Government Connections - Winter 2010 - (Page 22)

TRAVEL TIPS & TRENDS Flying First Class QUESTION: When upgrading at your own expense while on official travel, are you eligible for baggage fees to be reimbursed? ANSWER: Yes. But wait. When flying first class you don’t have to pay baggage fees, so what is there to reimburse? With few exceptions, just about every U.S. airline is now charging fees to check baggage; however, when flying in a premium cabin the industry is still extending the courtesy of two checked bags on the house. On September 29, 2009, Robert B. Barnes, a civilian employee of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, traveled on official business from San Diego, CA, to Boston, MA. The agency authorized Barnes a coach class ticket. Prior to departure, at his personal expense, Robert upgraded both his departure and return coach-class tickets to first-class tickets. The upgrade required claimant to pay 15,000 miles against his frequent flyer account as well as an extra $300 for both flights. Robert checked one piece of luggage both directions. When submitting his travel voucher he requested the cost of the coach-class ticket and $40 for baggage fees. The agency denied the $40 for baggage fees and asserts that the baggage fees were denied because Robert did not submit evidence that the expenses were actually incurred. The United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals ruled in favor of Robert B. Barnes after concluding that the $40 is reimbursable because the value of his baggage fees were included in his upgraded ticket, which he purchased at personal expense. USER BEWARE Beware when using the internet while on the road. TrustWave Spider Labs, an application security-testing organization, discovered that 38 percent of all known security breaches in 2009 happened on hotel networks. Always turn on your firewall and keep your computer’s operating system up to date. Do not click on suspicious links and avoid online activities that require accessing personal information. Also, do not access personal accounts at public workstations that could be infected with malware. NCC GETS GSA SCHEDULE CONTRACT Eric Whitson, director of sales and marketing at The National Conference Center (NCC), recently announced that the US General Services Administration (GSA) awarded the acclaimed conference facility with the first – and only – GSA Schedule Contract for a conference center, hotel or resort. A proven vendor for the federal government, The National Conference Center is the ideal venue for offsite meetings, training and educational programs, as well as for executive summits, board meetings and sales conferences. Government meeting planners will now have the time- and cost-saving opportunity to plan and execute meetings with a simplified one-stop-shopping convenience. DON’T FORGET YOUR PERKS With all of the merger mania happening in the U.S. airline industry it is easy to worry about how that will affect your frequent flyer miles and other perks for loyalty to one brand. Make sure that all of your contact information is correct on your profile so you don’t miss an important communication regarding the changes to loyalty programs, and visit an online forum like Flyer Talk for expert analysis from your fellow frequent flyers. G 22 GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS | WINTER 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Winter 2010

Government Connections - Winter 2010
Table of Contents
President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Education Edge
That’s Technology
Supplier Strategy
Plan Green
Travel Tips and Trends
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
The Per Diem Pendulum
Contact Sport vs. Meeting Professionals
Raining Cats & Dogs
Are You Planning to Fail?
7 Deadly Sins of Small Meetings
Meeting Follow-Up is Key to Success
SGMP Nation
Membership News
Conference Connection
Advertisers’ Index
The Meeting Minute

Government Connections - Winter 2010