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Non-Availibility lodging/letter

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All, I can't remember if I posted this or not but since there have been two instances where this has happened and travelers were not reimbursed, you need to know this. Lost Receipt forms cannot be used either. You must get a receipt from the hotel or you are out of luck. Simply put, don't use online booking sites unless it is a site for that exact hotel chain.

U4129 LODGING UNDER THE ‘LODGING-PLUS’ COMPUTATION METHOD

H. Online Booking Tool. Despite any savings realized through online booking agents, subject to Service requirements

the CTO should be used for lodging arrangements or the traveler should reserve a room directly with the hotel/chain

(including the hotel’s online website). Lodging reimbursement is not authorized for hotel lodging obtained through

online booking agents unless an itemized receipt from the hotel is provided.

SUBJECT: UTD/CTD for MAP 91-10(E)/CAP 65-10(E) -- No Online Booking for Hotels

1. SYNOPSIS: Clearly state that a traveler may not be reimbursed for a hotel booked using online booking agents unless an itemized receipt from the hotel is provided and a traveler must not submit a 'lost receipt' statement to substitute for an online booking hotel receipt.

2. These changes are scheduled to appear in JFTR change number 287, and JTR change number 541, dated 1 November 2010.

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All, here's another recent change.

SUBJECT:UTD for MAP 18-11(E) -- Clarify GOV’T QTRS Use/Availability When TDY/Delay Is Less Than 24 Hours

1. SYNOPSIS: Clarifies JFTR, par. U1045-B4, by changing the language from “24 hours” to “1 night”, when determining Government quarters use/availability, when TDY/delay is less than 24 hours.

2. These changes are scheduled to appear in JFTR change 293, dated 1 May 2011.

-------------------------------

U1045-B4:

4. For any TDY/delay of only 1 night at one location (stopover or multiple locations);

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Hey everyone. Just wanted to spread some information about the fact that you need to know the regs yourself because lodging people don't know their own regs. I was TDY for 16 weeks and when I checked into lodging they did not have availability. They told me I could NOT have a non A letter and would have to stay in their contract quarters (Holiday Inn). I told them they were wrong, and they essentially laughed in my face. So I said I'd like to speak with their manager. Long story short, 3 supervisors and 3 days later, I went all the way to the GM of lodging with a copy of their own reg that stated when there isn't availability, member is given the option to have a non A letter or REQUEST contract quarters. A stumped GM gave me the non A letter.

Instead of staying in the Holiday Inn for 4 months which by the way cost the full lodging per diem, for the exact same rate, I rented an ocean (Gulf) front condo (2bdrm, 2 bath). SAME COST TO GOVERNMENT! When I told lodging they were getting ripped off by the Holiday Inn, they told me, and I quote "we're not in the business of saving money."

That's our tax dollars at work.

Edited by AOF_ATC
  • Upvote 1

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I'm heading up to Altus for -135 PIQ in a few weeks. I talked to lodging and they say that there is pretty much no chance of getting anything on base right now since they are 'remodeling.' I heard from a buddy who just got up there a few weeks ago that they are giving letters of non-a but are forcing people go to the Best Western or Microtel. From what I've read on this thread though, unless it is 'contract lodging' then they cannot tell you where to stay off base as long as it does not exceed the maximum daily rate ($77 for Altus). Is that right? And is there any intel out there about whether or not Altus has any contract lodging?

And just to clarify: if lodging is not available on day one and you stay off base, then they cannot force you back into lodging on base per JFTR U1045 A Note 2. But then there is the stipulation about moving back on base in AFI 34-246 if TDY-to-school (AETC). So my question is, does the JFTR trump the AFI in this case or could I be forced to move back on base after the initial non-a letter? I just want to make sure I understand this before I head up there and get 'told' something by the shoes at lodging.

