GSA relaxes travel policy to help stranded federal workers

Federal workers stranded by airport closings resulting from Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., may use alternate modes of transportation to get home, but affected federal workers must still go through their agencies for approval and use their travel management centers to make reservations or changes to travel plans. The General Services Administration issued a memo on Thursday explaining its travel policy in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Federal employees are usually encouraged to travel by air because it is generally fast, economical, safe and reliable. But, with many federal employees stranded because of airport shutdowns and many who are hesitant to fly because of Tuesday's airplane hijackings, GSA has relaxed the rules and will allow them to use other means of transportation to get home, said Jim Harte, travel team leader at GSA. "Bus, rail, car, whatever way we can get people back home, that's what we're telling people to do, now is not the time to look at cost," Harte said. "Just get people back home and we'll fix it later. We have too many people stranded." Harte emphasized that affected federal workers must still use their travel management centers to make reservations or changes to travel plans and seek agency approval of changes. He cautioned employees against just hopping in cars or onto trains and heading home without consulting with their employers. "There was a traveler stranded in Atlanta, and he didn't wait for his agency, he just jumped in a car and drove to Oklahoma City and they charged him a $1,000 drop off fee," Harte explained, adding that the federal worker would end up paying that fee because he did not have prior agency approval.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.