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Non-Availibility lodging/letter


Techsan

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Quick question regarding TDY location.. tried to make reservations at Mildenhall for 30ish people. Mildenhall had no rooms but made reservations for us at Lakenheath.. if my TDY location is Mildenhall, am I in my right to secure my own lodging off base or do I have to accept lodging at Lakenheath because of its proximity?

Thanks.

They made reservations at Lakenheath in violation of the JFTR. Paragraph U2560.

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Correct. But your options are limited. There are a few inns in the local area, but they are not what you're used to in the states. But it could be worth it for the per diem.

We found a few places in Cambridge that will match the lodging limit.. so we should be good to go. Anyone every stay at the University Arms?

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They made reservations at Lakenheath in violation of the JFTR. Paragraph U2560.

Wish I had know this 3 months ago. They stuck 35 of us at RAF Alconbury - took over an hour for the bus to get there. This was after we had called ahead and made "on-base" reservations.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 months later...

From JTR para 4250 LONG TERM TDY FLAT RATE PER DIEM:

B. Exceptions and Additional Factors. The following circumstances may affect per diem reimbursement:

1. The lodging portion of flat-rate per diem does not apply when Gov’t Qtrs are available or provided or when suitable commercial lodgings are provided at no cost. If the traveler is provided one or more meals, or all meals at no cost, the GMR or PMR is applicable and flat rate per diem is not applicable.

Does this mean the option to live off base without a Non-A (but at a reduced M&IE per diem) is no longer available?

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I looked in the new JTR and can't find it right now.. but I am leaving HRT for CVS tomorrow. Of course CTO gives me the super awesome flight that get's into Amarillo at like 2330...followed by a 2 hour drive home. I remember something that allowed you to stay in lodging if the airport required travel and your travel time was early/late you were authorized to stay at a hotel/lodging. So, am I authorized to stay the night in Amarillo?

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I looked in the new JTR and can't find it right now.. but I am leaving HRT for CVS tomorrow. Of course CTO gives me the super awesome flight that get's into Amarillo at like 2330...followed by a 2 hour drive home. I remember something that allowed you to stay in lodging if the airport required travel and your travel time was early/late you were authorized to stay at a hotel/lodging. So, am I authorized to stay the night in Amarillo?

I have an o'dark thirty flight out of Lubbock and have been told that since I would have to get up at 2am my time (Clovistan) that I was entitled to a stay in Lubbock the day before.

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I looked in the new JTR and can't find it right now.. but I am leaving HRT for CVS tomorrow. Of course CTO gives me the super awesome flight that get's into Amarillo at like 2330...followed by a 2 hour drive home. I remember something that allowed you to stay in lodging if the airport required travel and your travel time was early/late you were authorized to stay at a hotel/lodging. So, am I authorized to stay the night in Amarillo?

The JTR does not expect you to travel between midnight and 6am. If you have a 7 am flight at an airport two hours away, you should be entitled to travel to the airport a day early
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  • 1 year later...

I'm taking a group tdy out to Nellis for a couple weeks, and having some issues with lodging...  DTS sent us a non-a letter for lodging, but the head of the lodging (who is a civilian contractor) is telling me we have to stay at one of the hotels they have a contract with. I found a hotel we'd rather stay at for the per diem rate (aka not ghetto and full of roaches), but he says it isn't one of their "contracted" hotels so we can't stay there.

 

Any time I've gotten a non-a I've been allowed to stay where I want, the base can just recommend places they have lower rates with. Has that changed? If not, anyone have luck getting around the lodging office?

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38 minutes ago, Sly716 said:

I'm taking a group tdy out to Nellis for a couple weeks, and having some issues with lodging...  DTS sent us a non-a letter for lodging, but the head of the lodging (who is a civilian contractor) is telling me we have to stay at one of the hotels they have a contract with. I found a hotel we'd rather stay at for the per diem rate (aka not ghetto and full of roaches), but he says it isn't one of their "contracted" hotels so we can't stay there.

 

Any time I've gotten a non-a I've been allowed to stay where I want, the base can just recommend places they have lower rates with. Has that changed? If not, anyone have luck getting around the lodging office?