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I'm heading up to Altus for -135 PIQ in a few weeks. I talked to lodging and they say that there is pretty much no chance of getting anything on base right now since they are 'remodeling.' I heard from a buddy who just got up there a few weeks ago that they are giving letters of non-a but are forcing people go to the Best Western or Microtel. From what I've read on this thread though, unless it is 'contract lodging' then they cannot tell you where to stay off base as long as it does not exceed the maximum daily rate ($77 for Altus). Is that right? And is there any intel out there about whether or not Altus has any contract lodging?

And just to clarify: if lodging is not available on day one and you stay off base, then they cannot force you back into lodging on base per JFTR U1045 A Note 2. But then there is the stipulation about moving back on base in AFI 34-246 if TDY-to-school (AETC). So my question is, does the JFTR trump the AFI in this case or could I be forced to move back on base after the initial non-a letter? I just want to make sure I understand this before I head up there and get 'told' something by the shoes at lodging.

Yes, that is right.

If Altus has "contract quarters" then the base would pay for the rooms and not you individually. So, if you pay with your CSA/GTC/personal credit card, then those are not contract quarters.

The AETC stipulation is illegal as it was never coordinated through the JFTR/perdiem committee. The JFTR has the force of law, pretty much. The initial letter is good enough.

Edited by Herk Driver

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I'm heading up to Altus for -135 PIQ in a few weeks. I talked to lodging and they say that there is pretty much no chance of getting anything on base right now since they are 'remodeling.' I heard from a buddy who just got up there a few weeks ago that they are giving letters of non-a but are forcing people go to the Best Western or Microtel. From what I've read on this thread though, unless it is 'contract lodging' then they cannot tell you where to stay off base as long as it does not exceed the maximum daily rate ($77 for Altus). Is that right? And is there any intel out there about whether or not Altus has any contract lodging?

And just to clarify: if lodging is not available on day one and you stay off base, then they cannot force you back into lodging on base per JFTR U1045 A Note 2. But then there is the stipulation about moving back on base in AFI 34-246 if TDY-to-school (AETC). So my question is, does the JFTR trump the AFI in this case or could I be forced to move back on base after the initial non-a letter? I just want to make sure I understand this before I head up there and get 'told' something by the shoes at lodging.

If you don't want to go to the Best Western or Microtel, call up the Holiday Inn or Hampton yourself and see if they have rooms availabile. They may be full, hence the reason they send you to BW/Micro. When you check-in at lodging, request a certain hotel (unless you are wanting to get an apt, etc). If you get the Non-A, you technically will be able to get reimbursed the max rate, however, my experience there is that the hotels would not give you a room unless the Non-A had their specific hotel room listed on the Non-A. So, they may not be able to tell you specifically where to stay, but you just may not be able to check-in with the government rate otherwise.

Also, if you get a Non-A, they will tell you some crap that you may be required to move back on base if rooms become available. That's what they told me and everyone else. They can't do that, but those calls never happened so didn't have to argue the point.

Edited by fou

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Gents,

Checked into Kirtland on Tuesday. They gave me an 11 day Non-A and then made me a reservation at lodging. I did not leave my credit card or give them orders. I did research, went back the next day, different person, showed them the JTFR and got a new non-A for my entire TDY period from day 1. Got a call today saying that "my orders say I am not approved off base lodging and need to move to base after my original non-A expires." Called the chick back and quoted the JTFR again, and she said it didn't matter because my orders didn't authorize me to live off base. Then she put me on hold for 10 mins before I hung up. The remarks on my orders say, "Student must reserve on-base lodging. Should the student be placed on off-base lodging, he must check daily on availability of on base lodging...and if available move back within 24hrs IAW AETC Sup 1 to AFI 34-246." After reading this thread it seems that this remark on my orders is directly counter to what the JTFR says. Can I tell them to go pound sand or will this somehow come back to bite me? I think that the chick at the desk who gave me the non-A must have gotten ripped by someone above her because once I got my non-A extended I told 3 other guys about it who had shorter non-A. They all went back and got new, longer non-As. Also, I never gave them my orders so they just must be going off of orders they have seen before. So bottom line, is it true that the JTFR overrides the remark on my orders? Is there anything I can do to cover my ass? If I have the non-A in my hand can they even do anything? I have an apt and a lease so no going back.

