longer period of time.
The Joint Travel Regulation provides instructions on how the per diem rate is calculated and the expenses eligible for repayment.
Submission of a travel voucher is essential because this is the official document that contains all the travel expenses that someone had during travel duty (TDY).
The reason why this is important is because this is the document that ensures that your expenses during the trip get repaid. However, it must comply with the approved authorization and follow the stipulated relevant rules. When this is done following due process, you get your money paid back without any issue.