In order to compile this information, we have had to comb through the following sources:
- Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
- 2 C.F.R. 200 Uniform Guidance for Grants and Cooperative Agreements
- USAID ADS 303 Mandatory Provisions for US Recipients
- ADS 302 Mandatory References and Additional Help
- The Office of International Aviation Information Blog
- U.S. Department of State Open Skies Agreements Webpage
- GSA Open Skies Information Page for Fly America application
- GSA Help Desk to answer burning questions about all the “other Open Skies” nobody has an answer to
- Department of Transportation Air Agreements Information
- Federal Registrar for Comptroller General Notices
- DCAA Guidance Webpages
- Federal Travel Regulations and
- Finally USAID Internal Policies and Internal Memos to Contracting and Agreement Officers
USAID contractors, are bound by Fly America through FAR clause 52.247-63 included in their contracts.
ADS 303 Mandatory Standard Provisions for US Recipients M-17 “TRAVEL AND INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORTATION (AUGUST 2013)” lists the following exceptions:
- Only for a particular leg of a route on which no US Flag Air Carrier provides service on that route;
- For a trip of 3 hours or less, when the use of a US Flag Air Carrier at least doubles the travel time;
- If he US Flag Air Carrier offers direct service, but the use of the US Flag Air Carrier would increase the travel time by more than 24 hours; or
- If the US Flag Air Carrier does not offer direct service and
- If the carrier is covered by an air transport agreement between the US and a foreign government that allows for the flight route you are taking.
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:
· Extend your travel time by at least 6 hours or more; or
· Require a connecting time of 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
When flying between two foreign destinations and U.S. service is available, you may use a foreign air carrier if such use would:
· Increase the number of aircraft changes you must make en route by 2 or more; or
· Extend your travel time by 6 hours or more; or
· Require a connecting time of 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point
· If use of a foreign air carrier may, in certain circumstances, be deemed necessary for medical or safety reasons,
· Finally, if the carrier is covered by an air transport agreement between the US and a foreign government that allows for the flight route you are taking.
Where does it say we are allowed to fly EU Airline and other non-US carriers?
For USAID Contractors: FAR clause 52.247-63 under its prescription at FAR 47.403-1 "Availability and Unavailability of U.S.-flag air carrier service" includes exceptions to use of US Flag Carrier including:
FAR 47.403-2 Air transport agreements between the United States and foreign governments:
"Nothing in the guidelines of the Comptroller General (see 47.403) shall preclude, and no penalty shall attend, the use of a foreign-flag air carrier that provides transportation under an air transport agreement between the United States and a foreign government, the terms of which are consistent with the international aviation policy goals at 49 U.S.C. 1502(b) and provide reciprocal rights and benefits".
What countries are included in the EU Open Skies Agreement?
Do all Open Skies Agreements and associated country airlines qualify under Fly America?
No, at this writing only the EU Open Skies Agreement Countries (see above) and Australia, Japan and Switzerland (with restrictions) qualify as exceptions to Fly America Act.
Does purchasing lowest priced airfare mean you should purchase non-refundable tickets?
Can I book any refundable or non-refundable ticket in economy and not the cheapest one available so that I can upgrade it with miles or additional payment?
What does “normal business hours” mean when traveling internationally?
What is “travel during unreasonable hours”?
What is “circuitous routing”?
What is “adequate medical needs of traveler”?
What is the best way for Contractors to allow consideration of other than economy class travel if circumstances warrant it?
USAID confirms and recognizes the same issue in its guidance to its Contracting and Agreement officers codified in ADS 302 Mandatory Reference dated 5/5/2006 - See Guidance to Contracting Staff Regarding Business Class Travel for Contractors
"If you agree to a contract/TO budget that reflects a reasonable number of trips and travelers at standard/ economy airfare that is sufficient to meet the requirements of the work needed in the Statement of Work, then why not let it go at that? Allow the contractor to manage the travel funds in accordance with the terms of the contract, including the relevant cost principle. If a situation arises during performance for which the contractor can document and justify using business class and doing so complies with the cost principle--and doesn't result in any increased cost to the contract--then it's their business decision to do so".