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Newcomer Information - Travel

(Below are questions that previous incoming interns had concerning their move to Hawai'i and the Graduate Medical Office response to these questions. Please review the following to see if your question has been answered before.)

General Information

Question:
I had a question that was previously asked but I am having difficulty with Carlson Wagonlit travel. I am trying to arrange for my one way ticket to Honolulu on or around May 15. The person I talk to at the travel office says I need approval from Connie at Human Resources in MO at (314) 592-0457 (whom I have not been able to reach). Is this accurate? The woman who I spoke with, who was less than cordial, seems to think that arriving before report date is not allowed. Any advice or further information would be greatly appreciated.

Response:
This is not accurate information. Your orders do not restrict your date(s) of travel and do not prevent you from arriving on the island early to start looking for a residence, etc. However, you are not allowed to report early so you will not be entitled to temporary lodging allowance before your report date. Unfortunately, you are at the mercy of the contract employees at the Carlson-Wagonlit travel offices who do not understand and may misinterpret the rules. The foremost thing you need to do if you get any grief about leaving early is tell the Carlson Wagonlit travel office that you are PCSing (permanent change of station) to your first duty station in Hawai'i. The rules for permanent duty travel and temporary duty travel (TDY) are very different and if the tra-vel office thinks you are going TDY they may not give you the correct advice.

If you still get no cooperation, contact Thomas or Connie at the Human Re-sources Command (HRC) - St. Louis Transportation Office. The telephone number is as stated above: (314) 592-0457. I spoke with both of them and got through all three times I called with no problem. The hours of operation are 06:30 am - 5:00 pm CST. Thomas explained that Carlson closes at 4:00 pm CST so it is best you call the HRC - St. Louis Transportation Office when Carlson is open so that he or Connie may coordi-nate directly with Carlson on your behalf. Again, it is important that you tell Thomas or Connie that you are PCSing to your first duty station in Hawaii.

Thomas explained that they prefer you have your orders in hand before contacting them. He also said that if you do not know how to get in touch with the nearest Carlson-Wagonlit Office you should call their office for assistance.

Yesterday, when I talked to Connie she told me to let you know that you should let the Carlson-Wagonlit travel office book your flight according to your orders. Then you could contact the airline directly and exchange the reservation for an earlier flight. When I mentioned this to Thomas today he indicated Connie may have thought I was talking about TDY travel and that you should not have to exchange a ticket be-cause the Carlson-Wagonlit travel office should have booked your flight according to your plans.

If you need to change your travel plans after a ticket is issued you should coordinate the change through Carlson-Wagonlit.

I also ran this issue by Ms. Janna Cox at the Army GME Division. Here is my query and her response:

Janna,

This is a generic issue that I'd appreciate some incite on. Can't interns arrive early to the duty station as long as they are not reimbursed for temporary lodging expenses and per diem? Can't they still be reimbursed for their travel and can't the Travel Office book airline reservations? The same question holds true for separate travel by and early arrival of spouses. The interns (and family mem-bers) wouldn't be allowed to report, but they would be able to look for housing on their own dime.

You would think that this process was clear cut, flexible, and logical. Thanks.

Gary

Gary,

You're right. Logically, it does not make sense to ONLY authorize travel on an individual's report date. A "Report Date" is different from a "Will Proceed Date". I'm not sure that the Travel Office understands [is understanding] that a Report Date only controls the time in which an officer is authorized to in-process to their duty location. We purposely do not publish "Will Proceed Dates" (which would restrict an individual to traveling within a certain window of time) because each student has their own circumstance and needs to accommodate when traveling. As long as they are eligible and on orders to report, then they should be eligible to be reimbursed for the transportation used to get to their respective assignment so that they CAN report as ordered. There should not be any problem with this (as long as they've completed their academic requirements for graduation - that's the only sticky point. If they've completed all graduation requirements, then nothing should prohibit their movement). The movement cost is still a one time shot. Like you've stated, they would not be authorized temporary lodging expenses or per diem if they've arrived before their report date, however since their transportation cost was for the purposes of reporting for duty, they should be reimbursed for travel that occurs prior to their report date.

I'm sure that this was long winded and I hope that it makes sense. If you need anything additional from me or would like to discuss further, please let me know.

Janna



Question:
My school is located in Iowa. I currently live in Cleveland Ohio. I will be in Iowa for graduation the weekend before heading to Hawai'i. My soon to be wife and I wish to have our stuff shipped from Cleveland (where we reside), but fly out of Des Moines (KC or Minneapolis would be okay too) since we will be there. This would prevent us from having to fly from Des Moines to Cleveland before flying back to Chica-go/Dallas/Minneapolis on route to Hawai'i. So my question is "Can I ship my goods from my mailing address but request to fly from a different airport (i.e. Des Moines, KC, or Minneapolis).

Response:
You should be able to fly out of an alternate airport. You just need to advise the Carlson Wagonlit travel office of your desires. And you should be able to have your household goods picked up from your Cleveland residence. Coordinate with your recruiter immediately if you run into problems coordinating any desired transportation or travel arrangements based on how your orders are published. S/he should assist you in getting the orders amended if need be. And let us know if you encounter any problems as well.

The Army will not ship from two locations. They will only ship from the active duty individual's address, NOT the new spouse. Individuals should move all goods to one location. I tried this upon my move to medical school and that was the answer I was given. There may have been a change since then but I do not believe there has.


Question:
I am planning on flying to Honolulu on May 17, 2006. I will be flying from medical school, which is my official "home base" in terms of Army records. I am assuming that as with our ADTs, Carlson Wagonlit will be booking our airline tickets from our medical school to Hawai'i for reporting. My question is will they pay for my one-way ticket if it is not technically on a travel day (May 31, June 1)? I was thinking that many of my fellow interns will be flying in earlier to look around, etc., and was wondering how to go about getting my ticket booked through the Army? Basically: will I need to buy my own plane ticket if I am flying in earlier than stated on orders?

Response:
You will need to book your airline reservation through Carlson Wagonlit even if you are departing the mainland early. And your ticket should be paid for by the Army. Coordinate with your AMEDD procurement counselor (recruiter) if you need assistance finding telephone numbers to the supporting Carlson Wagonlit travel office or if you need any other assistance with making your move here, e.g., locating the supporting Transportation Office.




This page is maintained by the Department of Family Medicine, ATTN: MCHK-FM, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96859-5000. Phone: (808) 433-6174.