340.5 - Baggage
OPR: Admin/Financial Management
1. Purpose and Scope. This chapter establishes the policies and procedures concerning the handling and shipment of Governmental and/or personal property of USGS employees for official travel requirements.
2. Policy. SM 340.1.2.
3. Responsibilities. SM 340.1.3 and SM 340.2.3B.
A. Baggage. The term "baggage" means Government property and personal property of the traveler necessary for the purpose of the official travel.
B. Excess Baggage. Baggage in excess of the weight, size or number of pieces that is carried free by transportation companies will be classed as excess baggage.
5. Authorization for Excess Baggage. Excess baggage charges will be allowed only when authorized or approved except where air-coach or air-tourist accommodations are used. Transportation of baggage up to the weight carried free on first-class service will be allowed at Government expense.
6. Payment of Costs for Baggage.
A. Charges for Excess Baggage. Travelers will make cash payment of domestic airline excess charges that do not exceed $15. Where excess baggage services are specifically authorized, the travel order will clearly state whether such charges are to be paid for in cash by the traveler or to be authorized on the Government Transportation Request (GTR). If the authorization for excess baggage is not included on the transportation request, the traveler's claim for reimbursement will be included on the travel voucher.
B. Transfer of Baggage. Necessary charges for the transfer of baggage will be allowed.
C. Storage of Baggage. Charges for the storage of baggage will be allowed when it is shown that such storage was solely on account of official business.
D. Checking and Handling of Baggage. Charges for checking baggage will be allowed. Charges for tips at transportation terminal will be allowed for handling Government property carried by the traveler.
7. Stoppage in Transit. Care should be taken to stop baggage that has been checked on a ticket beyond the point where the traveler leaves the carrier. If baggage cannot be intercepted or transferred and is carried through to original destination on unused portion of ticket, full explanation of the facts will be made to the Branch of Financial Management for redemption. Failure to observe this rule will result in any excess cost to the Government being charged to the employee.
8. Requirements for Shipment.
A. Selection of Transportation Service. When the total weight of Government property and personal effects or other property needed by the traveler exceeds the baggage allowance, quantities in excess of the allowance will be shipped by parcel post, or, if not suitable for mailing, by freight or express if any of those less costly means of shipment will suffice. Shipments will not be made as accompanied baggage or express when ordinary freight service will meet the official needs. Due consideration should be given to the probable cost of collecting or delivering the shipment and the time required for transmission.
B. Use of Government Bills of Lading. Express and freight shipments will be made on Government bills of lading unless such handling will interfere with the official purpose of the trip or is not practical. Charges on shipments made on Government bills of lading will not be paid by the traveler.
C. Government Bills of Lading Not Accepted. When acceptance of shipments on Government bills of lading is refused, payment of the amount demanded will be made. A report of the circumstances will be sent to the Branch of Financial Management. When Government bills of lading are refused or not used and cash payment is demanded, the carrier's receipt showing the original point of shipment, destination, number of packages, contents and separate weight of each package, rate and amount of charges paid will be accepted in support of the charge.