Your fight is not with lodging.  It's with whoever is paying your vouchers.  LR used to do the same thing.  They'd not give you an on-base room, but give you a "contract lodging" letter to the Motel 6 in Jacksonville.  However, it's not "contract lodging" if you pay for it with your GTC, so he doesn't understand the letter of the law first of all.  Read through the attachment for the actual letter of the law.

So here's what you do.  Tell him thanks for his help, get his name, number, and the date and time you called.  If he books you rooms, tell him thank you, walk out of his office, and have your copilot call the hotel directly and cancel all the rooms.  Go stay at the hotel of your choice, while of course staying under the max lodging allowance.  Do your mission, go home, and file your voucher.  Where it asks for the non-a, provide the name, number, and the date and time you called and he said there were no rooms.  Reference JTR Chapter 2, Part, H, Paragraph 2570(A)(2) and Paragraph 2570(C).

The caveat to all of this is the new Integrated Lodging Program.  If wherever you're going is in that, you have to involve CTO and it gets way more painful unless your AO will let you slide without it for mission accomplishment. 

And finally, caveat emptor.  I've done what I spelled out above and it worked as I've said.  But you're dealing with different people, different offices, and different bosses. 

 

Message_-_Lodging_Reimbursement_Uniformed_Members_-_221800Z_DEC_06.pdf

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I've done what Nunya said on about 6-9 TDYs since this "contract lodging" thing started.  In every case, I got the standard non-A (base lodging did not book me at a different hotel...can't imagine any AF lodging putting any amount of effort into "helping" you by booking rooms elsewhere on your behalf).  Instead of using any of the hotel options in DTS, I made reservations myself at where I wanted to stay, ensured the room rate did not go beyond the max lodging allowed for the area, and filed my voucher for max lodging rate/night, attached non-A...done.

If I'm reading your post correctly, you already have a non-A letter - this is all a non-issue; don't need to talk to lodging again.  By the way, there's a provision in the JTR that says you can make reservations for "groups" outside of DTS.  Additionally, even if you were to make a reservation only for yourself (i.e. not a group), the JTR says you can NEVER be punished in form of non payment AND it "at worst" recommends your CC write you a strongly worded letter (i.e. nothing will happen unless you have the worst SQ/CC in the AF).  Don't have time to look the reference up, but it's in there.  I do a shitload of TDY travel, so this comes from a lot of experience.

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9 hours ago, nunya said:

So here's what you do.  Tell him thanks for his help, get his name, number, and the date and time you called.  If he books you rooms, tell him thank you, walk out of his office, and have your copilot call the hotel directly and cancel all the rooms.  Go stay at the hotel of your choice, while of course staying under the max lodging allowance.  Do your mission, go home, and file your voucher.  Where it asks for the non-a, provide the name, number, and the date and time you called and he said there were no rooms.  Reference JTR Chapter 2, Part, H, Paragraph 2570(A)(2) and Paragraph 2570(C).

The caveat to all of this is the new Integrated Lodging Program.  If wherever you're going is in that, you have to involve CTO and it gets way more painful unless your AO will let you slide without it for mission accomplishment.

Message_-_Lodging_Reimbursement_Uniformed_Members_-_221800Z_DEC_06.pdf

This is great, appreciate the heads up from experience. I did double check the ILP list, Nellis isn't on there just yet, so we should be golden. 

Thanks guys

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7 hours ago, Sly716 said:

This is great, appreciate the heads up from experience. I did double check the ILP list, Nellis isn't on there just yet, so we should be golden. 

Happy to help.  I might have misunderstood one thing though.  LR gave non-a's that included on the form "you must stay at Roach Motel."  That created a fight when finance didn't understand that wasn't a valid directive.  I thought that's what you got.  Was yours just a regular non-a and then only verbally he was telling you to stay somewhere?  If that's the case, then even easier!  Either way, good luck. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright, I'm asking a question that is beating a dead horse... But here we go. At Altus, currently the Finance office has stated the standard interpretations of Para 4250 is incorrect. The interpretation that many of us have had is the flat rate is yours regardless of lodging costs. If you have a non-a, flat rate is $105 a day, besides the official days of travel do you not just get $105, regardless of lodging costs? I understood this to be the entire point of the flat rate, being that it motivated the member to find cheaper lodging. Some individuals in our class have lodging for less than $60/day and planned it that way accordingly. Any finance folks on here, or people who think they understand this better, care to clarify?