Thanks and I'll spread any info to the other guys here.

Edited by B*D*A

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Gents,

Checked into Kirtland on Tuesday...

Check the posts from Finance Guy on pages 1 and 2 of this thread. They address this specific situation. PM Finance Guy to see if the guidance is still valid. He's been great about taking the time to answer questions whenever I send a message.

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Or rent a furnished apartment, or buy a house, or buy an RV ... All options available with or without a non-A.

Or read the JFTR and know your options regardless of what the clowns at lodging say

  • Upvote 2

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Or rent a furnished apartment, or buy a house, or buy an RV ... All options available with or without a non-A.

Or read the JFTR and know your options regardless of what the clowns at lodging say

-Rent reimbursable = yes

-Rent to own on TDY = no

-Buy a house and get reimbursed the principal part of the payment = no

-Buy a house and get reimbursed the interest expense = yes

But there's always renting out your newly purchased place to your classmates...

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Explain please?

JFTR U4137 ALLOWABLE EXPENSES WHEN A RESIDENCE IS PURCHASED AND USED FOR TDY

LODGING

A. Purchased Residence. A member may purchase and occupy a residence at a TDY location. Allowable expenses

are prorated based on the number of days in the month, rather than by the actual number of days the member

occupied the residence (57 Comp. Gen. 147 (1977)), and include the monthly:

1. Mortgage interest;

2. Property tax; and

3. Utility costs actually incurred (does not include any installation and hook-up charges), e.g., electricity,

natural gas, water, fuel oil, sewer charges;

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Check the posts from Finance Guy on pages 1 and 2 of this thread. I believe they address this specific situation. PM Finance Guy to see if the guidance is still valid. He's been great about taking the time to answer questions whenever I send a message.

Still Valid. Billeting/Services still play their games and AETC can't get their orders cut right.

Orders should only say Gov't Qtrs Directed. If not available, then they need to document and give you a non-A which is a one-time requirement.

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Thanks Gents,

One more question for FG. Can lodging somehow void my non-A after I have it in my hands? I got an email a few days ago from lodging that had all the dates of my TDY in one column, and another column that said something like "Entitlement Rate" with a $0.00 for every day. Can they dick with the accounting code on the bottom of the Non-A slip so that if finance audits my voucher, it looks like they never gave me a non-A? So sick of this...btw I'm the only one of the several guys who got a non-A to get this email.

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BDA,

I got the same email recently when I made reservations for a TDY and was told I would be receiving a non-A. I asked lodging about and was told it was normal to get that and it indicated that there was no payment due to the lodging office or that it wasn't contract qtrs rate.

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Thanks Gents,

One more question for FG. Can lodging somehow void my non-A after I have it in my hands? I got an email a few days ago from lodging that had all the dates of my TDY in one column, and another column that said something like "Entitlement Rate" with a $0.00 for every day. Can they dick with the accounting code on the bottom of the Non-A slip so that if finance audits my voucher, it looks like they never gave me a non-A? So sick of this...btw I'm the only one of the several guys who got a non-A to get this email.

So is this an electronic Non-A? Or just an follow-up email? If you have a Non-A in your hands, thats the one you give finance. Can you send me (PM) the email?

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Hey guys, I've got a question that I haven't seen addressed here. I'm TDY to Altus for about another month for the -135 transition course. Our cable has been cut off in billeting, we've had two scheduled power outages in the last 4 days (the next one will be the night before my check ride...yippie), the internet is famously spotty, and there is construction outside my building. At the risk of sounding like a whiner, I went to see about a non-A. No luck. I read the AFI 34-246, JFTR U1045, and even got my hands on a copy of the AF Inns Certification Checklist (the replacement for the mythical Gold Eagle Standards outlined in the AFI) in hopes that I could call this lodging unacceptable. I haven't found anything. I haven't checked into the unit yet, and don't want to lead with "Hi! Here's an extra $1200 lodging expense", but would REALLY like to get out of this sh*thole.

