Govt Issues LTC Rules Regarding Air Ticket Booking

The central government has issued guidelines on airline ticket booking. The Postal Department of the Ministry of Communications has issued an Office Memorandum (OM) in this regard, explaining the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) rules in relation to airline ticket booking agents, airline ticket prices and deadlines.

It also asked government employees to book airline tickets with three booking agents – Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Balmer Lawrie and Company (BLCL) and Ashok Travels and Tours (ATT).

The following rules apply:

In all cases of air travel relating to LTC, air tickets may only be obtained from three Authorized Travel Agents (ATA) or (a) M/s Balmer Lawrie and Company (BLCL), (b) M/s Ashok Travels and Tours (ATT) and (c) the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

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Government employees must select the best available fare flight in their eligible travel category for non-stop travel in the slot noted below, which is the cheapest available fare, at the time of booking. You must retain a hard copy of the relevant ATA webpage with flight and fare details for the purpose of settling LTC claims.

Central government employees are encouraged to book airline tickets with LTC at least 21 days in advance of the intended travel date in order to obtain the cheapest fares.

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Under unavoidable circumstances when the ticket is booked through an unauthorized travel agency/website. Financial advisors and department heads of the department/department not below the rank of Secretary-General in the subordinate/affiliated offices are authorized to make grants.

Government employees who are eligible for air travel can apply for an LTC advance along with a printout from the relevant authorized travel agent’s website showing the relevant flight and fare details while tracking airfares under a three-hour time window.

Individuals who are not eligible to travel by air and wish to travel by air but do not qualify for the special exemption regime need only book their airline tickets through the three ATAs above, regardless of the booking deadline. However, reimbursement is limited to the actual airfare or the eligible train/bus fare for the shortest route, whichever is lower.

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Staff are encouraged to avoid unnecessary cancellations. For cancellations made less than 24 hours before the scheduled trip to LTC, the employee must provide a self-declared justification. All three ATAs were instructed not to charge cancellation fees.

Tickets can be arranged by the office through the travel agent, staff are encouraged to book tickets digitally only via 3 ATA’s self-booking tool/online booking website/portal.

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