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55 minutes ago, GlassEmpty said:

Alright, I'm asking a question that is beating a dead horse... But here we go. At Altus, currently the Finance office has stated the standard interpretations of Para 4250 is incorrect. The interpretation that many of us have had is the flat rate is yours regardless of lodging costs. If you have a non-a, flat rate is $105 a day, besides the official days of travel do you not just get $105, regardless of lodging costs? I understood this to be the entire point of the flat rate, being that it motivated the member to find cheaper lodging. Some individuals in our class have lodging for less than $60/day and planned it that way accordingly. Any finance folks on here, or people who think they understand this better, care to clarify?

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pretty sure that you NEVER get to keep the extra lodging allotment.   MI&E, yes.    lodging, no.   if DTS is being handled correctly you will need a receipt for all lodging, and in turn you need to change your expenses portion for lodging from $105 / night to the actuals.

   anything else and you risk getting audited/in trouble.

 

the only time that flat rate lodging is allowed (and you keep the difference) is when you are getting a 55% rate (due to being TDY over 180 days)

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55 minutes ago, GlassEmpty said:

Alright, I'm asking a question that is beating a dead horse... But here we go. At Altus, currently the Finance office has stated the standard interpretations of Para 4250 is incorrect. The interpretation that many of us have had is the flat rate is yours regardless of lodging costs. If you have a non-a, flat rate is $105 a day, besides the official days of travel do you not just get $105, regardless of lodging costs? I understood this to be the entire point of the flat rate, being that it motivated the member to find cheaper lodging. Some individuals in our class have lodging for less than $60/day and planned it that way accordingly. Any finance folks on here, or people who think they understand this better, care to clarify?

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If you have a non-a and fall under the criteria for flat rate then you should receive the $105/day ($66.75/lodging and $38.25/M&IE) no matter what as long as you are actually spending something on lodging. I'm not sure how they are interpreting 4250 but the following is pretty clear:

4250 B 6. Lodging receipts are not required, but proof that lodging costs were incurred shall be required. The fixed rate per diem may not be reduced further even if the actual lodging costs incurred are less than the lodging portion of the reduced per diem.

Is this Altus finance telling you this? What they say shouldn't matter anyways. If you are TDY enroute then this will be part of your PCS voucher and will go to Ellsworth for processing. They see so many of these vouchers that I'd hope this still isn't a problem. If this a normal TDY from home station then it'll be your own unit approving this. 

I've been out of the financial services section for a bit so maybe things changed but that was copied from the current JTR.

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2 hours ago, Bojangles said:

If you have a non-a and fall under the criteria for flat rate then you should receive the $105/day ($66.75/lodging and $38.25/M&IE) no matter what as long as you are actually spending something on lodging. I'm not sure how they are interpreting 4250 but the following is pretty clear:

4250 B 6. Lodging receipts are not required, but proof that lodging costs were incurred shall be required. The fixed rate per diem may not be reduced further even if the actual lodging costs incurred are less than the lodging portion of the reduced per diem.

Is this Altus finance telling you this? What they say shouldn't matter anyways. If you are TDY enroute then this will be part of your PCS voucher and will go to Ellsworth for processing. They see so many of these vouchers that I'd hope this still isn't a problem. If this a normal TDY from home station then it'll be your own unit approving this. 

I've been out of the financial services section for a bit so maybe things changed but that was copied from the current JTR.

This is correct.  The first example offered in the JTR covers this situation:

"The long-term lodging cost is $95/night for each full day of TDY (on a monthly/yearly lease) and the daily lodging tax is $0."

In the table that follows beneath, it lists $198 as the normal lodging per diem rate.  The example traveler is entitled to 55% per diem and will receive $108.90 toward lodging costs.

EDIT: This *only* applies to FLAT-RATE per diem TDYs. These are TDYs in excess of 30 days.  If your TDY is 30 days or less, you fall under normal per diem rules.

Edited by zmoney
Clarification
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