When I went downstairs to talk to the manager (mgt tactics here deserve a whole other post BTW), the lady at the desk offered to move me to another room. Is that allowed, and do I have to do it?

When she held the other room for me, she mentioned that lodging was full tomorrow night, but held the room anyway. When I called back later after checking the JFTR to confirm I could move off base with just her name and my certfication (assuming I'm reading U1045 right), she said they had rooms available. WTF? Anyway, I'm not really sure what to do and any advice would be appreciated. If I'm gnat's assing the JFTR right, shouldn't I be able to move off-base based upon her statement that rooms were full?

Since I'm in lodging now, would I have to sell it to the finance office (or whomever the AO is) to justify checking out based on the power outage? I can't find anything written that clarifies what's required in acceptable lodging (I'm not transient aircrew) besides the BS Accreditation Checklist. Thanks!

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Breckey is correct - you need the letter (I don't recall seeing anything in the JFTR about getting a name in certification). If I'm reading your post correctly, I doubt she would have given you a non-A anyway because they still had availability in lodging, it was just in the crappy rooms.

I don't think you're going to get help from the JFTR on this one with respect to acceptable lodging, I would suggest talking to a flight commander or above for your transition course. Most of them are inconveniences you'll have to live with (cable, internet), but if you can make the case that the power outages and construction are affecting crew rest, you should be able to have somebody throw some weight around to get you an acceptable room, or get you off base.

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Without a genuine AF issue Non-A Letter you can't get reimbursed for the off-base rate

This is not true. See JFTR U1045.C.3 below under GOV’T QTRS USE/AVAILABILITY. This scenarios all depends on who is the approving official for the TDY. I doubt you could use U1045.B.2 since this school may be considered a "service school".

"....offered to move me to another room. Is that allowed, and do I have to do it?" Yes it is allowed, no you don't have to unless the room you are in MUST be vacated due to maintenance or renovation. I would have a sit down with your school commander and the base billeting to iron this out. I don't think the case is very solid and the AO may not buy your reason for quarters not being available. Main reason being the last time you spoke with the front desk they said rooms were available.

C. Order or Voucher

1. Documentation. An/A order/voucher must document availability/non-availability by:

a. Confirmation number provided by the Service’s lodging registration process;

b. The date the member attempted to make reservations, and the phone number and name of the billeting office PoC; or

c. Member certification that GOV’T QTRS were not available on arrival.

2. Authorization/Approval. When a member provides acceptable documentation on a order/voucher of GOV’T QTRS non-availability, the AO must authorize/approve reimbursement for commercial lodgings.

3. Paper Non-Availability Statement Not Required (Effective 1 October 1995). Per USD memorandum, dated 29 August 1995, a DoD traveler is not required to obtain paper non-availability statements to justify reimbursement for commercial lodging and per diem.

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For Reference, JFTR (Ch1-10):

http://www.defensetr...28Ch1-10%29.pdf

Non-Availabilty letter info is under Chap 1, part Z (Search for U1601), it is being moved to Chap 2 eventualy. Scroll down to Note 3.

NOTE 3: The member is not required to seek (or check for) GOV’T QTRS when TDY to a U.S. INSTALLATION or RESERVATION after non-availability documentation has been initially provided. Checking QTRS availability is a one-time requirement at a TDY U.S. INSTALLATION or RESERVATION. (Ex: A member, who is required to check QTRS availability on arrival at a U.S. INSTALLATION, does so and certifies nonavailability or is issued non-availability documentation, cannot be required to re-check later for QTRS availability at that U.S. INSTALLATION during that TDY period there). See par. U2570.

