What is Economy Plus?

» Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Airlines, Industry Postings | 0 comments

Commercial airlines have varied prices for seating in different parts of an airplane. The Department of Defense (DoD) typically requires coach (economy) class travel accommodations be used when performing official government travel. Changes effective as of December 2009 to the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR), for DoD Civilians, and the Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR), for the uniformed services, allow the “Economy Plus” type upgrades to be authorized by an Approving Official (AO). The AO must determine that accommodations are in the Government’s interest and/or necessary because the traveler is limited by a special need, such as needing additional legroom, that other lesser-cost (economy/coach) accommodations could not be used to meet.

In addition to pricing differences, airlines have different terminology for this type of upgrade (i.e., “Economy Plus”, the “Choice Seats” program, etc.). All upgrades of this kind should be low cost upgrades within the economy/coach sections. The upgrade does not include premium travel such as First or Business Class, which is also referred to as “Premium Class”. This type of travel at the government’s expense is permitted on an exception basis only. All requests for premium class travel must be fully justified in accordance the JTR and the JFTR. Use of premium class travel accommodations are to be authorized in advance of the actual travel unless extenuating circumstances or emergency situations prevent advance authorization. Blanket authorization and justification for premium travel is not allowed, and authorization must be applied for and obtained on a case-by-case basis.

K. Barnoski, 2012. Disclaimer: The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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