I can't find a U2570, might be a broken ref because of the merger initiation, it should probably say "See Par U1601-C"

I just got a call from the billeting manager and he directed me that I had to move back on base (after I was off base for 3 days and have a non-a slip for those 3 days), I told him BS and he explained how I would not be re-imbursed, etc, etc... Its been awhile since I had to deal with this incompetence, so I thought I would check to make sure nothing has changed, looks like it hasn't. When I checked-in, the front desk told me they would fax me a non-a for 30 days, but when I got the fax 3 days later after calling 8 times (and waiting on hold for ~3 hours total) it only had 3 days on it, whatever...

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For Reference, JFTR (Ch1-10): http://www.defensetr...28Ch1-10%29.pdf Non-Availabilty letter info is under Chap 1, part Z (Search for U1601), it is being moved to Chap 2 eventualy. Scroll down to Note ...

That paragraph is a temp.to Chapter 1 while they re-write and incorporate into chapter 2. Once that is complete it will be moved to Chapter 2. The old reference was JFTR U1045, but is now renamed within part Z (temporary merger area).

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Has anyone seen the new policy letter not allowing people to live in PIT pads and forcing them to live on base at Randolph AFB for training? Is this legal? I don’t see in the JFTR how this can be legal. Are there other guidelines out there that I am unaware about? I have a PIT pad and offer a more comfortable stay for the member and put a little money in my pocket based off the 39 dollars a day with two people in the house. While there are a lot of people that are upset about this, it is difficult to challenge an O-6 about a policy when I am an O-3 within the system and could face the negative ramifications. Most of the other members are also within the system and therefore don’t want to rock the boat when they are entering a formal training program. The first week you meet with the OG and he tells all the single people to move on base. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. I will have to shut the house down and just rent the house out to normal people. It will be a about the same amount of money, but it defeats the purpose of taking good care of my people. Thanks in advance for the help. I added the link. PM me if you don’t want to post it on here for privacy.

5. What per diem rate is authorized when a member uses other accommodations despite availability of adequate government quarters?

When adequate Government quarters are available on the U.S. installation to which a member is assigned TDY, and the member is directed to use them, and the member uses other lodgings as a personal choice, lodging reimbursement is limited to the Government quarters cost on the U.S. installation to which assigned TDY (44 Comp. Gen. 626 (1965)). Per diem cannot be limited based on the presence of 'nearby' Government quarters (i.e., not on the U.S. installation to which the member is assigned TDY, but another 'nearby' U.S. installation or other uniformed facility)."

http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/faqgovqtr.cfm

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...3&l=9c0162c02b

new OG Policy letter.pdf

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Has anyone seen the new policy letter not allowing people to live in PIT pads and forcing them to live on base at Randolph AFB for training? Is this legal? I don’t see in the JFTR how this can be legal.

It’s completely legal – it even quotes the point that most finance/billeting offices will try to screw you with (you’re not required to re-seek government quarters once you’re given a non-A). If you read the letter, they’re not trying to prevent people from staying off base, they’re trying to save the expenses incurred from people staying off base at non availability rates.

5. What per diem rate is authorized when a member uses other accommodations despite availability of adequate government quarters?

The on-base rate. Looks like $39 in this case.

If you’re charging folks the same rate as on base, this should be a non-issue for you. The problem is when folks get a non-A slip and go off base when there are actual reservations available (this could occur if they don’t mention they’re in a class that has block reservations). The OG has arranged to ensure that lodging will be available for this recurring classes, and if rooms are left open while people are going off base, the AF is losing money.

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Just left PIT and it's not just being used to prevent people from getting full perdiem. Even if your plan is to refuse govt quarters and go to a PIT pad at the exact same cost to Uncle Sam, commanders are forbidding it and referencing this letter. Finance guy, is that legit? It goes deeper than saving money, they are trying to funnel all the money back into the base by forcing people to stay at billeting. The quality of life difference between the postage stamp billeting rooms and a PIT pad is substantial. At $1200/mo you are getting ripped off at billeting. They even give you the added benefit of rooming an O-5 next to an A1C, we had a lot of issues with 20 yr olds up all night partying. If I owned a PIT pad I'd try to fight it. It's not a matter of saving money, it's a matter of taking away options that the JFTR allows.

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